Tom Lee Music just got back from a whirlwind tour of the Gibson guitar factories in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee.  We are proud to now be a Gibson dealer in most of our locations, and what better way to mark the occasion than to take you behind the scenes where all of these amazing guitars are made!

 

Our first stop at Gibson was the Gibson USA factory in Nashville where all of the production solidbodies are made. 

 

From the hotel we travelled in style in the Gibson Tour Bus, which is loaded with guitars and amps to play while you ride:

 

 

Here’s the main entrance:

 

 

The mill room was the first stop, this is where all of the raw wood is prepared for rough shaping.  Mahogany and maple was piled everywhere:

 

 

Here are some Les Paul bodies that have been roughed out, note the extra “wings” at the waist at this point in production that give the bodies an unusual look.  These are so the tops and backs will be aligned properly during the gluing process.

 

 

Some lucky person is going to get a great Les Paul with this AAAA flame maple top:

 

 

Here’s another shot of some bodies where the top has been attached:

 

 

This photo shows how the wings are glued to the neck, making it wide enough to cut out the headstock:

 

 

Here’s a great shot of the overhead conveyors for partially finished guitars:

 

 

This conveyor system was in the finishing area:

 

 

This picture shows the final assembly area, where the finished guitars are set up and prepared to be shipped out:

 

 

Here’s a row of finished guitars ready to be boxed and shipped:

 

 

Well, after a hard day at the factory it was time to head to downtown Nashville for a little food and entertainment.  Nashville is an absolutely great place to visit, especially this strip of Broadway which has clubs with live music in almost every doorway:

 

 

Time to eat!  What else?  Barbeque!

 


Tomorrow, we'll take a look at some of the interesting and usual things we saw at the Gibson USA factory. 

 

Click here to read the next entry of our Inside Gibson Series!