Friday, November 6, 2015

Five on Friday

It's Five on Friday time again so I thought I'd take you to the Gibson Guitar factory in Memphis to show you how a good guitar is made.  So many are made, and not very well, overseas, that Mac was really pleased to visit the factory.  You couldn't  take photos during the tour, but I was able to borrow some photos from their website.

Before you start the tour you're given safety goggles to wear and told to stay between the yellow lines at all times.

The first thing we were shown were the cut out shapes for the guitar.  This cutting is the only thing done by machine, everything else is hand done.

We got to handle the front and back pieces and they were surprisingly heavy.

Next the frame is stretched.

After the front and back are attached they're bound up like a mummy.
Next the binding is attached around the edges and it is spray painted, after that the guitar gets 14 coats of lacquer.  

After lacquering all the bits of paint or lacquer that end up in the wrong places have to be removed, this is very labor intensive and is mostly done by ladies, they practice for months on rejects before working on an actual guitar.

The guitar is then checked for defects before being sent to have the electronics added.

And last, but not least, the guitar we're going back to Memphis to pick-up, one that was made while we were there.  Isn't it a beauty, Mac can't wait to get his hands on it.

We learned that the factory employs about 100 workers, makes about 70 guitars a day and ships all over the world, with Japan being one of their biggest customers.  It was quite a tour.  At the beginning when we were in the guitar shop Mac wasn't interested in buying another guitar, at the end, after seeing the craftsmanship and how it was handmade he wanted one.  A great excuse to return to Memphis.

That's my Five,  visit the others who are joining in with Amy over at Love Made My Home.


  1. Fascinating! I never thought about how guitars were made, but I can see why it made Mac want one of his own. I hope that he enjoys playing it. Thank you for joining Five On Friday. I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

  2. I'm sure Mac will treasure it. I've heard of Gibson guitars, my brother bought one many years ago.

  3. One of Paul's guitars is a Gibson that he has had since college. That probably makes it an antique! Interesting to see how they are made.

  4. How fascinating, thanks for the tour, I'm sure Mac will get so much joy from his new guitar:)

  5. Oh my goodness, what heaven! I am thoroughly envious, and even more so of Mac, actually getting his very own, what a pleasure that will be for him.

  6. Good for Mac to treat himself to such a special guitar! I will have to show this post to my son, who also loves guitars. He is in the process of making his own guitar (which he started in high school last year). I can't wait to see it finished, but it seems to have taken a back seat for the last little while. How interesting to be able to tour Gibson's, I think that would be fascinating! If we're ever in Memphis ...

  7. What a great escape! Interesting to see, how they make them, in a factory, but with hands.
    We have a violin maker here in town, works alone...
    Have a nice new week

  8. A very interesting first guitar was a vintage Acoustic Gibson....even though I now play on my new Martin, I still occasionally play my old Gibson.


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