On the guitar repair workbench, Gibson L-37, 1934, Archtop rebuild and restoration

Theres always something going on in my little workshop.  Most times it working on an acoustic guitar in one phase or another. The past few months have been a mix of completing older projects, getting new builds to the finishing shop, keeping repairs flowing and new ideas in the works. Of a very most recent and interr=esting repair I have received was a  1937 Gibson L-4 acoustic arch top jazz guitar.

This instrument came to me in pieces and hadn’t been played in twenty years, left unchecked in an attic the back was split down the length, the sides expanded outward from 20 years of no support and the top and sides had many cracks and splits. The good things was the neck was still secure and the fingerboard salvageable.

 

Gibsom 1934 l-37 repair
Gibson 1934 L-4 repair

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After removing the back pieces I was able to re-glue the two halves together. I then ran a strip of maple along the inside of the length of the break for additional strength.

The interior cracks were re glued and cross strips of spruce were added for support.

 

Split back repaired on 1937 Gibson L-4 Archtop
Split back repaired on 1937 Gibson L-4

 

Clamping the back pieces
Clamping the back pieces

the sides were pulled back together and cracks repaired.

Gibson l-4  © Jay Rosenblatt
Inner cracks at ends of F holes were patched with spruce  to avoid future cracking
Fixing side crack Gibson l-4 1927
Fixing side crack Gibson l-4 1927

The back was re-attached and new binding replaced.

 

After re-assembly, binding wqas replaces to reinforce back plate. Instrument was left in original paint finish for authenticity
After re-assembly, binding wqas replaces to reinforce back plate. Instrument was left in original paint finish for authenticity

 

The guitar was slowly strung up. The goal was to get the instrument playable without refinishing or removing its natural wear of 75 years. The customer couldn’t be happier

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And a very happy customer!
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