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.

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Hi Gerry .. that would be a difficult wish for even Santa to fulfill, since Orville died in 1918, unless of course, the L-00 in question was somehow made in the teens as a prototype!  {sarcasm alert}

Historically, Gibson did not have a 'belly' bridge until the early 40s, with the 1x6 rectangular being the standard on their flat tops.  Here's one outside shot at clarifying the possible originality of your belly bridge.  Have you checked the FON # stamped on the heel block?  L-00s were made into the 40s, at about the same time Gibson began with a belly bridge on the SJs (1943). (regular line flat tops got them in the early 50s)  So maybe, just maybe, your L-00 has an 'H' FON stamp, or an FON stamp consistent with a guitar made in '43 or '44.  And maybe, just maybe, someone on the line slapped a new-fangled bridge on the workhorse L-00 that day.  That's the kind of whacky stuff Gibson is noted for.

Check the FON and get back, if you can.  Use a black light  or very strong flash light, there's likely one in there next to the red pencil letters.  Tom

PS .. one quick question.  Reading back through your posts, Gerry, you posted an image of the bridge in question on Wednesday, correct?  If so, that's not a 'belly' bridge, it looks like a rectangular-shape replacement bridge to me.  Can you clarify?  ..thanks, Tom

No Tom, it's a 1936 Gibson L00 and the bridge was changed. It is not a 1932, 33, 34, 35, 38, 39, or any of the '40's, I'll guarantee you this. it has no serial number on ther heel block...only a barely faint number 77 written in red pencil. I know the year because of the sunburst size, number of frets to the bodsy, logo on headstock, front binding only (back binding come out half way through 1936). I'm positive of the year, it's the original bridge was a mystery. Not any more. Thank you though. I appreciate you all taking the time in this. Happiest Holidays folks.


It looks like you posted on an older thread a few days ago:

Look at the bridge location on the photo at the top of that thread.  The shape of the removed bridge is the shape of a belly bridge.  We all know that the original could not have been a belly bridge so this is clearly a replacement - but it looks like it could be original because the black finish is shaped that way.

The best way to get the glue to hold on a the very critical joint of the bridge to the top is to make sure that the bare wood of the bridge is stuck onto bare wood of the top with no finish on it.  So the luthier carefully scraped away the black lacquer so that the bridge would contact wood.

If your bridge is not original, perhaps the luthier who installed it scraped the finish off for better contact.  It looks like the large bridge on your guitar is 6" wide - the same dimension as the narrower bridge that Gibson used at the time.  If this is the case, there would only be finish removal, and no patching.

Something to look for.



No, as I've always said, the bridge on MY Gibson L00 was definitely replaced at some point in time. Although, the original bridge on this particular guitar, not the one you showed, but MINE, was apparently the same size, because there was absolutely no evidence of a bridge 1"X6" ever on this particular guitar. Having worked on many vintage Gibson , Martin & other named acoustic guitars, my luthier has come to the conclusion, that no bridge that resembles the 1'X6" bridge you'd see on every other vintage Gibson L00 from that period, was ever on this guitar. I'm kinda sorry that I even brought this up, because as long as it plays even better than it did before I got it worked on, which it will, then everything is copacetic in my view. Thank you for your valued opinions on this post folks. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season to all.


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