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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:22 pm 
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Cocobolo
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This came into the shop. It was at a local shop back in the day. Has had some home gamer engineering going on.

Best I can tell it's a 41/40 L-00 judging from the number on the neck block as well as the bracing/construction. These have a great potential to sound awesome but this one has had it ROUGH.

The good: original pickguard, original bridge plate/bracing, original top/neck/fretboard/frets. Headstock has never been broken off. The original logo was preserved.

The bad: Refinished twice (was refininshed when the current owner got it). Bridge has a (F'ing) BOLT through the top from another "well respected" repair guy in the area years ago. Original bridge is gone. Bridge plate is cracked. Headstock was murdered (see pics). Truss rod was raped to "compensate" for the bad action. Moldy paper on the inside? (no idea why). Serious belly from the (F'ing) BOLT in the bridge.

Suffice to say it needs it all. This was the current owner's first guitar from his childhood. This will be a really fun one. Gibson of this era tends to be a pretty good sounding guitar when they're in working order. There's too much to do to list it all so this little photo journal will cover each step I take. '

I would like some advice on some things (Paging Brian Howard). The owner requested that if I can find a way to add some black finish to the headstock that he'd be thrilled. Along with the headstock finish I also want to use a period correct rectangular bridge. Doing this would require some finish touchup on the top. I have no safe way to spray finish in my little shop. Given the rough state of the guitar I had considered using shellac that is tinted black and simply touching up the area and blending as best as possible. The owner is aware that there is no way to make it completely invisible. The owner also told me that when he refinished it black that he used lacquer. Any thoughts on this would be welcome.

In the meantime. Behold... pics.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:00 pm 
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First name: Ed
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Looks like someone was trying to copy the bridge off of a an earlier body style version of that guitar. The one below is a Nick Lucas. The Nick has an uncompensated saddle, where yours is compensated. Might be cool to leave the bridge.

Did those guitars have scalloped braces?

If the owner refinished it, why not strip it and refinish it again only correctly?

These are fantastic guitars

Ed


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These users thanked the author Ruby50 for the post: DanKirkland (Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:23 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:05 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Ruby50 wrote:
Looks like someone was trying to copy the bridge off of a an earlier body style version of that guitar. The one below is a Nick Lucas. The Nick has an uncompensated saddle, where yours is compensated. Might be cool to leave the bridge.

Did those guitars have scalloped braces?

If the owner refinished it, why not strip it and refinish it again only correctly?


The 40s L-00s did have scalloped bracing from all the examples I've seen. Of course you've probably seen alot more than me, any thoughts on that?

I offered the full refin but he didn't have enough money to do that. We're at max budget for the work as is. The bridge was the one thing he was very insistent about. He said that he hates it. The bolt thing bugs the crap out of me too. If he didn't hate it so much I'd leave it like you suggested. Plus when you look at it up close it's really crappily made and finished.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:05 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I've seen far worse...... really good bones there! Take a closer look at that X brace in the second pic though, looks like a crack started in it 1/3 down from the peak in the scallop.

The headstock finish could be salvaged if done very carefully. First you must ascertain as best as possible what is actually on there, which is likely a few layers of different finishes. I would very much consider restoring the crest of the head too as when finished in all black that misshapen top profile will look very bad as opposed to just beat up as it does now.

If it is original gibson black then it is just lampblack in clear nitro, you may need to add some amber to get it just right to accommodate age.

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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: DanKirkland (Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:14 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:21 am 
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Cocobolo
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B. Howard wrote:
I've seen far worse...... really good bones there! Take a closer look at that X brace in the second pic though, looks like a crack started in it 1/3 down from the peak in the scallop.

The headstock finish could be salvaged if done very carefully. First you must ascertain as best as possible what is actually on there, which is likely a few layers of different finishes. I would very much consider restoring the crest of the head too as when finished in all black that misshapen top profile will look very bad as opposed to just beat up as it does now.

If it is original gibson black then it is just lampblack in clear nitro, you may need to add some amber to get it just right to accommodate age.


I see that crack, thanks for pointing that out sir!

I don't have a way to safely shoot nitro in my little shop. That was one reason I was thinking of the shellac/french polish option.

That is a good point about the headstock Brian. Any suggestions on a method to rebuild the edges of the crest?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:26 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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My wife has a '37 L00 just like that. Thin top and telegraphing braces all over top, sounds excellent. She has a matching 12, but it's not that hot.

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: DanKirkland (Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:59 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:32 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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DanKirkland wrote:
I don't have a way to safely shoot nitro in my little shop. That was one reason I was thinking of the shellac/french polish option.


Best not doing anything then.... That original logo is priceless.

DanKirkland wrote:
That is a good point about the headstock Brian. Any suggestions on a method to rebuild the edges of the crest?


The logo and wanting to save it will make this a bit more challenging. I would limit this too the treble side only and cut that side of the crest back to a straight line at whatever tangent needed and half lap a new piece in from the rear.....

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http://www.brianhowardguitars.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Howard-G ... 3702413493
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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: DanKirkland (Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:00 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Looks like you could get the shape of the head back by recutting it about 1/16" lower, maybe 3/32". That would get the corners close to square, and improve the center of the mustache.



These users thanked the author Ruby50 for the post: DanKirkland (Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:00 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:58 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Update on this one.

Customer stopped by the store and we discussed the options with the headstock and top finish. We decided to leave the finish as is both on the top as well as on the headstock. I'm going to focus instead on the playability/tone above looks. Thanks to Brian Howard and Ruby50 for their advice.

I have pulled the neck, bridge, and bridge plate. And I have to say this is the chippiest and most blowout prone top I've run across in a while. Fun.

The dovetail on this one was pretty rough and square. Also not square to the dovetail, doesn't matter much honestly.
Image

Cleaned it up and rounded some of those rough corners a bit.
Image

The bridge plate and top are where I am changing up my repair plan a bit. The potato chip top was not something that I wanted to leave on this guitar. The extreme bow was due to the F(ING) BOLT that the previous guy had used on his replacement bridge. This replacement bridge had extend the edge of the tension that is exerted on the top well beyond the area of the bridge plate. Nothing was there to stop the top from it's potato chip fate.

The typical fix for this I've seen is to make a larger bridge plate. However in this case it would make the bridge plate massive. An extremely oversized plate I do not see as a good conductor of top movement. Also as this top is chippy as frig I decided to employ the overlay technique I used on the 34' Martin a while back. So instead of a single massive chunk of maple in there for a bridge plate it'll be the thin spruce overlay with an only slightly enlarged bridge plate with diagonal grain.

What I'm hoping for is the result I got with the Martin, less Pringle and more jingle from the top.

For thickness on this one I'm going for even thinner than on the martin. This guitar is built a bit heavy for the period, but I also want to see how thin I can go with the overlays and still get a positive result.

Image

Image

Will be glued up tomorrow. Bridge plate making will commence when it's drying. Till next time....


Last edited by DanKirkland on Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:53 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Overlay has been installed, bridge plate is glued up and will be dry tomorrow. For the bridge plate I went with my usual diagonal grain and for wood choice I used the usual maple.

The top has returned to a nice graceful arch exactly the same way the 34' Martin from earlier this year did. I am really liking this overlay method on vintage instruments that have developed nasty "tilts" and/or potato chip tops. I was actually reading an article in which TJ Thompson was describing some of his reasoning for changing/altering vintage instruments. His statement was "Just because it's original, does not mean it's right". I like that idea, with these overlays I've been doing I'm going to start documenting this method each and every time I use it. Perhaps it'll become a regular repair for my shop. Who knows, more methods we learn the better the craft can become for everyone.

and I realized I did not get a picture of the top before I installed the overlay. And I also did not get a picture of the top after the overlay was installed, I'll get that tomorrow.

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:03 pm 
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Cocobolo
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So here is an updated photo of the top after the overlay and bridge plate have been installed. The "tilt" is gone and it just presents with the typical arch of Gibsons of this era. Much nicer than before.
Image

As much as I dislike the replacement bridge that the previous "tech" drove a (F'ING) BOLT through. I began roughing out the replacement bridge today. I'm going to add some typical Gibson style slopes and curves sort of in the fashion of the Nick Lucas that Ruby50 posted about. Not an exact copy of that but hopefully it'll be a bit more elegant than the current bridge. I'm also planning on doing this replacement bridge with a through saddle considering the era it was made.

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:02 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Bridge work starts tomorrow on this guy. Today the neck was glued up and it's sitting in the shop clamped. The projection on this thing was ridiculously low, I was the first to have this neck off, thankfully I didn't have to undo/redo anything that was too weird.

