This lovely old Gibson L0 was made in the 1930s.
It was taken in by this workshop some years ago for an extensive rebuild. It’s had a hard life and had undergone some very strange repairs over the years.
The majority of the internal struts within the soundboard were loose and in a previous and mistaken repair attempt to stabilise the struts, Epoxy Resin had been smeared on the entire underside of the soundboard. Also wooden clothes pegs were glued here and there as a misguided attempt to strengthen various parts of the soundboard.
The bridge was missing. There were several splits and cracks on the soundboard as well as a distorted area around the footprint of the bridge. All in all the whole instrument was in a sorry state and on the verge of being discarded.
Fortune & Misfortune
Fortunately its neck, fingerboard and frets were in good order and the guitar was owned by someone who could see the potential in this old guitar.
After months of intensive restoration the guitar was finally restored and shipped off to its owner in the Midlands.
Much to his distress on arriving it was revealed that the guitar had been mishandled by the carrier during transit. Unfortunately the guitar had suffered catastrophic damage to its ribs.
Fortunately insurance had been taken out prior to the guitar being shipped and after much haggling with the carrier the guitar was returned to the workshop and work commenced on its second restoration.
The split was extensive and extended from the waist on one side to the waist on the other.
The split had occurred when the guitar (in its case and packaging) was drop upright on its end. This caused a split that ran along the grain of the rib.
The broken halves of the split will need realigning and gluing back together. Also the area along the length of the split will need to be reinforced.
The splits are carefully aligned and glued
Made from old machine head parts and guitar strings, clamps are made up to hold the internal reinforcing strips in place while the glue dries
Small holes are drilled through the guitar rib for the string to pass through. Once tightened and the reinforcing strips are held in place.
With the glue dried the sides were lightly sanded, re-finished with a Shellac based lacquer and matted down.
I’m happy to report that the repair went very well and the guitar is now back in action again. No more National carriers though, this one is hand delivery only.