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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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Could you make a router base that lets you cruise over those blobs and only remove those, leaving the wood intact? Or, perhaps take a bench plane and add strips of tape to the edges so that you don't contact the wood with the blade, but do remove the gunk? Maybe even a flush cut saw, and a layer of tape on the wood next to the gunk.

Mark, I like this idea. Most of the blobs can be reached through the open end of my precision base and I can set the bit just a touch higher than flush. Might just try this tomorrow.

Would it be blasphemous to suggest embracing the Everly style? If I were in your position, I think I would try to clean the top up as well as a could and depending on how happy I was with the result, I would either live with the blemishes or go full blown "Everly" on it ;) I could imagine it looking great with the original finish and sporting two pickguards.

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I thoght the same thing, John! The cosmetic issues of the top would be 'mute point' if the same profile p'guards were replaced! I like the looks of them,however, I feel that they would have to be 'tone-dampers' to a degree!

I've had some success with this type of thing fixing sand paper on to the bottom of smaller multi tool saw blades.

I've got a few of those blades. Are you using the multi tool in a base then or free hand style?

Freehand  with, sandpaper, 2 sided tape and a small flush cut blade. You could put a smaller piece of wood on it first and make the foot print even smaller. If that makes sense.

Merry Christmas everybody. I've been making some progress on the 185 and wanted to post a few shots. The top cleanup has gone extremely well with all of the glue residues gone, thanks to my sharpest chisel and a wee bit of alcohol. I used the Frank Ford method for the spruce patch were it was more like a dish than a mortise and it worked nicely. I've removed most of the previous touch ups on the top and back, a little wet sanding should take care of the remnants, and now it's on to those side repairs. I'm becoming more and more convinced that a finish repair is doable without the strip and refinish of the entire guitar. As you can see the neck came off ( hate those Gibson neck joints ) and it has made cleanup simpler. Will update the photos again when I'm ready for the finish.

Looks great!  Keep a good photo diary for us eh? There are a few folks here watching and smiling! And Merry Christmas to you too! 

I'm totally impressed! Nice work. Like Kerry said, some of us are interested so please keep the pictures coming.

I've made a bit more progress on the old 185 so here are a few more shots. I glued in a backer for the side repair using a quickie string clamp and made a plug using my Stew Mac bridge plate repair tool. All of the cracks are now stabilized and I have begun adding color using water based aniline dies. Should be ready for spray on the side soon and the top is getting close for touch ups.

Looking good, this is probably late but the Lee Valley drill bit that looks like a sharpened pencil is great for filling small holes. You put a piece of dowel in a pencil sharpener and then the bit makes the perfect hole for it.

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