View Full Version : freshly bathed and ready to turn 100!

Dec-15-2005, 3:58am
This mando is simply amazing in every way. A true testament to Orville's genius and skills...it's bubblelicious!

Dec-15-2005, 3:59am
The top and back are highly arched. It has a lot of air inside compared to my Givens

Dec-15-2005, 4:01am
look at the top's heavy arch...

Dec-15-2005, 4:03am
here's another view...

Dec-15-2005, 4:06am
top view...after some cleaning up...the whole top was covered in grime, as ya can see i left some on cuz it's just part of the history of this piece...it's frets were worn down to the fretboard...it's been played a lot!

Dec-15-2005, 4:09am
a few more...

Dec-15-2005, 4:12am
This is a headstock inlay I designed, I stuck it on with dbl. sided tape to see how its gonna look on a mandolin..."the Junebug"

Dec-15-2005, 4:13am
last one till I get the back shots tomorrow...

Dec-15-2005, 4:26am
Here's a before cleaning shot that came from the Ebay ad...with thanks to the Mandolin Archive!

Dec-15-2005, 6:50am
Nice one looter, which SN is it? Aw c'mon, give the poor old girl a bath and take off the grime. It makes a difference in the tone! I've got 3376, and these are some seriously nice-sounding instruments. I was really surprised because the conventional wisdom is that they don't sound great, though I'm not really sure where that comes from.

Dec-15-2005, 8:39am
Congrats, Jeff. The old, low-bridge, inlaid-scratchplate Gibsons are my favorites of their mandolin output. (OK, I admit: I kinda like the snakeheads too.) I have sn 4081, which can be seen on the archives.

Jim Garber
Dec-15-2005, 10:31am
Nice one. I love those "south Jersey" pickguards.

At first I thought old Orville did that spider inlay himself.


Dec-15-2005, 10:33am
Very nice, but the scroll looks a little off.

Ken Berner
Dec-15-2005, 11:47am
Very nicely distressed mandolin. Could this have been some sort of special order instrument for the "bloated" features, or is that common to this model? "Junebug" is cute, moreso than a 'taterbug! Of course, "stinkbug" might be appropriate if this baby had gas, causing the the bloating! Anyway, it is a nice piece of mandolin history!!!

Dec-15-2005, 12:11pm
Very cool - thanks for posting! The arching is beautiful. Does this mandolin have a designation (like A-jr., or A-1), or was that a later development? And I agree, clean the rest of the grime off - you have the photos...! Also, what kind of frets did you put on?


Dec-17-2005, 11:34am
Hi everyone..thanks for the compliments! #Here's some answers to the questions....it's serial number 4043 and it's in the Archives but I need #to get some new pic's off to Dan since he only has the ebay listing pic's and they don't do it justice. So some folks think these sound bad...well they need to stop by, this mando will change that view quickly. The model designation on this is A1 and Im pretty sure it's just a standard production mandolin altho at this time Im not sure just how much producing the Gibson Company was doing. #It is from their early years. #The "bubble" top was refined thru the early years and I think this is just one of the prototypes or maybe better put "a design in progress" as they ironed out the quirks etc.. #The frets I used were banjo sized one's from StewMac..I can't remember the "tech" details on them but they are smaller than guitar frets. Eugene yours follows mine by 38 mandolins...is it very similar in the arching? (even tho Im going to look, can't wait, lol) It looks like everybody's voting for a bubble-bath, no pun intended...I may but I must admit it just so....uuuh..."old" looking with the grime. #I don't want it to lose it's mojo...my playing needs all the help it can get! I repaired the back sides crack it had near the tailpiece and today Im doing the final sanding, buffing etc. and then I'll post some pic's of the back. #It's got the "bubble" as well. I think the extra volume inside the mandolin lends a lot to the tone of this thing...it sounds a lot like the bandolims from Brazil or at least like the recording of them I've heard. The open G string on this thing is a total boomer...it just rings forever it seems, heck all the open strings ring like a bell. #I wrote a song that uses a lot of open strings and today im setting up to do some recording so I'll play it on my 3 fav's, The Givens A6,the Clark F5 and this one and put it up at the Mandolin "Tune of the Month Club" (sorry can't recall what it's called) That will give a great comparison since they all three sound totally different, but the "bubble butt" has that extra bit of mojo! LOL

Dec-17-2005, 6:23pm
Here are a couple new pictures of mine. At least the coverplate of the tailpiece is not origianl; I suspect it's of '20s vintage. #The top:

Dec-17-2005, 6:25pm
The scratchplate of mine differs from yours in that it has pearl over the north end too:

Dec-17-2005, 6:28pm
Yes, the break of the arch is rather sharp and domy. #The crest of mine, right at the bridge, has fallen ever so slightly, but it's slight and doesn't impede functionality at all. #I didn't really manage to capture the look of the break:

Dec-17-2005, 6:29pm
The back, just because:

Dec-17-2005, 6:31pm
PS: ...And I love the sound: big but a little nasal.

Dec-18-2005, 4:58am
Nice one Eugene! It looks to be very similar. Your TP is a newer one but at least ya have one. The bridge looks a tad shorter, do ya know if it's the original? Got a little more flash too with your northern pearl...lol! I went to work on mine and ended up playin it for a few hours. #It's hard to be a luthier for yourself it seems...as soon as it's playable it just get played until ya remotivate. with no money as a driving factor it's amazing what happens...???

I did mannge to photo shop a few pic's while I was editing them...:)

Dec-18-2005, 5:01am
this one just had different lighting...

Dec-18-2005, 5:04am
X-ray vision...

Dec-18-2005, 5:05am
then that gave me this idea...

Dec-18-2005, 5:07am
all that in search of art, I like this one...

Dec-18-2005, 11:20am
How about this one taken by the original owner (evidently his wife made quilts identical to my wife's):

Dec-18-2005, 11:24am
I've recently found myself in possession of the earliest known 2-point f:

Dec-18-2005, 11:34am
The bridge looks a tad shorter, do ya know if it's the original?
I'm almost absolutely certain it is. The compensation looks like stock Gibson work. #The only footprint on the soundboard matches the bridge perfectly.

This had some bad neck work done in the past. #To render it functional and buzz free while in my care, both the fingerboard and bridge have been shimmed.

Dec-18-2005, 3:22pm
That 2 pointer is hilarious..and has 3 points too! Speaking of shims, one thing I forgot to mention is the neck on it is 3 pieces, 2 side by side and then anothet piece put on top like a fretboard thats about 5/16th's thick. Some serious build-up to level the neck with the bubble top. I have those back pic's finally, I'll dig a few out for ya. I never took a shot of the side of the neck for some reason even tho it was kinda unsual.

Dec-19-2005, 5:02pm
here's the back side...