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  1. #1

    Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Who does the best vintage goldtop refinish work?
    I've got a 57 that has a bad burst on it and I want to get it refinished.
    Who does the best most authentic work, including aged plastic?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Dr.ChevChelios's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    My vote goes to Historic Makeovers ...



    ... or Dave Johnson ...

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member JJ Blair's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Joel Wilkens. www.jwrestoration.com He can also relic, and check, if you want, but this was not one of those jobs.


  4. #4

    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    IMHO, Dave Johnson is gold! If I could get a top only refin to my conversion, he would be my choice...

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member The Stumble's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    In my opinion I would go to Kim at historic makeovers, not only would you get a great authentic gold with as much as aging as you desired you would also get the work done in a reasonable time

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    One and Only Dave Johnson. How bout a picture of the 57 as it currently stands
    Top carves are sexy

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member SheltonGuitar's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Nothing against Joel's work at all, and maybe it's just the lighting and/or camera settings, but the gold on the refin looks a little off compared to what was under the 3-way cover...




  8. #8

    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Every guitar HM does is a masterpiece.
    "There's only two things wrong with you, and that's your face." - Greg Koch
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  9. #9

    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Scott Lentz in San Marcos, CA does outstanding *old-Gibson*
    gold top finishes.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Greco's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    .
    Last edited by Greco; 08-04-14 at 05:01 PM.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member blauserk's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    +1 for HM. Beautiful, authentic goldtop finishes, delivered in a timely fashion.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Dr.ChevChelios's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Actually, everybody who could paint a guitar with the ReRanch lacquer can do the paint job ... it gets kind of tricky when "distressing" is on the menu, too.
    Here's a little conversion I painted with the ReRanch Gold and it turned out really nicely.


  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Stoj's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    My vote goes to HM, Dave Johnson or Scott Lentz there refins are outstanding

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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member moonweasel's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    DJ, HM, RS, then the rest.

    That's the order of operations for me. If the guitar is a lifetime keeper, then the amount of time it takes to get the guitar isn't going to matter to me.

  15. #15

    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    +1 for Dave Johnson!

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Greco's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    .
    Last edited by Greco; 08-04-14 at 05:01 PM.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member SheltonGuitar's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    ...FWIW Kim was one of the first (along with DJ I believe) who started regularly using the correct powder...
    FWIW, nope. I can't remember their names right now (dammit), but there were a few finish guys using the right gold back in the 60's & 70's. They probably got their powder straight from Gibson or their original supplier back then, who knows? And Dave was shooting his gold before HM even existed.

    For a vintage correct gold refin nowadays, KBarry, go with a shop that has:
    (1) a history of high quality work on vintage Gibsons
    (2) a proven track record of high resale value

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Didn't Kim and Dave work together for a while? I know that Kim is turning out some great work over the last couple years. Would think either him or Dave would be a good bet.

    You also can send your guitar to Gibson repair. I have had them do work for me in the past and it turned out well. Never had them do finish work though I admit.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member SheltonGuitar's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmi View Post
    Didn't Kim and Dave work together for a while?...
    HM initially contracted to Dave to do all the guitar work out of his Olympia shop. HM now uses a group of people in Florida for all the work. Last I'd heard, Kip Elder was spraying HM's finishes.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    I actually talked to Dave about doing some work for me. Asked about the historic makeover business and he said he will not do it anymore because of issues with the fretboards. Kim and RS are the best ones that I know of still doing it. Lays of Akron quoted me a price as did a shop out near Toledo (Jim's?) but they have a 2 yr wait,

    Kim has a 4 mo wait and has it down to a science at a least with the makeovers. Good turnover and good product. Hard to beat right now IMHO. I think the refinish on a 50s should be pretty accurate as well.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member JJ Blair's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Quote Originally Posted by SheltonGuitar View Post
    Nothing against Joel's work at all, and maybe it's just the lighting and/or camera settings, but the gold on the refin looks a little off compared to what was under the 3-way cover...
    It's the white balance. He did a friend's '68 to perfection. (See pic below.)

    BTW, the request on the particular guitar to which you referred was to make it as close to new as possible. Why the owner wanted that, I don't know.

    I have a project that is supposed to be sent to Dave Johnson at some point, whenever it gets finished, but I've been hearing so many nightmares about his turnaround time, that I might just send it to Joel. Anybody else know anything about that?

    The main problem with getting GTs done is nobody knows how to age them properly. Joel can get the greening in the checking. The unfortunate thing about his website is that his best work is not on it. I'm assuming that it's because it's for the privacy of his customers. But he's done some restoration stuff I've seen that I'd say is better than DJ.


  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member JJ Blair's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    BTW, here's a close up detail of a JW refin and relic job. NOBODY's checking looks this good. This is art, right here, if you care about detail that much.


  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    There are a handful of folks who do excellent finish work on GoldTops. I think you need to research what you want and go with the person who you think will do it best. I've had both Dave & Kim do work for me. Both excellent & no complaints!

  24. #24
    yeti
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Quote Originally Posted by JJ Blair View Post
    BTW, here's a close up detail of a JW refin and relic job. NOBODY's checking looks this good. This is art, right here, if you care about detail that much.

    That is the best looking aged refin I've ever seen, WOW.
    I'd go with that guy based on this pic alone

    edit: I just checked out the Goldtop restoration on JW's website, good stuff.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member alschnier's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    I went thru this same process. I chose Gord Miller of GM Vintage Restorations. His work speaks for itself. His customer service went a long way. He returned every email & call, & was a pleasure to work with. It goes a LONG way in this day & age.


  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Quote Originally Posted by alschnier View Post
    I went thru this same process. I chose Gord Miller of GM Vintage Restorations. His work speaks for itself. His customer service went a long way. He returned every email & call, & was a pleasure to work with. It goes a LONG way in this day & age.

    Gord's a great guy ain't he! He gets too little recognition around here for his talents and his customer service skills!

  27. #27

    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Well...I have to admit I am partial to Kim and his guys..


  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Goldtop Finish Work

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleBoogie View Post
    Well...I have to admit I am partial to Kim and his guys..

    Yeah, Kim's done 5 of mine! .

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