1972 Gibson SG Custom

A local musician brought this into me to have it fixed up.  It is a very road worn 1972 Gibson SG Custom.

It took a bit of detective work to find out exactly what guitar this was.  I talked to the guys at Gibson and the serial number puts it as either 1970, 1971, or 1972.    To narrow things down we had to go by what the guitar looked like.   From first glance we thought it was either a 70 or 71 because of the bat-wing pick-guard.  The batwing was introduced in 1966 and ended in 71.   So we thought it was either a 70 or 71 (the serial number put it post 1969).    Then, as I started to disassemble the guitar, I discovered that the body was routed for three humbuckers and the batwing was added after the fact (I could see the holes from the 1971 half sized pickguard and the holes from the humbucker rings) which clearly dated it as a 1972… Mystery solved!   I think I earned my Jr. Detective badge with this one.

Because of all the added screw holes and the modifications that were made to fit the batwing to the guitar, we will be going back to this setup rather than putting it to the original HHH setup with small pick guard from 1972.    It could have been done if that bridge chamber wasn’t chiseled out and the wood between the neck and middle PUP wasn’t removed.

I am leaving the road worn look to the body, but giving it a complete over-haul in terms of electronics.   Through the years this guitar has seen some customizations as you can see.  A Gibson Bigsby, some switches (that aren’t even hooked up), and Ibenez Super 70’s pickups (that were broken) were added.   We are ditching the Bigsby and going with proper vintage stop tail piece, FastBack pickups, a complete re-wiring with new parts and I have some interesting ideas for those switches… stay tuned!

Right now it is disassembled and getting some much needed TLC.    First order of business is a good cleaning (removing 45 years of dust, dirt, and grime), and rejuvenation of the fret board.   Once this is done, I will see if I can get the Mother of Pearl looking good on the head stock, polish the body and then start into the electronics.

I reached out to the good people at Fastback Guitars to make me a set of custom PUPs… anxiously awaiting what Mark and the boys come up with for me.   At first thought we are going to go with their Old Imperials, but customized a bit to better suit the thin body of the SG.   They are going to give the nickle covers with their “aged” treatment so that they fit in nice with the road worn look of the body.  I know they will make us happy.

Keep watching the progress in the gallery as I document this as I go along.  I am super excited to be working on this guitar.  It was handed down from Dad to Daughter… and we all can’t wait to see her on stage rocking out on an amazing axe!

This is still a work in progress.  Here are all the pictures so far: