I'm replacing the bridge plate on this guitar. The bridge is off. The top was bellied and it turns out the bridge plate was loose and came out with very little persuasion. I want to replace it with something a little bigger or thicker. What do you think?
Sorry I can't post pics.
I would. The bridge plates that I've seen for these small Gibson's all seem under sized to me. I think I would lean more toward more surface area rather than much extra thickness.
Would love to see pics of this L-OO if you don't mind, John? The 30's L-OO are my favorite guitars!
With that said I would keep it true to the original as much as possible, engineering shortcomings and all....
I'd love to see pics too; L00's are one of my favorites although I haven't built one that size... Hesh built a beautiful L00 sized guitar with a black top.. stunning looking...The old L-00's I have had the pleasure to work on are some of the best sounding guitars... small maple bridge plates, usually 1/4 inch wide bracing,, not always the best quartered tops, and most I have seen had scalloped X and lower face braces.. I have seen one with solid ( not kerfed) lining
I just done one over for a costomer and the plate was Mahogany so I just removed it and replaced it with a 3/32" piece of Maple and a little larger.Bill..................
Granted, I've not examined this guitar, but my view is the bridge plate didn't come out for lack of bad design or being undersized. Old Gibsons with bridge plate issues were usually the result of string ball wear, or high top tension and poor stewardship of the guitar over the years. Why not just glue the old one in? Or, if it's destroyed, make a replica from rock maple. There are historical and financial issues here as well as basic repair issues. Ultimately, it's the owner/customers choice, but I'm suggesting a bigger picture rather than the immediate ownership of a choice vintage guitar like an L-00..a replica plate and bridge, or re-glue of originals, will hold fine if done with care. BTW, Gibsons by design have some belly. Tom
Sadly I never did get pics of this guitar but it really is a nice guitar. The bellying in this guitar was excessive due to the bridge plate (not made in Gibsons finest hour) only holding on the ends and a loose brace. The replacement was made from maple and was a centered eighth wider than the original. The customer has the original bridge plate. Although the top flattened out with the new bridge plate and bridge reglue, it retained the characteristic charm of.of it's belly and is now very playable. Thank you to everyone that weighed in.
I just bought a 1936 (I think) Gibson L00 in really good structural condition. Apart from the cosmetic superficial scratches you'll find on near any vintage guitar that old, it's a keeper for sure. The tuners were replaced, and the original bridge appears different. My luthier is checking to see if Gibson maybe put different types of bridges on the same model, because he has seen another guitar of the same year and model with the same bridge. Also, it doesn't appear to ever have the markings of a thinner longer bridge like I see on most 1930's Gibson L00 parlour guitars, on this guitar. I'm confused and so is my luthier. Do you have any knowledge of this, or do you know who I could contact who does? Thanks.
This is about the best picture I can get you with a webcam, but it shows that there was no outline from the original style longer thinner bridge.
Gerald, I can tell you with 100% confidence that that is not an original L-00 bridge. The only Gibby produce even remotely close would be the guitars that Gibson made for National in the 40s, but that's a stretch.
With a beautiful, original sunburst (this example likely dates to the later 30s, but you can look at the FON number stamped on the heel block .. A=35 B=36 etc) I'd just replace it with a Brazilian bridge built to Gibson period specs, and 'color-in' the remaining footprint of the replacement bridge...that technique is much more preferable these days, it preserves 'originality' as much a possible. Looks like a nice guitar, L-00s are among my favorites all time. Tom
There's no serial number where it's usually located inside, but from the sunburst size, the front binding only and later in '36 the back side was bound as well, I'd say it was a 1936 Gibson L00. There is a faint red pencil mark of what appears to be 77 inside on the heel block. My luthier just took the bridge plate out, and the bridge, but he said there is no evidence of a bridge of a different size ever being on this guitar. It's definitely not a fake, and my luthier sent me a photo of another L00 near the exact same in appearance with the same type of bridge on it. After calling Gibson on the phone, the fellow said that they didn't keep any records of stuff like that. He seemed uninterested, so...??? Thanks guys and girls.
The original bridge would have measured approx. 1" wide by 6" long. The bridge in your photo looks to be wider than 1 " by quite a bit, this is why it looks to have been replaced. Take the picture along side a ruler or measure it and this will confirm whether it is original or not. Google some pictures of 1936 L-00's and you can see that although that bridge looks similar it does not look the same.