I've had this one sitting in the closet for several years and it's time for it to hit the bench. When I got it there were two non original pickguards installed (bad attempt at an Everly Brothers clone) and one missing kicker brace (due to a hit to the treble side). Also a crack on the same side and a jack hole added which contributed to further cracking. The side cracks and jack hole are standard repairs but the issue that has confounded me is the glue used to adhere the pickguards. It looks like some sort of paste epoxy (JB Weld maybe?). Does anyone have any suggestions for removing this stuff? You may notice the ugly filler that was applied to the top under the pickguard area as well. My plan is to route out this area and apply a thin skin of matching spruce as this falls under the guard and should be invisible when the new guard is installed. The amateurish attempts at touch up will also be addressed and then the hard part of restoring the finish. Recipes welcome.

BTW, happy Thanksgiving to all.

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Ooh, ooh, I know what that is! It's BONDO!! My grandfather did the same thing to an old bowl-back mandolin - it was a major unpleasant surprise when I started working on it. It is horrible stuff, kind of gummy, certainly a big tone suck.

It comes off in big unpleasant chunks. I would use a flat chisel to skim the top and take chunks of it off.

Looks like a really interesting project - have a blast! (love that saddle, btw - nothing like some deep notches to make things better...)

 Fantastic well detailed pictures!  I have been doing repair for 17 years, and if this were mine, I would also be posting here. What knowledge you gain from the 'big boys' here will be a benefit to all of us. I have no clue how to proceed though... 

 One thing though, if the slots through the saddle are any indication, this axe will not play again until long overdue neck reset is done professionally... (sorry to say...)

Neck set actually looks perfect. I honestly can't figure out the reason for the saddle slotting, other than the obvious talent for repair displayed by the previous "luthier" LOL.

WOW.  You don't see these very often.  I've always considered these the VERY best value in their Jumbo series, but then again, I'm a sucker for the parallelogram FB inlays & style SJ appointments guitars..

There are others much more qualified to address these issues than me.

One thing you may wish to consider doing is removing the neck, even though it doesn't appear to need a reset.  I think that it could make all aspects of your finish restoration work much easier.

You have your work cut out for you and I bet it'll turn out great.

We, of course, will be clamoring for the "after" pictures (-:

Take care (-:

Glad to see you back PAUL I would second Paul's advice I would take off the Fret board or neck and the bridge and refinish the top If you need any help with the coulors we can help.Bill....................

Thanks Bill and Paul. I've been contemplating the neck removal issue for awhile on this one and my sticking point is that the original finish was applied after the neck was attached and I hate the idea of breaking the finish line if the set is still right. My hope is to restore and not refinish, which may or may not be possible under the circumstances. Any help with finish recipes will be greatly appreciated. This is a pet project that when completed will permanently reside in my collection so I am probably going to be way too anal about my methods and decisions. I'm with you Paul on the feelings about this model. Parallelograms, maltese crosses, gold hardware, and figured maple, it just doesn't get any better for me.

The problem I seam to have with trying to partly refinishing somethink  like this is that the finish tendes to build up around the FB and the bridge and it is very hard to get it to look right in these places. But you do your thing you may have better luck than I. As for the color it was first done in yellow then red around the burst with a lite over spray of the same red on the yellow the next coat on the burst is TB brown the last coat you add a little black to your brown.    BUT you need to fill in the centre as you spray the burst with clear coats .So be sure and have two sprayers handy.  Maybe you already know all this if so some one else mite like to have the info Good luck with your project Eric.  Bill...........

Just a few more shots to show condition. Looks like someone used 40 grit paper on the side. I haven't done any clean up yet so things are not as bad as they appear in some of these shots.

If the putty isn't hard like Bondo, it may be old floor tile mastic. I ran into to a bowl back mandolin where someone  "fixed" a collapsing top by bonding a new top over the old, obviously thinking the mastic would have good void filling properties. Like Mark, I used chisels to get it off. 

If I were doing this guitar I think I would have to assume a refinish, at least for the top and side. I'm also one to pull the neck just to get it out of the way. I doubt that the cut finish at the neck joint will matter too much. 

I haven't had a jumbo Gibson around in a long while. Every once in a while I miss it's "BOOM".  Very cool guitar!

Eric, I gotta say what a beauteous axe that you have here. Any of us would consider ourselves blessed to own it. Lucky you!  Were are you with the repair?

I have been blessed with some very cool Gibson acoustics...but the J-185 is still high on my "bucket list"!

I am sure it will be really nice when your resto/repairs are done.

'customising jobs' that just make me want to cry and shout...."what were they thinking"?

 At least they applied the correct guard to the upper bout....

Kerry, Still in the planning stages. Will begin this week with the structural repairs and hope to be close to done by X-mas. The finish is going to be the slow part. Gotta say the only reason this resto has waited so long is I snagged a '59 J-200 a few years ago and it's been my jumbo of choice ever since. Ned, the glue is rock hard so not mastic. It seems harder even than Bondo but I guess the chisel is my only choice.


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