1974 Gibson SG project

I bought this SG about 5 years ago. When I got it, there was a chunk of mahogany that had been broken out of the bottom part of the body next to the control cavity. Maybe a year later I routed out the break to square things off. I got a 6″ x 10″ x 2″ piece of mahogany from woodworkers source and traced on paper the shape needed to fashion a custom replacement piece. 3 attempts at cutting a piece yielded no real good results. I think the first was cut too small, the second i don’t remember what happened, the third was shaping up to be a good fit, then I realized that I didn’t take into account the grain direction! Then it sat in a case for the next 4 years or so until, what we’ll call, my recent ‘layoff’ from work.

NOTICE AND WARNING TO EXPERIENCED LUTHIERS: Viewing the following images may trigger involuntary twitching, irritability, the urge to curse out loud and / or sling sarcastic insults at the guitar repair abomination you are about to view. If you are prone to such reactions then it is advised that you proceed no further!!

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The other day, with my new and much better band saw (my old one I lent to a friend and he burned it up, thank the lord!), I gave it another shot at cutting a replacement piece of wood. The first piece I fucked up, but with the 2nd piece I went more slowly and took my time shaping it. Not only is the wood missing, but there is a crack on the top side of the cavity all the way thru the wood and another big splinter of wood missing, but not all the way thru. I think I’ll glue in the big piece, then use some mahogany sawdust mixed with glue to fill in the crack and splinter. Hopefully it will not be terribly noticable once complete.

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I got the new piece glued in, and I followed up with filling the seams with a mix of mahogany sawdust from the band saw and wood glue, wiping the excess with a wet and wrung-out piece of old t-shirt. I then stained the new piece, and, well, the staining didn’t go as well as I had hoped. But I can live with it. The fix is now complete! I went ahead and put the guitar together just so that I could play it thru an amp for the first time, knowing that I still wanted to do something with the finish on the body.



Now, the body was sanded mostly to wood when I got the guitar, and the neck has the original (I assume) nitro finish. I don’t want to touch the neck, but definitely want to do something with the body. So, I am opting for simply rubbing in Tru-Oil as I have heard / read how great of a product it is. Sold as a finishing product for gunstocks, many a luthier and novice alike have used it on guitars with excellent results. I found it at Sportsmans Club here in the valley; $12 for an 8oz bottle. After getting home I did a test area and it looked great. I need to disassemble and do a little more sanding before going full bore with it. Hopefully tomorrow morning…

Also, I got some great tips from this thread about using Tru-Oil:


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Notice the difference between the sort of satin original (nitro?) finish on the neck and the flat sheen of the body where the finish is removed:



This morning I removed all the hardware and sanded the body with 320 grit sandpaper taped to a foam rubber like sanding pad. I then applied the first coat of Tru-Oil, simply rubbing it in with my hand, wiped with a piece of old t-shirt, and it now hangs in the garage!

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after sanding:

after rubbing in 1st light coat of Tru-Oil and wiping off excess:


After 2nd coat, looking nicer:



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