Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open - 70
COLUMN Dan's Guitar RX
A J-160E Returns to Glory
By Dan Erlewine
n the January '18 issue, I started to repair a rare and lovely '57 Gibson J-160E that suffered a partially splintered top after the owner's
toddler son stepped on it.
I pieced it together like a jigsaw puzzle and touched it up by patching
dips and missing finish with colored lacquer and epoxy, then sanded
the repair and sprayed a dark shade over the area to hide the work. I
also coated it with thin clear lacquer and melted the fresh coats into
the original lacquer using Butyl Cellosolve added to a well-thinned
coat of lacquer. I considered shading the (non-broken) bass side of the
top, but decided I'd rather see a less-than-perfect sunburst than spray
the entire top; the owner has the option to later have the top cleaned,
sanded, and re-sprayed.
This month, I'll reinstall the hardware, electronics, and its unique
bridge - the earliest of its type that I've seen with an adjustable saddle.
1) Here's a group shot of all the parts.
2) This large 5/16"-thick maple plate has holes drilled at each end to
Photos: Kate Erlewine.