Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

  1. #1

    Default Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    Hi,
    I’m interested in a couple of the oval hole, snake head, ‘24 Gibson’s in the classifieds and will need to convert to lefty. I read they have vertical bracing (symmetrical) behind the oval hole.

    Any issues converting to lefty I should be aware of?
    Can anyone recommend a source for a properly intonated saddle that can fit the bridge?

    Thanks and happy thanksgiving!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,426

    Default Re: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    A Gibson will convert to lefty just fine. A new nut and new saddle. I am sure you can buy a saddle, but every mandolin should have the saddle intonated to the instrument. A fine tuning does make a difference as not all folks play with the same gauge of strings or the same action. Soooo if you are going to make the changes or take it somewhere to make the changes why not simply make the saddle or have it made. If you want position markers on the other side of the neck without alteration, I have found punching a hole in a piece of masking tape, positioning the hole in the proper spot on the neck, then using fingernail polish to make the dot works well. It will stay for decades, but should you want it off it will come off easily.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by pops1 View Post
    A Gibson will convert to lefty just fine. A new nut and new saddle. I am sure you can buy a saddle, but every mandolin should have the saddle intonated to the instrument. A fine tuning does make a difference as not all folks play with the same gauge of strings or the same action. Soooo if you are going to make the changes or take it somewhere to make the changes why not simply make the saddle or have it made. If you want position markers on the other side of the neck without alteration, I have found punching a hole in a piece of masking tape, positioning the hole in the proper spot on the neck, then using fingernail polish to make the dot works well. It will stay for decades, but should you want it off it will come off easily.
    Thanks for confirming that itís a straight forward swap. I have a good luthier locally for the swap, but it never occurred to me to make a custom saddle as the intonation should be roughly the same based on scale length.
    Iíve done what you described for the feet markers and it works well! Thanks a agin.

  4. #4
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Saint Augustine Beach FL
    Posts
    5,533

    Default Re: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    Cumberland Acoustics makes a left handed compensated, ebony bridge.....

    https://cumberlandacoustic.com/

    Steve is a great guy to work with.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  5. #5
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    25,104

    Default Re: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    Even if it had tone bars (F hole model) and you converted it to left-handed it would be OK. You'd never hear the difference. As has been stated you need a left handed nut, a left-handed bridge (saddle actually, get a new bridge and keep the original nut and bridge in case you ever sell it). The pickguard will be a problem if it has one and the dots along the side of the neck will be on the bottom instead of the top. Beyond those things you'll have a whole lot more mandolins available to you if you convert one than if you attempt to find a left-handed model from that era. People have been doing this for many decades.

    Some past threads can be found here.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles E. View Post
    Cumberland Acoustics makes a left handed compensated, ebony bridge.....

    https://cumberlandacoustic.com/

    Steve is a great guy to work with.
    Thanks for the link! I’ll reach out to Cumberland for a recommendation. Need to know if it’s a 5” or 10” radius.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    Radius
    If the seller doesn’t know, and I assume you’re talking about the top of the saddle, you can easily measure it either from the existing bridge if has a radius, or the fingerboard plus arithmetic. Use calipers and the chord of a circle formula they probably didn’t bother to teach in geometry class; and or making paper radiused templates and extrapolating from wherever you measure the fingerboard. (Strings off for this). Your luthier will handle the shaping of the bridge feet.

  8. The following members say thank you to Richard500 for this post:


  9. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Howell, NJ
    Posts
    25,104

    Default Re: Early Gibson - Lefty conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Algreen View Post
    Thanks for the link! I’ll reach out to Cumberland for a recommendation. Need to know if it’s a 5” or 10” radius.
    If you're talking about the fretboard, early Gibson mandolins have flat fretboards, no radius. Steve at Cumberland should be able to fill you in on what you need.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Nov-27-2021 at 4:00pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. The following members say thank you to MikeEdgerton for this post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •