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Thread: 1924 Gibson A-jr

  1. #1
    Registered User Matt's Avatar
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    Default 1924 Gibson A-jr

    Yesterday I did a needed string change and was reminded about a question Iíve been meaning to post. The top finish is a brown, you can easily see the grain. But under the bridge there is no finish or stain, practically natural wood. This mando has almost no play wear and a couple of small dings, the pickguard doesnít have the faintest markings. To my eye the instrument has never been refinished. Why is there no finish under the bridge?
    Matt

  2. #2
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1924 Gibson A-jr

    Here's my guess. (I'm a violin guy and not a mandolin maker). The finish was put on with a bridge in place. Probably sprayed on. This greatly helped in the exact placement of a new bridge, And in 'final' production, it saved time.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Matt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1924 Gibson A-jr

    Quote Originally Posted by DougC View Post
    Here's my guess. (I'm a violin guy and not a mandolin maker). The finish was put on with a bridge in place. Probably sprayed on. This greatly helped in the exact placement of a new bridge, And in 'final' production, it saved time.
    Thank you!

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    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1924 Gibson A-jr

    If the finish had been put on with the bridge in place, it would have been strung up to hold it in place, so I don't think that's what happened. I'm also unsure if a varnish finish was sprayed on in 1924.
    Usually what happenes is varnish sticks to the bottom of the bridge, where it makes contact with the top, and some of it gets pulled off over the years. My 1919 Gibson has almost no finish under the bridge, but you can see where a very small amount is on the bottom of the bridge.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

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  6. #5
    Registered User Matt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1924 Gibson A-jr

    Quote Originally Posted by John Rosett View Post
    If the finish had been put on with the bridge in place, it would have been strung up to hold it in place, so I don't think that's what happened. I'm also unsure if a varnish finish was sprayed on in 1924.
    Usually what happenes is varnish sticks to the bottom of the bridge, where it makes contact with the top, and some of it gets pulled off over the years. My 1919 Gibson has almost no finish under the bridge, but you can see where a very small amount is on the bottom of the bridge.
    Thank you!

  7. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1924 Gibson A-jr

    Someone may have gone to the trouble of removing the finish that was stuck to the bottom of the bridge at some point in the ensuing years. I think John has it right. You could assume it was strung up before the finish was entirely cured just to get it out the door. That seems like a more likely scenario to me. Hopefully the bridge was placed right
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  8. #7
    Registered User Matt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1924 Gibson A-jr

    Good insights! The bridge is quite new so no chance to spot finish adhered to the old bridge. Thank you all.

  9. #8
    Registered User Matt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1924 Gibson A-jr

    Incidentally, I ordered Thomastik light strings by mistake and put them on this little guy and they sound great.

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