The Moderne - Holy Grail of Vintage Guitars

pshupe

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Hello everyone. I've been discussing this build for quite some time and am ready to at the very least start a thread. ;-) As some of you know my build threads can take quite some time. This hopefully will be quicker than most of my others as I have just been laid off from work. I view this as a good thing as I have lots of stuff to catch up on.


I will be working with Ron Wood, who wrote the book on this guitar. Literally - I highly recommend this book as a must have coffee table book if you are even remotely interested in the modernistic guitars Gibson tried to put out in the late 50's. I'll do a little history lesson in some future posts.

Here is the cover of Ron's book -

Moderne_book.JPG


I have started the drawings for two designs of this guitar. One is what would have been considered the "proto-type" and the other the "production" model. Although it is debate whether either type was created. To a lesser extent the proto-types but the production model was never made.

Here is a screen shot of these two designs and their current state of CAD design.

Capture5.JPG


I'll be building at least 2 or 3 of these guitars, so it should be really fun. This is just a little teaser I'll throw up for now and I will try and update as I continue. Thanks.

Regards Peter.
 
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efstop

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The current Epiphone '58 reissue follows the first design, but with an offset rounded V headstock instead of the Gumby one, and the toggle near the bridge. I was seriously contemplating buying one, but Epiphone veneers everything, so, no.

I'll be watching your build thread.
 

cmjohnson

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No guitar historian has yet authenticated an "original" Moderne. At this point I'm reasonably confident that Gibson never actually built a completed example.

It'll be fun to watch your build progress.
 

redking

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Gonna be hard to beat your fabulous Futura but I'm sure you will pull it off :)
 

pshupe

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The current Epiphone '58 reissue follows the first design, but with an offset rounded V headstock instead of the Gumby one, and the toggle near the bridge. I was seriously contemplating buying one, but Epiphone veneers everything, so, no.

I'll be watching your build thread.
Yes, I have not seen any built as the proto-type, so we're building at least one like that. I'm looking forward to picking out some wood soon! :fingersx:

Cheers Peter.
 

redking

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Hello everyone. I've been discussing this build for quite some time and am ready to at the very least start a thread. ;-) As some of you know my build threads can take quite some time. This hopefully will be quicker than most of my others as I have just been laid off from work. I view this as a good thing as I have lots of stuff to catch up on.


I will be working with Ron Wood, who wrote the book at this guitar. Literally - I highly recommend this book as a must have coffee table book if you are even remotely interested in the modernistic guitars Gibson tried to put out in the late 50's. I'll do a little history lesson in some future posts.

Here is the cover of Ron's book -

View attachment 480876

I have started the drawings for two designs of this guitar. One is what would have been considered the "proto-type" and the other the "production" model. Although it is debate whether either type was created. To a lesser extent the proto-types but the production model was never made.

Here is a screen shot of these two designs and their current state of CAD design.

View attachment 480877

I'll be building at least 2 or 3 of these guitars, so it should be really fun. This is just a little teaser I'll throw up for now and I will try and update as I continue. Thanks.

Regards Peter.
Looking at this drawing I was thinking that aesthetically, the Futura's split V headstock sure would look cool on that body, but it wouldn't be authentic to the original.
 

Tonyd145

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This is gonna be killer. Don't think I've hit the watch button faster on a thread.
 

lewita

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wow, already hooked to this build. I've been trying to build my bass version of the moderne for quite some time, but never got to it. Getting hold of korina is really hard and expensive here in Argentina. I designed this one as if it was built alongside the rest of the korinas, but with a V's headstock (I 'd love to do it witha a Gumby headstock, but I don't think it'll function properly with bass strings). Maybe some day!
modernass3D.JPG
 

pshupe

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Starting to get wood organized for these builds. I've been communicating with Ron quite a bit. As noted above, he wrote the book on the Moderne but also owns a few. He has one from the first batch of "re-issues" that Gibson did back in the early '80s and a couple of the Epiphone versions that were done more recently. We have been measuring and documenting everything we can. We may even have the guitar laser scanned at some point. Here are a few pics of his 80s Moderne. It's a beautiful guitar.

333784



333783


I picked up some Mahogany recently and also some Korina. I managed to find a couple of one piece body blanks and grabbed some Korina for necks and two piece bodies from a friend of mine. Thanks to Tom Bartlett for letting me raid his stash. ;-)
333782



Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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Got a little bit of time tonight. Decided to joint the Korina and Mahogany for the two piece bodies. Onto the jointer first -
IMG_0680.JPG


This stuff looks really nice even in the rough and it is quite light as well. Again thanks to Tom Bartlett for the beautiful Korina.

I cut the one long plank down in two pieces about 5' long each. If I am lucky I should be able to get 3 two piece bodies out of the one 10' plank. Jointed one side then into the thickness planer to plane down to get a look at the wood.

IMG_0681.JPG


I really just want to take enough wood off to try an find any imperfections or knots that I will try an avoid when laying out the bodies. Not too much to worry about in that respect.

The body halfs will end up being slip matched trying to keep the same orientation and same side. This is important to make the joint as invisible as possible. It's nice that this board and all the other ones were pretty much quarter sawn.

Laying out the blanks.

IMG_0683.JPG


I slipped matched the middle and laid out the others to miss the slight amount of black limba on the edge. Should be good.

Cheers Peter.
 


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