View Full Version : F4 Owners

Jan-11-2005, 11:28pm
Can you post some photos of close ups of the sound hole on your F4? Or full photos too. I am building a F4 and I need some ideas for the "Rosette" around the soundhole. Most of the photos here I can,t see the patterns or materials of the soundhole rosette, and I need some ideas for my new project. Thanks in advance. I will post photos of my new F4 as I get close to finishing, I am just getting started.I have never made a soundhole rosette, and there are no pre-made ones anywhere so I need ideas. If you have ideas on how to make one speak up, I need help here. JD

Jan-12-2005, 12:32am
Here is a good pic of the rosette on my 1924 Gibson F-4 (http://www.mandolinarchive.com/perl/show_image.pl?2791).
There are tons of pix of nice round-holes on the Archive site.

Jan-12-2005, 5:52am
Hi Yonkle,

While I don't imitate the rosette on an F-4, this conveys the idea nicely, and the materials are available. I take a piece of herringbone purfling and soak it in hot water. You have to be careful not to soak it too long or you will end up with a lot of little pieces. It can then be split with a razor blade. The logical direction is "toward the points" of the herringbone. Combine those pieces with some black celluloid, and ivoroid. I wrap it around a form made of plexiglass. A heat gun helps for the ivoroid center. Glue with your favorite brand of Duco. When it's fairly dry, carefully slice it off the form with a #11 X-acto.

Sorry about the fuzzy pix.

Jan-12-2005, 10:03am
Here is a picture of my Grady Jones. Not a great pic., maybe you can get the idea.

Jan-12-2005, 11:36am
Thanks guys, keep them coming and thanks for the info on how you do it. I am getting a good idea of the process. I get the feeling that with a oval rosette as opposed to a headstock inlay, one must be very precise if a oval is a little off it would be noticable,if a fern inlay is a little off you could move it around and fix it and no one would know, even if it was a bit off, it would be hard to notice, but a oval I think would stand out.
Is it hard to split the herringbone done the middle?
How much lenght is there to a ovalhole? Trying to figure out how stuff to order. I would guess maybe 20 inchs or so? I don't have my blueprints yet so I don't know. JD

Jan-12-2005, 11:47am
Thanks Evan for the Archive site lots of picks I need to see.
Question are the pickguards on vintage F4's glued right to the body as in this photo (see photo)?
Is this traditional? If I do a pickguard should I do it like this or do some do a raised guard as on a F5.
I want my F4 to look traditional to a older Gibson.
Also it looks like the herringbone and ivory binding is traditional on a Gibson F4, did Gibson ever use Abalone or MOP on the rosette? #Thanks JD

Jim Garber
Jan-12-2005, 1:09pm
Here's my 24F4. Mine has a std clamp-on pickguard. The inlaid ones were the early 3-points.


Tom C
Jan-12-2005, 2:12pm
Gibson only inlayed into the body up until 1909. I've never seen abolone is there.

Jan-12-2005, 8:26pm
Here's my 20 F4

Jan-12-2005, 9:11pm
Heres my 21 F4, I got a while back from Folkway Music
Picture by Folkway. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jim Garber
Jan-12-2005, 9:33pm
Heres my 21 F4, I got a while back from Folkway Music
Picture by Folkway. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Michael: Does yours have an aluminum-topped bridge?


Jan-13-2005, 7:49am

#Yes it has the aluminum top, I have recently exchanged the bridge with a Randy Wood Loar style and was very please with the tone change http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-13-2005, 8:06am
Michael, your F4 is perhaps the nicest single example I've ever seen btw

Jim Garber
Jan-13-2005, 8:58am
I have a friend who also has a 21 F4 that has the tone to die for.


Jan-13-2005, 10:49am
awh shucks fellers...thats nice of ya http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-13-2005, 10:31pm
Question: The inside of the Rosette on this 1918 Gibson looks like binding material. When making a rosette like this do you stack 2 or 3 piece of binding together to get it this wide standing on end, or can you wrap it in a oval this tight with the flat/wide side of the binding laying down flat? Looks like it is one piece laid flat, but I would not think it would bend well in this direction. Any clues? JD #(PS I am waiting for my wood to get here and getting all the stuff ordered, this is so exciting!) Can't wait to get going on it.

Darryl Wolfe
Jan-14-2005, 9:11am
I'd like to know that too. I think they were cut from sheet material

Jim Garber
Jan-14-2005, 9:28am
Does this help? Detail of sloppy Gibson rosette work on my 23 A2(Z).

Why they did this I am not sure or why they left it this way. I would have thought they would put the seam under the fretboard or at least under the pickguard. Still it is a great sounding mandolin.


Darryl Wolfe
Jan-14-2005, 9:33am
From my experience, the rosette can get very thin in that area because of the little recurve. I scraped thru the rosette (slightly) right there while refinishing that '23 A2 that I have posted several pics of. That could be the reason, but not the excuse

Jan-19-2005, 7:24pm
Hey Hans: I think I am going to try your method. When you soak the herringbone is it hot tap water? How long? Do you let it dry before splitting? Do you wrap the herringbone and celluloid separate, one at a time? Whats the best way to get the rosette free from the oval mold, after it is done? I guess a razor blade going vertical around the first piece attached to the oval mold? Do you glue the first piece all the way around the mold? Or just spot glue it every inch or so, for a easier release? Thanks For any tips. JD I got the mold made just waiting on the stuff to arrive.

Jan-20-2005, 6:06am
I'm going to be putting a rosette together in about a week and setting it in a top for a 22C 3 pointer. I'll post some pix as I make it up.

Jan-21-2005, 9:10am
Here's a link to my F-4 that I'm selling on Elderly. They have some nice pictures of it.

Jan-21-2005, 10:36am
Phiddlepicker that is a beauty! Also MandolinMyster I love the color of yours, I may try to match that color. JD

Jan-21-2005, 4:05pm
Thanks partner, it is a nice one. I just don't play it, so I figgered I'd sell it and give someone else a chance.

Jan-28-2005, 7:27pm
Well here is my first effort. I got the top herringbone backwards and it is a bit wide. I did it backwards because I did not think you cound bend it the other way, but Hans clued me in that you can. So I am going to make another, more traditional to the Gibsons of that era. I will post it when it is done, waiting for Stewmac to drop off some more binding, the seam on the top would be under the fingerboard BTW. JD