In Part 1 we took a quick overview of the manufacturing process at Gibson USA.  In this part we will take a look at some of the interesting and unusual things we saw.

 

Check out this: either there’s another guy out there named Nikki Six, or this piece of wood is intended for Nikki Sixx.  In any case, artist names pop up all over the factory, whether for custom instruments, or as part of the production process of artist signature models.

 

 

Here’s another one featuring Joan Jett:

 

 

This might be my favourite guitar I saw at this factory: an experimental SG/Firebird hybrid, including a stepped body.  So cool.  No word if Gibson is planning on putting this one out, I sure hope they do.

 

 

Anyone else remember the Artisan Les Paul from the late ‘70s to early ‘80s?  Not sure what’s up this one, but it’s a great-looking headstock and it would be great if Gibson did a run of these:

 

 

I just loved how the partially finished necks were stored in these boxes:

 

 

Here’s an interesting Les Paul body featuring a graphic of the Nashville skyline:

 

 

And here’s a rack full of guitars with custom graphics.  Some were for artists or promotions, others are prototypes to test new finishes and graphic concepts:

 

 

 

These next two guitars really stood out: the bodies had three dimensional steps using figured woods.  It’s hard to see on the V, but the middle section of flamed maple is raised.  Both are prototypes just to try something new.  

 

 

 

Lunch from where else?  Bar-b-Cutie!  There’s a pulled pork sandwich in there.

 

 

Tomorrow, we head over to the Gibson Custom Shop! Stay tuned for more updates on our trip.

 

Click here to read Part 3 of our Inside Gibson Series!