Today we toured the Gibson Guitar factory located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.
We waited in the store area for the appointed time for the tour to start, I found a cool looking Jukebox; Chuck found an interesting guitar...
The group was a small one so we had the tour guide practically to ourselves. Ready to answer our questions at any time. What I found most interesting is that the entire wooden part of the instrument is all hand made and tooled. The finishes are also all hand done. This of course is reflected in the final price tag, but nice to know that quality instruments are still hand made in this country.
If I ever get to Pennsylvania, I want to visit the Martin Guitar company and see the differences in approach etc.
Anyway below are pictures of the tour and steps along the way to becoming a Gibson Guitar!
The wood is shaped by moisture and special cutting tools; then glued. No fasteners of any kind are used to hold the components together.
Once the guitar is assembled the finish work can begin..it is long and arduous, but beautiful when completed.
Any little mess up at the finish stage can render the final product...junk. So patience and steady hands are a necessity!
Once it has gone through all the stages to becoming a Gibson, a professional musician must play every note possible to determine that it has passed all requirements and meets the Gibson Standards.