1930s Gibson L-0 00-Size Guitar

My pal Brandon bought this guitar and I was in a mad dash to refret it, install a K&K pickup, and get it out in the mail for him so I didn't have time to snag specifications on it -- though I did grab these photos before I boxed it.

Suffice to say, it has a 1933-1934 factory order number stamped in the top of the headstock but it almost certainly dates to '30 or '31 per its features and design. I've worked on several L-0 and L-00-ish and Kel Kroydon 12-fretters from the time and they're all stupidly-lightweight in build. The mahogany-top ones hold-up far better than the spruce-top ones as the spruce is a little more flexible and thus, with anything but the lightest strings (I think even 10s on them is slightly cruel), they're fairly unstable and tend to move-around action-wise with the weather quite a lot.

The benefit of the extra-light build is that it fingerpicks beautifully and has a much larger sound than you'd expect for the body size. Being a Gibson, once you dial-in the setup, they also handle beautifully as well. It also doesn't hurt that it looks stripped-down gorgeous, too.

Thus one needed a neck reset, replacement bridge, reinforcement under the fretboard extension (I added a wide 1/16" popsicle "brace" patch and replacement 2nd top brace up there) and some attention to cracks and brace reglues. It's a bit of a mess inside from old reglue work (and my own, for that matter), but it's stable, now, and good to go.

As mentioned, Brandon had me refret it with medium stock (he's a fan of jumbos but the board is thinner than the tang of most jumbo frets, so I dissuaded him). This new fretwire is about the same height as the old thin/tall stuff that was on it but it feels much better and sounds cleaner, too, as it has more mass.

No, the bridge is not "period correct," but it is a decent slab of rosewood. I figured a drop-in saddle slot would suit this thing's life as a gigging machine so he could adjust the action on the fly via shims or sanding the saddle. The bridge pins are new ebony, too, and this came to me with repro StewMac tuners already installed.