1927 Gretsch Orchestrella

Correct Severe neck warp (forward pull)
Refinish, clean hardware, setup to play


Ready to pull frets

Heating the fingerboard off, will pull inlay.

Board off it was loose from 5 to 10 fret area
Next for the laminates.

Even more spring in the neck after the board, showing that it has more to come.

Now for the tri-laminate

The laminate has a nail on each end from the assembly stage at the factory, they did this to keep things from creeping when glued and clamped.
I will saw it out with a hacksaw

Cutting it free at the peg head, it was laid all in one piece

All loose with minimal breakage, the 1 fret was sawed deep when they did a re-fret in the past so that block came off separate.

Now to get to the rest of the nail from each end.
If you do not know these exist, you will rip some stuff apart finding out.

Now even more spring, showing that it is in the spine of the neck so it must be heated to release point, and then dealt with from there

That's the amount of clearance to deal with

I use my smallest Oil well drill bit for weight, it may look small, but it's all there.
I will heat the neck and get it to release and when it goes into a reverse bow, I will stop.

Back to flat, I want a little more

More glue release after the heat, that's a good thing, now I can get new glue in there

This is a treatment I use on laminate centers, I drill out 1/16 holes in which to pressure feed #10 CA  down into the recesses.
All while under pressure from the bit

As I fill I place in 1/16" brass tubing, for more rigidity after it all cures again
They go all the way to the back side of the neck, but not thru.

Nippers to take them down, then I will level all at once

Under back pressure, filling the last glue cracks I can see in the backside, not much.

I will lay in 2 rods on each side of the laminate, 1/8" Copper coated alloy

1 in and bedded, one to go.
All done with the bit on.

Cured and flattened.

That shows the result very well.
Now for minor planing and adding the tri lam back on.

After glue, clamp, profile

Good tight seal

Back to where we need to be, the flat bar gives me indications we are almost perfect, a little more here and there and I will have it.

Good to go forth

Board profiled and ready for mounting, the last block will go on separate.
Board will be leveled before inlay goes in , after install.

Board and binding with side markers installed.
The marker at 14 was so thin from the last attempt at leveling the board it vaporized when it was removed.
Did not wish to spend the time to setup for cutting MOP just for 1 diamond so I put in what I had in the drawer that was pre cut

Sealed the back of peg head, dyed, tinted and clear going on the neck

Fretwork and finish complete, new pip installed


Added a geared Gotoh 5th peg and used an old button , setup on Gibson mediums.
5/8 bridge with good action, playing well up and down the neck.
Modern tailpiece was satin'ized using my wire wheel.

Resonator back is taking on final clear coats, flange is buffed
Finish was done with steel wool, extra fine, and then hand polished to give a satin appeal.


Resonator finish complete, and the mirror finish was removed as it was on the neck to have a softer appearance.
It is a nice full toned instrument, not "bluegrassy" or "clawhammerish", sort of in between.

I stuck the resonator on a for a few pics, but I still have to buff and wax it


Case has seen much use, but still restorable for those that have a mind to do such things.


Thanks for watching,