'Bird with Broken Wings' 77 Thunderbird Restoration.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dadagoboi, Oct 16, 2016.


  1. Dynacord

    Dynacord

    Jan 1, 2005
    Like others said, saw it on eBay. Very happy to hear it went to you and to know it will be brought back from the dead.
     
    Dadagoboi likes this.
  2. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA

    so... wrong.... so very, very, wrong...
     
    hillerup likes this.
  3. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I dunno - I don't recall *anyone* saying that a 77 T-Bird was rubbish. I was playing back then and wanted one *Desperately*!
     
    hillerup likes this.
  4. Volunteerk9

    Volunteerk9

    Oct 20, 2015
    'Take...these broken wings and learn to fly again and learn to live so free'

    Sorry, little Mr. Mister reference was in order. Or was it Mister Mr?

    Oh well...subd for the updates.
     
    rojo412, kesslari, MrCash and 3 others like this.
  5. hillerup

    hillerup There are basses, and there are Thunderbirds!

    Aug 26, 2009
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I would say the lyrics to "Blackbird" by The Beatles are more appropriate:

    "Blackbird singing in the dead of night
    Take these broken wings and learn to fly
    All your life
    You were only waiting for this moment to arise..." :)
     
    RedVee and MrCash like this.
  6. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    That's the obvious solution but I'd like to leave as much of the original bass as possible. I'll be painting it a solid color, there won't be any visible glue lines.

     
    Klondike, RedVee, hillerup and 2 others like this.
  7. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik

    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    People buy life insurance. You're betting you'll die young. The insurance company betting you'll die old.
     
  8. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    On these bodies, the wings joint is a 'V' pointing into the center (> <). It would be tricky but could be done to maintain original 'specs' integrity. < I guess only if that challenge appealed to you. :)

    On the topic of "how could he!" modding - what we consider so valuable today can't be compared to then. It's a completely different environment now in many ways. I recall in those days reading about Steven Stills and Entwistle being guitar/bass collectors and thinking such was the extravagance of wealth. Like Carlo modding his 1 pu EB-O into 2, you just did what you did to make what you had better. (or in this case… different! :cautious:)
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  9. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    In the early '80s? The whole pre-CBS fetish was in full swing by then and Fender was getting slagged for lousy work. And, nobody wanted a Gibson bass of any kind. So, I'm not surprised by this or other instruments that were hacked up.
     
  10. Dynacord

    Dynacord

    Jan 1, 2005
    Depends on the circle one was in I suppose. I was already more into pre-CBS Fenders then - and, like many I knew, didn't care much for Gibson basses; with the exception of the t-birds which were seen as a breed apart from the rest of the Gibson line.
     
  11. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    That V joint isn't that difficult to do, @JIO , it just requires a shaper and male and female cutters. None of which I own at present and would have no use for again. The way I'm doing it lets someone in the far distant future do the job correctly, that won't be me. It's an unnecessary joint with a proper glue line between the neck and wings IMO.

    I traded my original, bought new, '77 white Thunderbird back to the store I bought it even exchange for a '77 StingRay in 1983. I was tired of the neck dive and the 12 lb Ray definitely didn't do that. Still have it, spends most of its life under the bed, too damn heavy. Does sound good, though.

    I now own two 60s TBirds which are a very different animal from the replacement '77 I bought a few years back. The 60s are lighter and don't dive as much, have more handwork in them, and are generally more refined as well as sounding better IMO. @godofthunder59 makes the Badbird bridge, a great design that fixes Gibson's inability to intonate them properly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
    BeeTL, Klondike, JIO and 2 others like this.
  12. Dynacord

    Dynacord

    Jan 1, 2005
    Good articulation of the differences between the '60s and '70s birds IMO. +1 on the Badbird; addresses the one real weakness (well, other than the weakness of the headstock ;) )
     
    Dadagoboi likes this.
  13. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    This^^^ (though I totally agree on how you're doing it).

    I came close to bidding on this because I have a factory set of T-Bird "wings" along with a separate body center section with the neck cut off. All N.O.S., raw wood, never been glued up.

    They would of been perfect for this...



    Moonshine :bassist:
     
    BassikLee, Klondike, JIO and 3 others like this.
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Yes - FENDER was. Not Gibson. And yes, nobody wanted a gibson EXCEPT a T-bird. Every player I knew recognized that Gibby got that one *right*, whereas most (myself included) thought the EB0 / EB3 short scales were muddy and dull.
     
    vistacruiser and davidprice like this.
  15. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    I can't believe you didn't bid, Moonshine!

    Very interesting about the body with the cut off neck. My '66 set neck Epiphone Embassy has a TBird 9 ply neck (didn't keep it from getting broken!). My theory was since Gibson had switched to NR set necks by late 64 they must have had leftover Reverse through neck blanks lying around and decided to turn them into Embassy set necks. I think your body proves that.

    Here's the Embassy.

    DSC02859P_zps7c9mef8y.jpg

    ...with crappy headstock repair attempt by who knows who.

    DSC02865.jpg

    And the obvious TBird neck Gibson used on it.

    P1050863_zpsnjg86d5z.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  16. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Pretty much how I would approach it, leaving as much original as possible especially the control cavity route.
     
  17. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    I've never seen a neck like that, that's wild! I love the Embassy, what a cool bass.

    Yep, it would of been cool but it looks like you're going to have it up and going way before I ever would; I've got a 69 EB-1, an older Epiphone Elite TBird (Both headstock breaks) and a few vintage Fender projects that I need to get to before I take on another project.



    Moonshine :bassist:
     
    Klondike, Dadagoboi and RedVee like this.
  18. Canadian APII

    Canadian APII Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ottawa Ontario
    Call me crazy but I would try it.
     
  19. Canadian APII

    Canadian APII Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ottawa Ontario
    Do you have finished pics of this?
     
  20. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    Thanks, Scott, trying to do as little additional harm as possible!

    Nope, still has a broken headstock. It's very low on the priority list.

    I know what you mean!
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 28, 2021

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