1/03/2017

1987 Guild JF65-12E Jumbo 12-String Flattop Guitar





The JF65-12 is a latter-era Westerly Guild version of the F412 model -- what I think of as the "most famous" big old maple Guild 12-string. This particular guitar is up to the task and sounds, well, just like a 70s F412, albeit probably a bit more stable in service as it hasn't had need of a neck reset as far as I know. The flamed maple on the back, sides, and neck looks great and the spruce top has remained crack free. The "E" designation, I'm assuming, relates to the onboard electronics.

I worked on this for a customer and it received a bunch of attention. It got a bridge reglue and slight modification to the bridge, a new compensated bone saddle, fret level/dress, replacement binding for more than half of the headstock's outline, a replacement pearl inlay (1st fret position -- one of the pearl slabs was missing), and a good setup. The owner runs the guitar tuned down a step, too, so I boosted a few of the gauges up from a standard 46w-10 "12 string light" set -- but not by much.



The headstock has 12 individual sealed mini tuners. The wound G-string tuner has a damaged threaded ferrule but it still functions. Note the lighter cream binding -- this is my replacement stuff. The job wasn't perfect but it turned out better than I expected. I had to make the new binding from 3 layers to replicate the look, more or less, of the original stuff.


The easy part, of course, was this straight section.


The hard part was the "cloud" headstock top -- which I didn't nail -- especially considering that my made-up layers were different plastics that wanted to fight one another a bit when gluing down. The original material seems to have been molded as one strip to begin with. Did I ever mention that trying to match binding drives me nuts?

It's a workmanly job that suits the workmanly abuse the guitar has had (see the cigarette burn?).


The abalone darts next to the big blocks of white pearl has always been a good look, I think.




The original bridge was still in good shape after removing it from the guitar, but the guitar's top itself was a bit curled-up under the bridge. It took some clever clamping to get it back down and flat effectively.


I still have to make a second, taller saddle for the guitar, though I'm waiting overnight to see what deflection the top adds. I've added string ramps to aid back-angle on the saddle from the farther-aft bridge pin holes and replaced a hodge-podge set of pins with new, ebony ones.





The neck maple on 80s Guilds is always first-rate. It's gorgeous stuff -- and the double truss rods in this neck have kept it straight, straight, straight.








1 comment:

Robert Gardner said...

Handsome guitar. I love the cigarette burn too. Can't fake that...