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Thread: Gibson A12 to F conversion

  1. #1

    Default Gibson A12 to F conversion

    I bought this 1968 A12 with a bad neck joint a while ago and decided to have some fun with it. With the neck off, I built a jig and carved a scroll into the Micky Mouse ear (this cut is not easy and is critical. I've seen an A12 conversion for sale with a scroll that looked awful). I removed the binding and finish, re-graduated the top, triple bound the top, added a fern inlay to the headstock, stained and re-burst the body and neck, and gave it a new lacquer finish. I replaced the bone nut, but kept the original tuners, bridge, tailpiece, and pickguard. I also have the original case with hot pink velvet interior.
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  3. #2
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A12 to F conversion

    They are out there, I know of one which was done with a nod and a wink. I have no idea what happened to it. The owner has passed away and I have no idea where it may have gone.
    There are others built from parts that went out the back door and not as nicely done.
    I wonder how many have been “modified”
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  4. #3
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A12 to F conversion

    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  6. #4
    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A12 to F conversion

    Nice work! You took a less than desirable mandolin and made it look great! How does it sound?

  7. #5

    Default Re: Gibson A12 to F conversion

    Thanks. It sounds pretty good. It's bright and loud, strong mids and highs, a decent lower end, but I would say it lacks the "woodiness" I like.

  8. #6
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson A12 to F conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by bouldermandolin View Post
    Thanks. It sounds pretty good. It's bright and loud, strong mids and highs, a decent lower end, but I would say it lacks the "woodiness" I like.
    Still nice job who could not see what you did as a huge improvement and its still a genuine Gibson that looks F-like! Who says you can't make a silk-like purse out of a sow's ear!!
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Gibson A12 to F conversion

    This is probably the nicest looking job of these I’ve seen. You see them on eBay occasionally but they are usually slop jobs.

    I’m curious to hear more details about exactly how this was done. Like, what type of saw? What tools were used for the fine work? And how exactly did you create the volute?
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A
    Fender Octave Mandolin c.2004-2008

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  11. #8

    Default Re: Gibson A12 to F conversion

    Like F model mandolins, the a12 has a mahogany block inside the mouse ear where the scroll gets carved. With the neck off, I built a jig the body could sit in and remain level (the back is arched and does lie flat on the saw table). Keeping the body level, I just cut the scroll out on my jig saw, like you would do on a typical F build. There was enough spruce on the top and maple on the back (of the scroll area) to let me create the traditional contours.

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