View Full Version : Picture of my f9 "custom"

Ken Olmstead
Mar-05-2008, 2:00pm
Here is my F9 "Custom!" Changes include, buffed finish, which gives a nice semi-gloss look, new Siminoff bridge (original was junk), radius fret board, larger frets, fossilized ivory nut, dot fingerboard inlays and flowerpot inlay. I am very pleased with the results and it will hang with anything out there sound or playability wise. I love the looks but of course beauty can be in the eye of the beholder. The way it worked out for me is that I only have about $200 more than what you would give for a used one. Truly a bargain in my book! Thanks for checking it out! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-05-2008, 2:11pm
That's the way they should come from the factory. I never understood why their "entry level" f-model came without fret markers. Nice mandolin!

Mar-05-2008, 2:19pm
If they came from the Factory like that- Gibo would charge $600-$1000 more-NO Thanks!

Ken Olmstead
Mar-05-2008, 2:23pm
If they came from the Factory like that- Gibo would charge $600-$1000 more-NO Thanks!
At least! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Thanks Big Tuna!

Mar-05-2008, 8:08pm
Hey Ken that looks pretty good! It's a beauty. Who ever did the work for you sure seems to know what he's doing. Wish I had someone around here local to help me out at times. But I live in Arkansas don't you know. I kinda hate the idea of shipping something off several states away and waiting and not to be able to communicate in person. Looking at your F9 makes me start to miss the one I use to have. Thanks for the pic. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Mar-05-2008, 8:43pm
That is a nice looking mandolin. What is the process for the buffed finish? It looks awesome. Did you have to send it back to Gibson to get the inlays done?

Ken Olmstead
Mar-05-2008, 8:52pm
Thanks Woodwizard!

PineTar - I did the buffing by hand with McQuires(sp). The real work was done by Mike Fleck of Fleck Guitars here in Alaska. He does nice work. Thanks for the compliment!

Mar-05-2008, 9:34pm
That looks sweet! Lots of people have told me that they wish Gibson sill made the F-9 in the brown finish like you have there....

Philip Halcomb
Mar-06-2008, 1:09am
Can we get some closer shots of the headstock?

Shelby Eicher
Mar-06-2008, 1:59am
I prefer the look without headstock inlay and fret markers. It's a really clean, classy understated look. No slam intended. Yours looks nice, it's just not what I prefer. In fact if I had one custom built I would definitely go with no dots on the fretboard. It seems very modern. With side markers I don't look at the fretboard anyway.

Ken Olmstead
Mar-06-2008, 11:54am
Shelby - no slam taken! I also like the look of the F9 "as is." I was just having some fun and I do like the results. I think the the F9 is still so traditional looking that it calls for for some of these touches for the "traditionalist." I have recently discovered the Brentup Eclipse and love the look! No flowerpots necessary!!

Mandopluker - Thanks! I like those appointments and a hot deal on an F5G never came my way so I went with this!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

In the Harley world I guess the equalivalent would be to buy a Softail Standard and then start hanging accessories on it as you ride. Lower cost to enter the Gibson world but it is "upgradable." Anyway, like I said I was just having fun!! Actually this mandolin was supposed to be temporary while I was having some work done on my Weber. It has kind of wormed its way into my heart. Will have to put off the purchase of a Oval hole for another year or so! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Mar-06-2008, 3:30pm
"I was just having some fun and I do like the results."

Long winters in Alaska.

Ken Olmstead
Mar-07-2008, 12:41pm
Thanks Nolan! Yeah, I have heard lots of mention about the brown finish. I think Gibson started a new look (correct please if I'm wrong) and then abandon it. I can think of several mandos that took styling cues from the original F9 (again, as far as I am aware.) I like the new sunburst ones as well, I just wish they had used a contrasting top binding, there goes the traditionalist in me again!!

Flip - will try and get some headstock pics for you. Thanks!

250sc - [QUOTE]"I was just having some fun and I do like the results."

