Anne's
Epiphone Tenor Guitar Workpage
10-14


Epi Stathopoulos
"Mr. Epi" himself

ARRIVAL PICS
"ZENITH"
19 fret Archtop 
#11420
From my buddy Martyn:
That would be 1937. 11422 and 11423 were both Zenith Tenor Guitars so it was probably in a batch.
Heirloom Instrument
Repair as needed  to play
Refinish as needed




All bindings have "Gassed" out and must be replaced
Finish is original , and worn
Hardware is oxidized, recommend replating (Nickel)
Electrics are inoperable, and non original to the instrument.
It was originally Acoustic



Other than binding and finish, body is in VG condition, glue joints look good


Pickup and pickguard Original
Guard needs polishing







Orig Label intact





Inlay intact, fingerboard shows wear and worn frets



Neck angle is good, and heel is tight to body




Buckle rash on back, otherwise solid







Sidewalls good







No heel break on neck, Tuners are functional but oxidized


Plane of neck is flat
 Steel reinforced neck is my guess
Will be good to relevel when refret takes place


DISASSEMBLY






Looking at pointer positioning


Pickup will be tested and if bad, replaced with a modern substitute unless Anne wants this one rewound
 I hope its good and just the pots are bad


All out




I doubt cleaner will help these work , it will be better to just replace them with "like" pots and plug jack



Removing the binding
Easy in some places, tedious in others.



All stripped down and ready to discuss a plan of attack

REPAIRWORK
We have discussed it, and will be going with Refinish, Binding, Replating and Fretwork.
I'll start with stripping the old finish
I will send off the metal to ACME plating for new Nickel



 


We have a Walnut veneer on the back



You can see the ply's here and only .020" is Walnut


That light spot is where they sanded thru the veneer at the factory
Many things can hide under a dark fade like was on it
It is common to see a blemish such as this even on modern instruments.
As Luthier's, hiding them is the challenge.



Next will be the sides, need some more stripper


The tailpiece is stress fractured
 Its too thin to braze, I will flow some soft solder into it to make it stable and then off to the plater.




After repair, here is what is going on to ACME plating


A coat of sealer on the back  just to look at the grain



Getting down thru an older refinish on the neck, and the original under that one


Starting on the sides


On to the top




Very thick finish, 3 full strips to get it all off.
Some sort of Varnish, by the smell.


Now for the mahogany neck




All cleaned up and ready for binding
.040" white , to simulate the original




I've glue the binding to the top.
Now a riffler to take down the high stuff



Shaving to profile, with razor blade


all sanded smooth


a coat of sealer, and will move to the back.
Sides will be profiled last

FRET WORK


After pressing, starting the leveling process


Complete, now to recrown, dress the ends, polish the wire...


...and begin the oiling process on the board
Now to mix some color for the finishwork



My standard Mohawk finish with aniline dye for coloration
This will be 3 colors to make the color needed
It just looks like "brown" in the old finish, but there are MANY colors of  brown!


I'll do the back and sides first, so I'm fine line taping for the work





A fancy tape job to keep the color out of the interior
That is a little over spray from the back and side work, it will not matter, I'll scuff it off and shoot the front


The very subdued sunburst of the Epiphone, or my rendition thereof.
I sprayed this coat with my big gun to cover alot of area
I will scuff back the overspray in the center finishing with 1200 grit.
And then respray the edges with my small gun with thinned finish, to give a nice transition









Pulling tape and cleaning up the binding



Doing the edges


Scuffed up and ready for clear coats



Now back to the top, after spraying  with the touchup gun and getting the look I want
Shown with the first coat of clear


Now we can start to see some beauty return.
The holes will remain taped until the final coat of clear, and then I will work the edges in.


There is "Duality"  in that picture
Epiphone made Triumph's as well!

Now for the neck finish while the body takes on clear.
Electrics are here from Mike Soares, so that will be installed when its time.Thanks Mike



Final wetsanding completed, ready to machine buff, and hand polish the places the buffer cannot reach.
It's a delicate operation, buffing a guitar with an attached neck.
Especially an Heirloom.


After buffing, 3 stages of hand compounds.
Plating from ACME arrived.



After 2 wax coats, ready to install Hardware ,and Electrics from Mike Soares


Ill go with the square cover, trimmed to fit this application


Epoxying cover to pickup
Pick guard will be trimmed to fit






Neck buffed, ready to clean / install orig tuners







Mike had a back bracket for the armrest that was missing, now it is properly secured
Ready to string up for initial tests

FINAL PICS



New electrics playing sharp and crisp, thanks to Mike Soares
Strung up on GHS strings provided by www.bedfordbanjoshop.com
Tuning is DGBE
String gauges are 28-22-14-12




















CASE REPAIR


First I will clean it all out and repair the case pocket


Vacuumed



Pocket top re-installed




All the old  repair tape pulled
Now I will clean up these surfaces, glue the wood backing to the sides and smooth it all up
Hinges will be steel wooled to accept new black lacquer.


Top sealed



Bottom sealed, ready for lacquer



2 coats to protect it for years to come
It's nice when a Guitar can go with its original case, that is not common, many were completely ruined by now

I think this project turned out well, and will be able to give some service to whomever gets to play it.
Now to get it home to Ms.Anne, and move on to the next challenge
Thanks for watching
Vinnie