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Texan FT 79 Restoration


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Hi all, This is my first post so please be easy on me...

I have just taken ownership of an Epiphone Texan FT79 ser no: 350908 (for reference) I would like to get it restored and so

need some advice please. Two of the pegs are bent, the varnish over the body is like cracklglaze although smooth to run your

finger over, there are some dints around the body as well, but mainly cosmetic. The Epiphone inlay on the headstock is failing

and varnish is rough. The back of neck has lost some varnish as well. Any advice or ideas about cost would be a great help.


Many Thanks.



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The Guitar Dater Project (http://www.guitardaterproject.org/epiphone.aspx dates your guitar to '65. If that is the case (and Epiphone and Gibson serial numbers can be "iffy" things) and if the guitar is playable, maybe switch out the tuners and consider yourself fortunate to own a vintage Texan that a lot of people here would sell their grandmothers to own.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but THERE IS NOTHING TO RESTORE. From a value standpoint, the less you do to the guitar, the better, and any attempt to strip and re-finish the guitar will screw up any value it has. The cracks you are talking about are finish cracks and they are a sign of age and the nitrocellulose lacquer Gibson and Epiphone used at the time. Most of us consider the cracks things of beauty. Same deal with the back of the neck; the worn varnish shows the guitar has been played.


Texans of that era can be very valuable. Here's a '64, for example, for sale in my local guitar shop: http://www.williesguitars.com/index.cfm/gibson_acoustics/7/inventory/12. (And keep in mind it is a year younger than yours and that Willie's prices trend to the high side. But you get the idea.)


If there is any way to post photos, a lot of guys here (myself included) would eat them up.


As far as the tuners go, if you can't find a competent repair person to straighten the tuners, you can get a replacement set from StewMac: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Guitar,_solid_peghead_tuners/Vintage-style_3-on-Plate_Tuners.html


Above all, take the guitar to a competent repair person. You want to do what needs to be done to keep the guitar playable. That may include things such as a re-fret all the way up to (worst-case scenario) a neck re-set. But you own a vintage Texan and the way many of us look at it, you have an obligation to keep it playable.

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I agree with the above. No restoration is needed. All you will end up doing is de-valuing the guitar. The weather checking and crazing of the finish is normal and as you note purely cosmetic. The rest is just honest play wear. So leave it be. All you might want to deal with are the bent tuner shafts which are easily straightened.

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I'm a big fan of early 60s Kalamazoo Epi flattops. My 3 FT45 (smaller Cortez models that were made alongside the Texans) have only improved with age, cracks and all. Had to replace some original Klusson 3-in-1 tuners (which devalued them as collector items) but I use these to play, and wouldn't part with them for any money.

So like someone said, the less you mess with it the better.


Can you supply a picture, or even better, a sound or video clip?

Would love to see or hear your old Texan.


Roger from London Canada.

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Hi Brad, welcome to the forum.

If you intend to keep the guitar as a player, leave the finish alone as it is integral to the sound. Also get it inspected inside and out by a good luthier, but be prepared to spend a few bucks. Judging by your description, the guitar has been well played; it may need some proper maintenance, depending on how fastidious the previous owner(s) were. You may be looking at a partial refret, replacing the saddle and/or nut as well as the bridge plate. It's also not uncommon for a guitar of its age to need a neck re-set. Expensive, but worth it, and likely not to adversely affect its value if it's well done.

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