TagKalamazoo

1936 Gibson-created Kalamazoo KG-14 Flattop Guitar

Another KG-14! I guess they are greater in pairs, no? This one particular is loud, punchy-as-heck, has very good snap — and a lot of ring to it. It really is mainly-original, also, but has new frets and a new nut and saddle. The pins are, amazingly, all-original and the guitar has that look — with the firestripe guard and perfect bluesy sunburst.
This was practically-carried out final Saturday, but it took all week for me to locate the time necessary to finish it off. This is simply because it necessary far more operate than I expected. In the finish it got a neck reset, bridge reglue, new bone nut and saddle, brace reglues, crack cleats and repairs to the leading, and a board plane and refret (with new jumbo stock). The finish result is a top-notch player with a straight neck, modern-feeling frets, and spot-on three/32″ EA, 1/16″ DGBE action at the 12th fret. I have it strung with 52w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 strings in a “slightly lighter than light” set.
The usual KG-14 specs apply, too — 1 3/4″ nut width, 12″ radius fretboard, medium-sized V-shaped neck profile, 24 three/4″ scale (practically 24 7/eight” in actuality), and 14 5/eight” width on the lower bout. The ladder bracing compared to an x-braced L-00 indicates a less-creamy best and bottom end and an emphasis on lots of snap and punch in the mids. This is perfect for a fingerpicker but will also suit a flatpicker who requirements a bit of reduce and definition like an archtop.

I also added side dots. The board is freshly leveled/planed and feels like a new, boutique providing.

There are a few challenging-to-see cracks on the leading that are all repaired. Two brief hairlines are above the soundhole and cleated and there are 3 smaller sized ones under the soundhole and terminating at the bridge — also cleated. Below the bridge the center-seam was a small open and that is been glued, cleated, and sealed for future stability.
I forgot to mention that I also reglued the pickguard a bit, too.

The bridge has its original pins — although the saddle is a new, compensated, bone one.

As you can see, there’s a fair amount of saddle left for action adjustments. The slot is also deep sufficient that conservative “shimming” can get you by for fine adjustments up without having the saddle tilt forward on you.

Woods, right? The best is strong spruce and the back, sides, and neck are solid mahogany. The back on this one appears to be one piece, too.

There is an typical quantity of use-wear on the guitar but, all round, it looks excellent compared to many KG-14s which have a tendency to get a lot of play over the years.

The tuners are mainly original but I’ve employed spare components from a donor set of the identical variety (only a handful of years prior) to replace missing bits.

The “fade” of the sunburst to the back/sides is quite neat right here at the neck.

The endpin is original, too.

1934 Gibson-created Kalamazoo KG-11 Flattop Guitar

I genuinely take pleasure in KG-11s and, contemplating that there’s 7 or 8 a lot more of them to be repaired about here, that’s great news for me! A customer chosen this from the bunch on-hand, and now that repairs are completed, it just requirements to settle-in and then will be cleared for shipping.
This one particular has a factory order number of 1171 on the neckblock which states that it is a 1934 construct — though the tiny sunburst and straight-reduce headstock sort-of call it out as a Kalamazoo made in the “very first batch” of 1933-34, anyway. It shares the usual KG-11 specs — a 1 three/4″ nut, usual Gibson 24 three/four” scale length, 14 five/eight” reduce bout, and a “squashed” body with a reduced-on-the-bout bridge as compared to the far more-iconic KG-14s. These design alterations compared to the KG-14 push the nut closer to the left hand, impart an overall woodier, warmer tone, and find the physique in a super-comfortable way in the lap. The sacrifice is a tiny bit of volume and punch, but for my playing style I tend to favor KG-11s most of the time as they’re a far more forgiving guitar — something a friend of mine also concluded soon after providing it a whirl proper after I’d finished work on it.
That perform included a neck reset, fret level/dress (thankfully on an already-straight neck), replacement rosewood bridge, a couple of crack repairs/cleats (a couple to the side at the bass waist and a single on the leading under the bridge), and replacement bridge pins. It’s playing spot-on with 1/16″ DGBE and 3/32″ EA action at the 12th fret. I tend to run “11s-comparable” strings on these, but with stiffer trebles — gauges 52w, 38w, 28w, 22w, 16, 12.

This has a 3-piece, solid spruce best. The back, sides, and neck are solid mahogany and the fretboard is Brazilian rosewood with a 12″ radius.

The tuners are replacements, but the ferrules are originals. Note the original ebony nut.

I add side dots standard, these days. The pearl dots and smallish Gibson frets are original, though.

I love the look of these pickguard-much less early models.

The original bridge would’ve been Brazilian rosewood with a via-cut saddle slot and “ebonized” black with a nitro finish sprayed more than it. My replacement is Indian rosewood and has a drop-in saddle slot. I re-employed the original bone saddle, however, when I match this a single.
The original bridge had split along the pins and the back edge would’ve sheared-off over time (probably 6 months after tuning-up) if I’d attempted to glue it back together and leave it. I don’t like getting to waste customers’ time with such items to preserve broken originality.

The pearl-dot ebony pins aren’t “to spec,” but I didn’t want to use the oversize pins that this came with as the holes are currently so far aft (like the original bridge).

Celluloid binding is only at the top edge and soundhole.

The tuners are 1950s units I’m utilized to seeing on Harmony guitars. I tend to have a few sets on hand and use them on guitars like this one particular, when I get the opportunity, as its original tuners were extended gone and the replacements had been terrible, super-cheap, Ping units. They operate as effectively or much better than the originals and have the very same vibe as 30s, openback machines.

The original endpin is extant, but has a small chip-out on its “bottom ring.”

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