Long winters in Alaska. You got that right! Getting a little cagy this time of year!!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

Bernie Daniel
Mar-10-2008, 8:30am
I think you have made some very nice upgrades to your F9 and your work makes it look shaper in every way. #

I agree with those who think the Gibson F9/A9 series are great mandolins at a decent price but on the downside they are pretty plain looking right out of the box. #You fixed that.

I had a similar feeling and you can see what I did with an A9 near the bottom of page 1 of this thread:

A9 Thread (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=13;t=50773;hl=a9)

How do you compare the sound of your F-9 with the Weber Fern? # You sure have two nice mandolins.

Ken Olmstead
Mar-10-2008, 1:02pm

That is a beautiful A9!!! I wish I could take credit for my inlay work but as I stated above I can't. Looks like we both admire the 9 series for their funtion but require a little more in form. I like the burst finished F9s but do wish they had a contrasted binding. Would be hard to tell the difference between my F9 and an F5G! I think they look good how they come, but I like mine (and yours) more.

Funny you should ask about comparing the sound, I was just doing that last night. The F9 is SLIGHTLY louder than the Weber Fern over all. It has more on the treble end and a more aggressive attack and it has a tad more "pop" if I understand its meaning. Cartainly a better bluegrass sound. The Fern has a better depth of sound, I was suprised that it has quite a bit more sustain and it is very balanced all over. The F9 is my preferred choice in a two mandolin senerio if the second is an oval type of contrasting sound. The Fern would certainly be the one mando does it all. It has bluegrass capability but really sounds great in other situations such as jazz and classical.

BUT....we are spilting hairs and the reality, I think I could pull the sound I am looking for out of either mandolin by changing technique and pick/string selection.

If I ever sell one it would be the Fern based mainly on money. It is worth more and if I needed cash that would bring the most (at least currently.) Also, the F9 is customized to a point that I would not want to try and re-duplicate, whereas, the Fern I could just buy another one if I wanted when finances improved.

I agree and thank you, they are 2 nice mandolins! I hope to keep both of them AND add an oval hole in the future, but mandolin/instument selection is less about objectivity and based more on emotional influences (hey its art after all!) so you never know!!

THANKS for the kind words and your input!!

Mar-10-2008, 9:03pm
Uh.......S-W-E-E-T !!!!!!

Now, that's what a bluegrass machine should look like.

Where are ya in AK???

I'm a proud resident of Douglas Island when I'm not way over here in Hokkaido.

And yeah....looooooooooooooong winters http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Ken Olmstead
Mar-12-2008, 10:19am
Thanks birdman! I'm in Anchorage. I think the winters are MUCH longer on Douglas Island aren't they? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Mar-12-2008, 7:04pm
Well....a lot WETTER anyway. Always something falling out of the sky down in Southeast. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

May-02-2008, 12:35pm
a real beaut! you're inspiring me to do something custom to my f9!

Ken Olmstead
May-02-2008, 12:43pm
a real beaut! you're inspiring me to do something custom to my f9!
Excellent! (Picture Mr. Burns) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

May-02-2008, 4:19pm
I did the buffing by hand with McQuires(sp).
McQuires the car wax?
I really like the finish

May-02-2008, 4:28pm
Novus is also a company that makes a great ploish for buffing out matt finishes. There are three different grades of compound. I've used it successfully many times.

Ken Olmstead
May-02-2008, 4:32pm
I did the buffing by hand with McQuires(sp).
McQuires the car wax?
I really like the finish
Yes, the car wax guys. Meguiar's Fine-Cut Cleaner first, then additional buffing (by hand) with Meguiar's Scratch X. Important to do it all by hand since the finish on the F9 is whisper thin. Also, you should know that you would have to sand to bare wood if you wanted to refinish it. These products typically have silicones in them that are difficult if not impossible to paint over but the builder types could give additional warnings and downsides to the process. I am very pleased with the results myself! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif