After we finished at Gibson USA, we went over to the Custom Shop.  Our first stop was the meeting room, which had these cool screens with blueprint-type graphics of all of the small parts:

 

 

In the case was this ’58-style V with Lonnie Mack-style Bigsby mounting:

 

 

Here’s what the inside of the factory looks like:

 

 

This shot is interesting: it shows how the bodies are weighed, with the weights written in pencil.  This ensures all of the finished guitars fall within an acceptable weight range.

 

 

Another amazing flamed top:

 

 

This is the area where the F-Style mandolins are made.  Each one is meticulously hand-crafted.

 

 

This spectacular and unusual mandolin is completely made of highly figured koa wood.  It’s an untraditional choice for a mandolin but no doubt the results will be amazing:

 

 

Partially finished necks stored in a box.  Looks like a nice run of R8’s on the way, plus a few Collector’s Choices.

 

 

I wonder what these 12-string necks will be used for?  We did see a few doublenecks around so I guess this is where they will wind up.

 

 

Cool guitar alert!!!  What is this – a Firebird with a Les Paul headstock?  Yes, this is the Tak Matsumoto model only available in Japan.

 

 

Here’s a complete batch of Ron Wood Model guitars, this one happens to be number 39.  I was astonished to find out Gibson ships all of the guitars to Ron, wherever he happens to be, and they are then sent all the way back to Gibson after he signs them!  I guess I assumed they would just fly Ron in to do this, but whatever works!  In any case Ron has personally handled every guitar – very cool.

 

 

I have no idea what this guitar is, but I love it.  I think the modern metallic blue, combined with the Mary Ford/ES-295-style pickguard graphics looks amazing!

 

 

Thanks for joining us for our tour of the Gibson Custom Shop!  Next up in Part 4: we make our way to Memphis and the semi-hollow guitar factory to check out some ES-335’s and much more! Stay tuned for tomorrow's update. And don't forget, we now carry Gibson Guitars at more locations than ever!

 

Click here to read Part 4 of our Inside Gibson Series!