In what order are serials branded into the wood here?

7WhiteFalcons

Electromatic
Apr 5, 2015
32
Los Angeles
Dilemma time with the Viking restore.

First pic is of the headstock before restoration began. It seems to me, Gretsch somehow branded this right into the wood. With the guitar rebound and paint stripped, I can still see part of the "2" in the stripped wood. The pic with the Imperials sort of laying on the guitar show the area now.

The guitar's new color will be Cadillac green.

I found several places that will laser-etch the replacement lettering into the wood and then pack in the gold color.....but they say to wait until the guitar is repainted (by the way, after months of soul-searching, I'm going poly instead of nitro).

My paint guy sort of reeled, saying that laser etching could screw up the paint job whether poly or nitro.

I've considered just going with a decal under the poly and actually had a few made in case.

But..... how DID/Does Gretsch place the order in which branding is done? Before paint? After?

If it's before painting, I don't get how one then digs out the paint to fill in gold lettering into the branding.

Besides mine, I'm also attaching some random more-modern headstocks where I can't tell if it's branding or not. "ce" stickers seem pretty clearly to be decals.

Decals look pretty darn clean, some of the branded approaches look pretty sloppy. I'd rather go the branding approach since that appears to be the original approach....but certainly don't want the paint job screwed up.

What do you guys think? In which order does this stuff happen?
 

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Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
22,731
Monkey Island
I have no clue but do have a hunch. Maybe the order is: Filler> base coat> colour coat> sn stamp+fill-in> clear coat.

Last pics look like your basic screen/silk print, but obviously an intelligent one on account of the changing numbers.
 
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GVDobler

Synchromatic
Gold Supporting Member
May 15, 2011
955
Las Vegas
I would think stamping the finish would crack paint. Would make more sense to stamp, then paint, then fill. Maybe someone that has worked in the factory will chime in. Also, I wonder if X-ray would show the stamp like it does on metal after someone files off the serial number.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
22,731
Monkey Island
I would think stamping the finish would crack paint. Would make more sense to stamp, then paint, then fill. Maybe someone that has worked in the factory will chime in. Also, I wonder if X-ray would show the stamp like it does on metal after someone files off the serial number.

Stamping first then painting, might obscure the outline of the characters? The lettering in the first pic looks pretty crisp to me.
 


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