1968 SG Junior - what to do with this one?

Soultrain

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Hello all,
Bought this as is. Serial number and what I can tell from a bit of research identifies this as a 1968 Junior. As you can see (while not cringing) is what it's been through. Neck looks to be in OK condition with no breaks but body has been butchered. Looking to get ideas on what to do with it.

20220113_123014.jpg 20220113_123014.jpg 20220113_122835.jpg 20220113_122835.jpg 20220113_122902.jpg 20220113_122911.jpg 20220113_122916.jpg 20220113_122920.jpg 20220113_122927.jpg 20220113_122952.jpg Options:
- Find original parts and just reassemble as is and get it playing
- Clean up rout with actual router and drop in mahogany block, extra holes at control cavity and leave as is
- Restore the entire thing (not sure is SN would survive, and finish checking would be gone
- Sell as is so someone could use neck on cleaner body with busted headstock

I'd love to keep it and try to do something with it. I've refinished several guitars and am not too bad at it, but would love inputs from other enthusiasts, luthiers, experts on how they would approach it.
 

Go Nigel Go

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This looks like something I would absolutely try and fix up. A full on restoration (everything back to original) is probably out of the question, as the damage has already been done, and it will never again be what it was when new. That basically means you can do pretty much what you like with it.

I would probably go with a full "bat wing" pick guard, as it would probably cover most or all of the "ugliness". You could also design a custom pick guard to do the same thing, but you would be free to use whatever shape and materials suit your tastes. You won't be hurting the intrinsic value as a player by doing so. It looks like a Vibrola was installed at some point, so I would probably put one on it to fill those holes and give you a good look with the Vibrola functionality added into the bargain.

As for a re-finish, I would be inclined to keep the original finish, being partial myself to the "relic" look and vibe. That said, I don't think a re-finish would further hurt the value, so you can pretty much do as you like and go for the look that gets your juices flowing. My goal would be to choose hardware (mostly used period stuff) that covered most of the ugliness with an eye towards maximum playability, and go for a totally reliced out player.

I am a bit envious, as I have been keeping an eye out for an opportunity such as this to buy a basically sound instrument for a "parts" price to do a functional restoration with the features and specs of my choice. If you decide to sell it please consider posting it here first, but I would also love to see what you do with it as well. Cheers! :cheers:
 
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cerebral gasket

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Full size Humbucker at the bridge position and a P-90 at the neck position. Wraparound bridge only, no vibrola.
 
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Soultrain

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I agree with Nigel; a batwing pickguard and some 3-on-a-plate tuners with white buttons could cover a lot of sins.
Thank much. This was a batwing and tuners are a must. I think the original 3x3 Kluson deluxe it came with would hide the grover Mark's. They did widen the timer peg holes though. I've fixed these before and its touchy. I like the idea of double humbucker but I have seven of those and no P90s. Maybe double P90s
 

Von Trapp

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A piece like that doesn't make me cringe but rather I see a great opportunity for a fun project. What to do is of course related to what you want it to be when you're done, a sh!t 68 junior or a kick ass something else. Ie did you buy it with a view to make money or with a view to have a cool guitar specced to your preference? The only limitation I can see is the two holes between the pot holes that some tone enthusiast made for switches, since they can't be covered up.

Personally I'd screw original parts, keep the finish, pool route the cavity, stick three firebird humbuckers in a batwing, slap on a flange Vibby without that useless plate behind it, put two none functioning switches in those holes and start chewing gum and taking names, although being all out of the former when the project is done. But that's just me.
 

Soultrain

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A piece like that doesn't make me cringe but rather I see a great opportunity for a fun project. What to do is of course related to what you want it to be when you're done, a sh!t 68 junior or a kick ass something else. Ie did you buy it with a view to make money or with a view to have a cool guitar specced to your preference? The only limitation I can see is the two holes between the pot holes that some tone enthusiast made for switches, since they can't be covered up.

Personally I'd screw original parts, keep the finish, pool route the cavity, stick three firebird humbuckers in a batwing, slap on a flange Vibby without that useless plate behind it, put two none functioning switches in those holes and start chewing gum and taking names, although being all out of the former when the project is done. But that's just me.

Von Trapp, you're digging into my thoughts. Others have made some good suggestions also and I'm getting close. I removed the Grovers and polished it up to see what the finish looked like without smoke tar. Shined up nice and no way could I mess with the checking in the finish. It's just a wonderful thing. Thinking of the four knob with two P90s or maybe humbuckers. I have other vintage Gibsons with humbuckers (Dirty Fingers, Velvet Brick, T-top)_but nothing with P90s. Was thinking of the four knob duel P90s setup. Not sure in vintage Gibson pickups are worth the price, but I gave 500 for this husk so there is some room to work with. I love the vintage thing and would like to try and keep it 60s parts if possible.
 

Soultrain

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A piece like that doesn't make me cringe but rather I see a great opportunity for a fun project. What to do is of course related to what you want it to be when you're done, a sh!t 68 junior or a kick ass something else. Ie did you buy it with a view to make money or with a view to have a cool guitar specced to your preference? The only limitation I can see is the two holes between the pot holes that some tone enthusiast made for switches, since they can't be covered up.

