Gibson L series 037.jpgGibson L series 039.jpgGibson L series 038.jpgGibson L series 040.jpgGibson L series 041.jpgGot an old girl from the 1920's on my bench right now.

She been a little abused over the years but is in good overall condition.

She lacks her original tuners, bridge, tailpiece and pickguard.

Someone has refretted the first four frets and it looks like a rabid beaver dressed them while having a snack on the fingerboard.

My query is this: The owner wants the the unique marks from where the original pickguard attached


Should this be done?

 I'm on the fence on this one. He has the original attachments, and someone before me has made a decent replica of the pickguard. He wants the pickguard removed which is why she has found her way to me for the most part.

The finish is in pretty good condition overall. I'm suspect that it has been refinished on the neck in the past.

Should I touch up these unique authenticating marks since it's already suffered a good amount of bastardization already?

Prethanking for any input.


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I appreciate your reservations, R.J., but can't help but wonder what the odds are that the owner of the guitar will end up having someone else, perhaps less capable, do the repair if you refuse to do it. If it were mine, I wouldn't even remove the pick guard but if the client wants to do that, touching up the mounting points will make it look better and I can't see why your touch ups would make it hard to reinstall the pick guard later if someone decides to do that. If it's what the client wants and he/she's adamant about it, in the end the guitar belongs to them.

I was once asked to put a strapbutton on an 1898 Martin, and the customer was adamant for me to do it on the side of the neck like a Taylor.
No way. Theirs or not. I will not be that guy cussed by the next competent repairman(person) down the line.
In the end the customer wants to spend the least amount of money possible. So it's win win,however I could use the money these days.
Thanks for looking in my friend.
Personally, I would leave it alone. Just be glad the back isn't loose, that's a real pain in the butt on those things. One of my favorite Gibson models.

Did you see this? Might be of some interest.
The back is tight like frog pussy.
Not that I know.
She is a beauty of her own accord.
Thanks for looking in.
Take care,
So much for a family forum. Daddy whats frog cat?
Sorry. I apologize for my vivid and inappropriate description.
Happens with me sometimes.
I hope I have not offended you.
I'll watch my mouth and beer consumption next time.
Take care. I will from here on out.
Yeah I got the tradesecrets from StewMac too. It's funny the guitar came in the day before I recieved that.
Funny how it seems to work that way. The universe is watching.
Whomever replaced the bridge on this one did nowhere near the job ol' Dan did. In fact it wasn't even fitted to the top and they tried to glue it down.Thank goodness it's hide glue and should come off easily. However the top suffered some flattening as a result. Interestingly enough the back has a considerable flat spot as well.Seems natural.
Were they just built that way?
Take care,
This is really cool. I have been ridiculously fortunate and have somehow ended up working as an apprentice in Dan's shop. Actually got to work on this a little. Dan is a really amazing man and truly worthy of the respect he receives. It would be easy to write five paragraphs about his generousity and willingness to share his knowledge. I am a longtime player and newbie to the repair world at 44 years old but feel confident about developing some good skills with his help. This is an interesting guitar and a unique piece of history.
Since you work with the man( I met him once about ten years ago. He critiqued my first archtop at the GAL convention. Wish I could find those pictures.) Did the tops on those two L-I's have natural flatspots?
The one I have here has a very pronounced flat spot on the top. The back does as well though.
Curious if that was just the way they were made?
I think the top is worse than the back due to the poorly fabricated replacement bridge, and of course string tension. Full bottom contact on the bridge, and flat.
In a side note Bob Benedetto critiqued my archtop as well. I had a giant flat spot on the back that he was keen to point out. He was very gentle with his critiques and generous with his time and knowledge as well.
Take care,
I need to be perfectly clear about my neophytic status. I am a player first and very excited about this opportunity to learn a great trade and form of art. My recollection of these guitars is that there were sunken sections of the top and that they didn't hold up well under bridge pressure. They sound pretty good when set up well. Really neat little guitars.
Thanks for looking in and the info.
They are cool little guitars.
This guy can't complain. He got it for free.
Take care,
The marks are there because the clamp pads went missing. The marks are not an original attribute for this guitar and a well done repair will not affect the value of this piece. It is not a particularly valuable early Gibson. The L-1's sell on Ebay for around $1,000 - $1,200 in the pictured condition.


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