Repair Shop Spot: Restoring headstock inlay on a Guild Thunderbird


Mass Street Music luthier Mike Runyon completed an incredible headstock restoration for Lawrence guitarist and drummer Ron Miller (Up the Academy/Kid Congo Powers and the Pink Monkey Birds).


Restored Guild Thunderbird headstock

The finished headstock – it was a journey getting it to this beautiful point though.


Sripped Guild Thunderbird guitar

The Guild (front, on the left) as it came to us

The guitar’s owner, Ron, brought us his vintage, stripped-down Guild Thunderbird (also known as the Gumby guitar for its unique body shape).


stripped Guild Thunderbird headstock

a detail of the headstock before Mike began the restoration.

Someone had already sanded down much of the original headstock, so Mike fitted it with an Ebony overlay before he could proceed further.


Ebony overlay on a Guild Thunderbird headstock

The Ebony overlay in preparation for routing and inlay


Ron provided the G-U-I-L-D lettering, but Mike had to create the thunderbird from gold Mother-of-Pearl. By hand. Carefully. MikeĀ  researched the original image then cut the MOP with a jeweler’s saw. He then (very carefully!) routed the headstock for the new Guild and Thunderbird inlay. After inlaying, he leveled and sealed it.


Guild Thunderbird guitar headstock with overlay and newly routed for inlay restoration

The Ebony overlay newly routed for the inlay


Restored Guild Thunderbird heastock inlay

Inlaid, sealed and done! Mike did a tremendous job on this one.

Ron next took the guitar to our good buddy and Seuf Guitars builder Dave Seuferling, who did an amazing finish job on the guitar. Here’s luthier Josh showing the completed guitar.


Completed work on the Guild Thunderbird guitar

Luthier Josh showing off the newly restored Guild Thunderbird. Great job Mike and Dave!

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