Restoring my 1981 gibson explorer e/2

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by flyinguitars, May 6, 2013.

  1. flyinguitars

    flyinguitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,008
    Likes Received:
    5,204
    Location:
    nj
    We are restoring my 1981 gibson explorer E2. This is the guitar that I spent my highschool and college years learning on and playing. I have loads of memories with this guitar...I spent hours each day practicing and countless highschool parties were rocked with it..haha. I won battle of the bands freshman year in highschool, played the galaxy in somerdale nj and opened for Cinderella while bon jovi was watching my jr year of highschool. Had girls cuffed to it, recorded with it, lugged it all over boston, played the berklee performance center with it...it was my only guitar at the time and was such a huge part of my young life. It's pretty wild when I think about our history together...anyway, I fucked it up in the early 90s when I painted it white. It was originally clear natural wood. Then I started to make money and bought other guitars and put this one away for 20 years.

    So here it is at the beginning of the project on Saturday :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Today after some stripping and sanding. My son mocked it up. We are going to clear it with nitro laquer back to its natural wood color.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Durden

    Durden Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    what's with the filled in cut out near the bridge, did it have a floyd or something?
     
  3. flyinguitars

    flyinguitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,008
    Likes Received:
    5,204
    Location:
    nj
    Yes, I had a kayler installed when I was 17. It was removed before the white paint job in 1991 and was filled with a piece of walnut. The glue lines look worse in the pic. I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point. Option that I'm considering so far:
    1 cover the area with a design or stripe
    2 remove the top portion of the glue and fill with a glue that matches the walnut color
    3 just clear it and rock the scar
    4 rout it out and fill with piece of walnut that matches better and fits perfectly
     
  4. Durden

    Durden Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,282
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    AUSTRALIA
    yeah id go with 4, being a explorer and seeing your going to laqear, should be a easy enough days work filling it nicely with a nice piece of wood, will come up a lot better looking if your concerned about the finer details
     
    flyinguitars likes this.
  5. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    14,917
    Likes Received:
    13,776
    Location:
    High & dry in TN
    What a great story! :)
     
    flyinguitars likes this.
  6. MartyStrat54

    MartyStrat54 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Messages:
    26,014
    Likes Received:
    9,597
    Location:
    Licksville
    It sure was. I had a lot of history with my Gold Top Les Paul and it got stolen. One of the biggest disappointments in my life.
     
    flyinguitars likes this.
  7. ibmorjamn

    ibmorjamn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,490
    Likes Received:
    6,814
    Location:
    North
    Hmm... I have had a boring life..
    Cool guitar and history. The good thing is even though it has been abused you kept it.
    #4 I agree also. It will look better.
    Active pup ?
     
  8. 66 galaxie

    66 galaxie Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,568
    Likes Received:
    5,487
    Location:
    South Dakota
    I agree #4 is the way to go. But, why not mahogany?
     
  9. flyinguitars

    flyinguitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,008
    Likes Received:
    5,204
    Location:
    nj
    Yea, I'm thinking #4...especially since you guys are agreeing.

    Galaxie-i believe that the e/2 is made from a sandwich of walnut/maple/walnut/maple/walnut. I will confirm first and put in the same type as the top layer.

    I have a friend who builds home stereo speaker boxes and I think.he has a cnc router. He said that it was so precise, that he could cut intricate designs like rose buds, faces, logos, etc..into wood. I think it could plunge over an inch or so, so it may be perfect for this job. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking that we could cut a trapezoid maybe 1/4" deep and have an edge directy under the bridge and under the tailpiece to help hide the seems.

    That great that you guys like the back story! I did so much with this guitar! I got it for my 15th birthday. I picked it off the wall at Zapf's music in Philadelphia p.a. It was a best friend to me all through high school and I literally played it several hours every day. During my junior and senior years of high school, I took it in everyday and played in school for at least 2 hours a day (they allowed me to stack my private lesson period, band period, and study hall periods together and the band teacher let me use a private practice room for those periods....he just left me alone since I was the first one from the school who was going on to music college). Just about every school pic I have that guitar in my hands.
    When I got to berklee that was all I had...that and a jcm800 half stack. My roomate had 5 sick guitars (who by the way is now managing the band extreme, nuno, Courtney love, Lou reed, and more...haha)...
    we were nuts...girls and music 24/7!!! That guitar had naked babes cuffed to it, (i think one may have been tempest -later famous on the howard stern show)the headstock even banged one...haha!.. it was with me when I waited on the steps with the to guys from dream theater, living color, and extreme to sign up for the daily rehearsal rooms....
    Then later it was with me in the Philadelphia original clud scene until the frets were so bad that I bought a kramer ripley and a jackson and retired it.
    Then a few years later I had it painted white and played it out for a couple months and mothballed it until now.
     
  10. 66 galaxie

    66 galaxie Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,568
    Likes Received:
    5,487
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Well, I hope you get it rockin again :)

    I love Explorers :cool:
     
    flyinguitars likes this.
  11. Darth Federer

    Darth Federer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,837
    Likes Received:
    799
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Great post.
     
    flyinguitars likes this.
  12. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer . Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    29,084
    Likes Received:
    24,464
    Guitars with stories. [​IMG]
    Looks like that one's got a lot more stories in its future. :)
     
    flyinguitars likes this.
  13. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer . Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    29,084
    Likes Received:
    24,464
    Hey DirtySteve, what amp(s) are you playing through these days?
     
  14. mosquito3

    mosquito3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    21
    Great story man!
    That is a lovely guitar. Really hope you get it back to a new life soon :)
     
    flyinguitars likes this.
  15. flyinguitars

    flyinguitars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,008
    Likes Received:
    5,204
    Location:
    nj
    Hey update!! Since the weather is getting better I'm able to finish this now. But, we've been debating the original clear or a solid color.

    Any suggestions or agree/disagree? I still have to take care of the kayler scar/cavity. Also it will need a fret job. It may have a fret dressing left in it, but I'm thinking maybe send it for a new plec fret job.
     
  16. jvm210guy

    jvm210guy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    3,818
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Chicago, home of the blues...
    It would look cool with a blonde type of solid finish IMO . I love Explorers!
     

Share This Page