I started building my first, as promised. It was going to be a sort of plain L-6S style until I spied that curly big leaf maple board I have had in the garage for 20 years... so I guess it'll be a sort of hybrid or something. But anyhow, my little mysteries...

Anyone know what the "L" in the Gibson L series stands for? Any idea why the solid electric L-6S got an L when all the other L's are archtops and accoustics?

Similarly obscure - bubinga seems to be popular for electric bass fretboards, but almost unheard of for guitars. Any idea why? It's certainly easier to get in long pieces which might be why one sees it on a bass, but, well, I have some lying around you see, and....

Here my progress after a week. Going well, having fun.

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Gibson made an L-5 solid body as well starting in about 1972?
Wow, yeah, and that helps explain where the L-6S body shape comes from. What's more, there's another - the Ripper Bass was also called L-9S.

One article I read used the phrase "L-series body shape" and in looking at pics of the various L's starting with the very cool L-1, they all seem to have an almost circular lower bout.
Hey Penql. that looks good! Looks like you're gonna have a nice guitar there. As far as bubinga for the fretboard, I say go for it! It would be beautiful, as you've already mentioned, it has been used sucessfully as a fretboard before, so I think it would work out great! If I'm not mistaken, though, the dust can sometimes cause allergic reactions in some folk, so that may be the reason it's not more widely used. If you wear peoper protection, though, I don't see that being too much of an issue. Have fun,and make sure you post progress pics.
OK, all I needed was a nudge - bubinga it is. Thanks :)
Well, A and F are mandolins, H are mandolas, K are mandocellos, so L would be next. The question should be what happened to the missing letters?

That looks like its gonna be a REALLY nice guitar!!

there are some folks making REALLY good acoustics from bubinga and all kinds of unusual woods, by I bet 90% of all acoustics are Mahogany, Rosewood or Maple back & sides with Rosewood or Ebony fretboards.......

bubinga as a fretboard? go for it.

Acoustic folks TEND to be less open to innovation than bass players who are mad for it!
Martin, you speak sooth.

You want to see rigid devotion to what has gone before? Look into Archeterie (violin bow making). Scary, say no more. And yet, one has to respect it. To quote the title of a favorite book 'The art that is life.'

Thanks for the encouragement! :)
I'd always assumed that the "L" on a Gibson referred to the old craftsman named Lloyd Loar who designed a lot of stringed instruments. I know very little about electric instruments. This is just another idea on where the use of this letter may have originated.
Ronnie Nichols
L-1 was first introduced 1902.
Loar was only 16y by then.

Read somewere (cant recall source though)
that it might have something to do with an
emphasis on the lower part of the body.
That seems right, the more I look, the L's seem to have a very round lower bout.


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