I have always had a love for the 50s Gretsch Sparkle Jets. They were made with drum wrap material (plastic laminate used to cover drum shells) that had these round sparkles embedded in them. How marvelous they look under stage lights. But I wanted to do this kind of top on my G5120 hollow body guitar.
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The idea is to turn this                        into this!      
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So I purchased a sheet of the sparkle drum wrap, some cement and some brushes..

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The first task was to get the neck cut out perfect. I slid the sparkle under the neck. This is harder than it seems.

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Next was the scary part, here is where I wreck my guitar by putting cement on the top. What the hell am I doing?!

I marked approximate locations for the f, knob and pick-up holes so it might be easier to find them later. Then I spread the glue on the laminate and the guitar top being very careful to not get any on the sides or neck. I taped up the neck to be safe. The cement calls for 20 minutes drying time between spreading and sticking them together.

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So I put them together and the sparkle seemed to buckle at first and I nearly freaked out, but then it settled mostly except around the f holes. So I cut them down the middle to better seat the sparkle. Also I cut the waist overhang and this seemed to really get the sparkle down. Then there was routing around the edges and painstaking razorblade cutting for the f holes. My router is to big to fit in here and I wouldn't ever dare to try evenif it was. The f holes are uneven and I think it would cut the wood.

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Then I worked the edges with the razor and the file. I used a combination this time as I was more cautious about cutting the binding. I got her pretty close but the day is done and I am not finished. Probably should let the glue dry a bit more anyways before the final file and cut.

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After the final cut and file and with a few more hardware mods, this is the final product! Gretsch sometimes denotes their guitar color right on the product number so, in that tradition, I call this my G5120 SPOR (sparkle orange)

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Summerfest 2010

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