Personally I'd screw original parts, keep the finish, pool route the cavity, stick three firebird humbuckers in a batwing, slap on a flange Vibby without that useless plate behind it, put two none functioning switches in those holes and start chewing gum and taking names, although being all out of the former when the project is done. But that's just me.
Von Trapp, you're digging into my thoughts. Others have made some good suggestions also and I'm getting close. I removed the Grovers and polished it up to see what the finish looked like without smoke tar. Shined up nice and no way could I mess with the checking in the finish. It's just a wonderful thing. Thinking of the four knob with two P90s or maybe humbuckers. I have other vintage Gibsons with humbuckers (Dirty Fingers, Velvet Brick, T-top)_but nothing with P90s. Was thinking of the four knob duel P90s setup. Not sure in vintage Gibson pickups are worth the price, but I gave 500 for this husk so there is some room to work with. I love the vintage thing and would like to try and keep it 60s parts if possible.

And I can route and glue in mahogany into the route and fix it decent enough so it doesn't look like a butthole. Definitely needs some cleanup there. I'd be a bit concerned with a bathtub route as these are pretty thin already and I'm not sure of the brittleness of this body. It looks to have been left on it's own for a long time drying out.
 

Soultrain

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Am I in the ballpark on this being a 68? Big pickguard, beveled body towards neck? Serial number came back as 65 or 68.
 

beerbelly

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Am I in the ballpark on this being a 68? Big pickguard, beveled body towards neck? Serial number came back as 65 or 68.
I'm sure it's not a '65; the neck heel is the newer type. And if the tuner holes have been drilled larger, you might think about using conversion bushings to allow vintage-style tuners.
 

smitty_p

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Personally, I would try to turn it into a single, dog-ear P-90 guitar. The bridge spacing will accommodate a wraparound bridge, so I’d do that.

I’d clean up the area where the humbucker was put into the neck position and glue in a mahogany block. I’d plug all extra holes and refinish in antique white and install an original-style pickguard for a single P-90 Junior.

But, I have to admit that I have a quirky fascination with those old, white, single dog-ear P-90 SG Juniors.

Of course, do as you choose…but you asked!

This is what I’m thinking:

upload_2022-1-14_7-18-56.jpeg
 

cerebral gasket

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That neck heel looks like a 68 or 69. My first SG was a 1969 SG Special and I remember that guitar like it was yesterday.
 

Von Trapp

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Personally, I would try to turn it into a single, dog-ear P-90 guitar. The bridge spacing will accommodate a wraparound bridge, so I’d do that.

I’d clean up the area where the humbucker was put into the neck position and glue in a mahogany block. I’d plug all extra holes and refinish in antique white and install an original-style pickguard for a single P-90 Junior.

But, I have to admit that I have a quirky fascination with those old, white, single dog-ear P-90 SG Juniors.

Of course, do as you choose…but you asked!

This is what I’m thinking:

Any fixes to the body will show through the paint so I'd not go for any other fixes than can be covered with the pickguard.

And I can route and glue in mahogany into the route and fix it decent enough so it doesn't look like a butthole. Definitely needs some cleanup there. I'd be a bit concerned with a bathtub route as these are pretty thin already and I'm not sure of the brittleness of this body. It looks to have been left on it's own for a long time drying out.

Yeah, you might be right. If it's no big deal to you it's probably better to rout it out, stick another pice of wood in and then route for whatever pickups you desire. If it was P-90 time I'd put a third, dead one, in the middle just for the heck of it. With all that work, hell, I'd make it stand out. Also, I like 3 pup guitars. The look, the sound is useless.
 
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smitty_p

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Any fixes to the body will show through the paint so I'd not go for any other fixes than can be covered with the pickguard.


You’re probably right, especially with nitro.

But, if it was just me, I’d still be willing to give it a go.
 

Von Trapp

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You’re probably right, especially with nitro.

But, if it was just me, I’d still be willing to give it a go.

Trust me, I know. Only fix would be to veneer it first. Pity to cover up that cool finish as well, I'd say.
 

papagayo

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Except the neck pickup cavity and the tuners this SG is fine.
 

Go Nigel Go

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Those extra holes in the control cavity are actually something of a "blessing" from my point of view looking at this as a project. Anyone who has ever wanted to try adding complex controls or features to a guitar, but are hesitant to drill holes in a nice instrument, can view these as an open invitation to proceed and try to use them to advantage rather than as a chore to fill of hide. :naughty: Coil splitting, adding a third pickup, stereo setups, and a host of other possible features become fair game in my view. Not having a P-90 equipped guitar in my life at the moment, I think at least one P-90 would be a tempting choice if the project were mine. Opening up the route under a large pick guard for a 3rd pickup mounting would also be a big temptation. I don't know for sure what I would finally decide, but the options are wide open and I can think of dozens off the top of my head.
 


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