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  This repair is a perfect example of how difficult it is to do a minimum amount of repair work while retaining as many original parts as possible. This is the White Falcon, a very popular and valuable vintage guitar, which is the top of the guitar line made by Gretsch. I replaced the inner plastic head plate, the remaining binding, black lines and the logo.

The biggest challenge of this repair was making the plastic plate fit perfectly inside the outer black line.

This is simple, if, that is, I can get the same binding materials after installing the head plate, rout the channel and glue the binding.

  Removing the plastic from the wood was easy, but I had to be careful to remove it so as to retain that black line in perfect shape.

The logo was trimmed on its edge to then be inlayed on the new plate.

  Now came the interesting part of the task. In order to make a perfect head plate to fit inside of the binding, a precise template had to be made. I used two-part epoxy to make the template. For this task I had to make a precise negative mold, but to do that I first needed a precise positive mold. I used silicon putty, which is used by dental laboratories, to make the positive mold. After much trial and error, I had a perfect positive mold (the pink one on the left).

I made the negative mold with unshrinkable plaster (second from left), which is also used in dental labs, using the pink positive mold.

Then I poured the two-part epoxy into the negative mold. When it got hard, I had a perfect template (third from left).

Finally, I trimmed the white plastic with a router using this template as my guide. Now, I had a new head plate exactly the same shape as the original (right).

After I installed the logo and did some finishing work, the Gretsch headstock was reborn.

  This guitar is very original and looks so showy on stage. So even though this guitar is not really well made, has poor workmanship, poor playability, bad fretting, etc., it is certainly still a star on the vintage guitar market.



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