I had been thinking about the replacement bridge, I don't want to stick with the original "slope" design of the replacement that it came in with if I don't have to. I've been tinkering with the idea to relieve the back end of the bridge in a concave form instead of convex. Similar to the Nick Lucas style bridge. I'm undecided if I want to add the inlay or not. I might carve it up and then see how I feel about it.

You can kind of see the pen lines for the shape I'm considering. Any thoughts?
Image

Image


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:41 am 
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Dan, I don't know if you've seen it, but GAL's latest publication called "Flattop Guitars - An Amereican Lutherier Anthology" has an article about a couple of circa 1937 L-00's and a set of plans. There are some interesting construction "features" - the X brace is not notched but rather one leg is butted against the other. Plans do show the shape of the original bridge and it looks like the bridge plate is basically the same size and shape.

Can't answer any of your question but it sounds like others are doing a good job. Will watch this with interest.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: DanKirkland (Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:35 am)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:01 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Thanks for the mention of that Freeman, I don't get that magazine but I'll see if I can hunt down a copy at some point, thanks for mentioning it.

I put the finishing touches on this guy today with the final stages of a refret. With the frets off I also planed the fingerboard to reduce some of the twist at the 1st fret. Luckily this chunk of BRW is fairly thick so there's alot of material to work with. For fretwire I went with 6260.

With the bridge, I settled on a design that filled the original footprint, but also incorporated some of the classic Gibson elements. Martin bridges tend to have lots of smooth curves whereas Gibson tends to go for the harder edges and squared off portions. A through saddle and some defined lines (IMO) added some Gibson style flair to the bridge, and to my eyeballs it belongs on the guitar moreso than the one that it came in with. And the best part, it didn't have a (F'ING) BOLT driven through the top. I also scuffed it up a bit to make it look a bit old. Might work, might not, better than leaving it just super shiny and new for me anyway.

Image

Image

So with the repairs, the tone is 10x what it was before. Has that wonderful "woody bass" sound that Gibson is great for. Tight response and it has decent volume which it didn't before. Went from a kitten to a jaguar. Going to watch this one for a week to make sure the top stays in good shape. So far so good.

If you want to hear it, I took a little video with my crappy phone camera here: https://flic.kr/p/2bc25Lr

This was a fun one. One thing I wish I had not been stupid about was when the neck was pulled I had slightly too much pressure on the heel and left a tiny indent the shape of the neck pulling jig bit. Might try to steam it back out. stupid mistake on my part.



These users thanked the author DanKirkland for the post: Bryan Bear (Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:55 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:32 am 
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Looks and sounds great! Nice one!

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These users thanked the author mountain whimsy for the post: DanKirkland (Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:14 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:56 am 
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Sounds great, I'm sure the owner will be pleasantly surprised! God job!

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These users thanked the author Bryan Bear for the post: DanKirkland (Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:14 am)
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:57 pm 
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Thanks Tony and Bryan. The owner actually had the chance to play it today. He was very pleased. I REALLY wish that the original bridge had survived, but it's a part of its story now.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:14 am 
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Looks and sounds great - mojo out the ouseaux

Ed



These users thanked the author Ruby50 for the post: DanKirkland (Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:05 am)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Dan, Nice resuscitation on that poor old abused Gibson (seems to be a lot out there). And thanks for taking the time to share your methods and post the photos.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: DanKirkland (Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:05 am)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:48 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Too bad about the bridge, but thank you for restoring another instrument to playability. Hopefully, you have added another 50 years of playing to an old instrument. That's what it's all about!

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These users thanked the author Haans for the post: DanKirkland (Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:05 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:13 am 
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Cocobolo
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Haans, you're absolutely right. I can only hope that these repairs last 50 years.

SteveSmith wrote:
Dan, Nice resuscitation on that poor old abused Gibson (seems to be a lot out there). And thanks for taking the time to share your methods and post the photos.


Thanks Steve. I can't quite decide if these "repair journals" really help anyone or not. Perhaps it's just my inner narcissist coming out haha! I just always liked how Frank Ford did his repair journal work with Frets.com and I always felt that those helped me out alot. Just trying to pay it forward a bit I guess?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:30 pm 
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I find the ideas very helpful. Every once in a while I'll be looking at a repair problem and the solution turns out to be something I've seen that someone else took the time to share.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: DanKirkland (Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:14 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:15 pm 
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Cocobolo
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SteveSmith wrote:
I find the ideas very helpful. Every once in a while I'll be looking at a repair problem and the solution turns out to be something I've seen that someone else took the time to share.


Makes sense, thanks Steve


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