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1947 Epiphone Zenith Refurbishment

1947 Epiphone Zenith

A customer recently brought in an old Epiphone from 1947. A beautiful guitar, which he picked up for a good price, but it needed a lot of work to bring it back to life.

Epiphone Zenith truss rod

The truss rod refused to tighten from years of corrosion. We slowly removed it in order to clean it up and discovered it was also significantly bent.

epiphone zenith truss rod grimeEip Truss rod cleanup

We first cleaned off all the rust and grime before straightening the rod and cleaning up the threads with a Craftsman die.  It went back in smoothly and we were able to get the neck straight again.

Epiphone Zenith bridge

The old bridge was pretty worn out and had some damage to it. The owner wanted a new compensated bridge made to improve the intonation of the guitar.

Bridge blank rosewood

We matched the rosewood from our stock and set to work.

guitar bridge threads

The blank was lined up with the screws for the base of the bridge and new holes were drilled and threaded.

bridge compensation

The blank was taken down to size before the compensation was shaped into the top of the bridge.

hippie wood grain

Notice the Happy Hippie in the wood grain!

veneer epiphone

The veneer on the back corner of the guitar was missing a considerable sized piece along with some binding.

epiphone veneer 2

We took a new piece of mahogany veneer and shaped the inner side to a perfect match.

veneer finish

Once glued on, color was matched and finish was added.

eiphone zenith back

With the new binding in place it looks like a guitar again!

epiphone new frets

The guitar had been subject to a bad fret job at some point in its life, rendering it unplayable. As such, the frets needed to be replaced.  The old frets were pulled, the beautiful Brazilian rosewood freeboard dressed and new frets were put in. With the fret ends beveled and rounded and the tops leveled, crowned and polished to a mirror shine, the job was almost done.

epiphone zenith 1940s

The guitar had accumulated 65 years of grime in the finish. Our final touch was to clean all the excess muck and buff the finish out to a shine. All that was left was to put it back together and string it up! It plays like new again and sounds great.

It’s always very rewarding bringing old guitars like this back to life, these are the kind of jobs we love here at Straight Frets.


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