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Beating a dead horse? Gibson Pot Dating by Serial

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Oct 15, 2019 - 7:14:24 AM
269 posts since 9/21/2018

Purchased a pot from a reputable hangout member a while back for a project banjo. Serial number in the rim is 61988, he guestimated it to be a late model pot, 2012ish if I remember correctly.

Curiosity got to me, so I started to research a little and that serial number just doesn't line up with the guess. Gibson has a serial number reference chart for banjos post 1988, and this doesn't fit. My research continued. Next I was perusing Banjophiles lint of known serial number from "bowtie era" banjos. Around 1962 on this list there are a handful of banjos with similar 5 digit numbers.

So my question, I suppose: Is it safe to assume this pot is from 1962 based on available evidence?

Oct 15, 2019 - 9:15:42 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

Correction, 1963

Oct 15, 2019 - 4:24:39 PM

beegee

USA

21369 posts since 7/6/2005

1963 seems reasonable to me. How thick is it. Does it have a blind hole drilled for an upper co-rod?

Oct 15, 2019 - 4:41:13 PM

rcc56

USA

2307 posts since 2/20/2016

If it is a Gibson rim, it was not made in 2012.  The last Gibson banjos were produced in 2008 or 2009.

Be careful about dating Gibson products by serial number alone. Gibson often used the same serial numbers 2 or 3 times. A good knowledge of product specifications is necessary when confirming when a Gibson instrument was made.

For a rim, measure the thickness, count the plies, observe the color [if the finish is original], and listen to guys like Bob Gaddis who know something about the different ways things were machined at various times over the past few decades.

Was this rim turned for a one-piece flange or a two piece? Was it cut for a flathead tone ring or an arch top? By the way, if anyone has the measurements for the different kind of tone ring cuts on postwar Mastertone rims, this would be a good time to post them.

Edited by - rcc56 on 10/15/2019 16:46:37

Oct 16, 2019 - 4:39:10 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by beegee

1963 seems reasonable to me. How thick is it. Does it have a blind hole drilled for an upper co-rod?


Full thickness, appears to be 3 ply, drilled for upper co-rod. 

Oct 16, 2019 - 4:42:24 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

If it is a Gibson rim, it was not made in 2012.  The last Gibson banjos were produced in 2008 or 2009.

Be careful about dating Gibson products by serial number alone. Gibson often used the same serial numbers 2 or 3 times. A good knowledge of product specifications is necessary when confirming when a Gibson instrument was made.

For a rim, measure the thickness, count the plies, observe the color [if the finish is original], and listen to guys like Bob Gaddis who know something about the different ways things were machined at various times over the past few decades.

Was this rim turned for a one-piece flange or a two piece? Was it cut for a flathead tone ring or an arch top? By the way, if anyone has the measurements for the different kind of tone ring cuts on postwar Mastertone rims, this would be a good time to post them.


I misstated, 07-08 was his estimate. It's cut for a two piece flange and a long skirt flathead ring. 

Oct 16, 2019 - 4:44:26 AM

4388 posts since 11/20/2004

When did they quit stamping rim serial numbers and move them to the peghead? I was thinking prior to '63, but not a bow tie historian as some are.

Oct 16, 2019 - 4:53:55 AM

4388 posts since 11/20/2004

Two pc. flange would be an exception in either '63 or '07-'08

Oct 16, 2019 - 5:00:59 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by lightgauge

Two pc. flange would be an exception in either '63 or '07-'08


One piece flange... I'm asleep apparently. 

Oct 16, 2019 - 5:29:57 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by lightgauge

Two pc. flange would be an exception in either '63 or '07-'08


Any flange can be a two piece if you are creative enough with a hack saw... wink

Oct 16, 2019 - 2:36:03 PM
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2357 posts since 4/16/2003

You're not going to get good answers until you post detailed pics to show us what you're lookin' at...

Oct 17, 2019 - 4:54:36 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

Here are a few I have on my phone. One is the serial number stamped inside the rim. the other is the blind hole drilled for the upper co rod. I threw one in of the assembly because I like it.


Oct 18, 2019 - 5:14:59 PM
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gugger

USA

337 posts since 6/15/2004

Gibson stamped the number in the rim from 1949 thru and including 1960. 1961 through at least the late 1960's will have it on the back of the peghead and no number in the rim.

Oct 22, 2019 - 6:52:58 PM

306 posts since 12/14/2008

That looks like a 1990’s rim to me. It is not from the 60’s or 70’s for sure. Could be 90’s-early 2000’s.

Oct 23, 2019 - 8:36:51 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by billy moore

That looks like a 1990’s rim to me. It is not from the 60’s or 70’s for sure. Could be 90’s-early 2000’s.


The problem there is Gibson lists a fairly specific way they numbered rims from the late 80's through the end. It's puzzling. 

Oct 23, 2019 - 9:57:55 AM

1644 posts since 2/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts
quote:
Originally posted by billy moore

That looks like a 1990’s rim to me. It is not from the 60’s or 70’s for sure. Could be 90’s-early 2000’s.


The problem there is Gibson lists a fairly specific way they numbered rims from the late 80's through the end. It's puzzling. 


Is there a label in the rim?  

Oct 23, 2019 - 9:58:48 AM

1644 posts since 2/10/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts
quote:
Originally posted by billy moore

That looks like a 1990’s rim to me. It is not from the 60’s or 70’s for sure. Could be 90’s-early 2000’s.


The problem there is Gibson lists a fairly specific way they numbered rims from the late 80's through the end. It's puzzling. 


Flange also on newer models had Gibson USA stamp by the heel. 

Oct 23, 2019 - 10:08:53 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by 250gibson
quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts
quote:
Originally posted by billy moore

That looks like a 1990’s rim to me. It is not from the 60’s or 70’s for sure. Could be 90’s-early 2000’s.


The problem there is Gibson lists a fairly specific way they numbered rims from the late 80's through the end. It's puzzling. 


Flange also on newer models had Gibson USA stamp by the heel. 


Yes, Gibson label in rim, no pic currently. The flange and other hardware are Prucha (cause I'm fancy...). 

Oct 23, 2019 - 10:20:26 AM
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52632 posts since 12/14/2005

Since I don't know much about Gibson serial #s, how about a GIF?

Oct 23, 2019 - 10:46 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory

Since I don't know much about Gibson serial #s, how about a GIF?


Mike, it was exactly what this thread needed. 

Honestly, I'm not concerned, I am more curious than anything. As long as the banjo ends up sounding good. I don't plan on putting a name on the peghead. 

Oct 25, 2019 - 6:53:04 PM
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1769 posts since 1/4/2009

Post th Gibson label they looked differnt in the 60s and 90s 2000s too

Oct 28, 2019 - 4:39:57 AM

269 posts since 9/21/2018

quote:
Originally posted by kyleb

Post th Gibson label they looked differnt in the 60s and 90s 2000s too


I'll do that. Have to snap a pic of it this evening. 

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