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Case question for owners of vintage reverse Firebirds (1963-1965)

Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Messages
207
I got lucky and found a nice early sixties Firebird case for my '64 III (whoop-dee-doo..).

All four front latches have been replaced by ugly black replacement thingies though, and have to go.

I am hoping one Firebird owner can give me the measurements of the original front latches - with some luck and patience these can be found.

Here's for example a NOS USA made latch on Ebay that looks kind of the part, but I do not know if the dimensions are correct:

$_12.JPG



$_57.JPG


http://www.ebay.ie/itm/1-EXCELSIOR-...308626?hash=item43fc09c952:g:lbsAAOSwA3dYbRsb
 

mingus

Active member
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
4,243
Below are some photos of the latches on a case for a '64 FBIII. Note that the latch is curved on the one with the lock.

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Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Messages
207
Thanks so much Mingus!

It turns out that latches and hinges of the Excelsior co. were actually used for Gibson guitar cases. Given that Mingus' measurements are practically identical to the Excelsior latch on Ebay, I would not be surprised if the auction item IS the actual early sixties Firebird latch. And after hours of web searching, I am beginning to think this may well be a 'needle in haystack' occasion.

Thing is that I need three of these, plus a lock latch (and a case handle...), and there are only two left on Ebay (they had ten........I contacted the seller to ask if he has more of these, but did not receive a reply yet). I guess it could take MANY years to complete a set, if that would be doable at all. So I am now thinking of looking for comparable 'close enough' hardware (e.g. US made period nickel latches, which seem to be less rare).

I therefore suggest that Latestarter buys the Ebay latches, since he only needs one. Plus a spare for Mingus?
 

latestarter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
4,068
Thanks so much Mingus!

It turns out that latches and hinges of the Excelsior co. were actually used for Gibson guitar cases. Given that Mingus' measurements are practically identical to the Excelsior latch on Ebay, I would not be surprised if the auction item IS the actual early sixties Firebird latch. And after hours of web searching, I am beginning to think this may well be a 'needle in haystack' occasion.

Thing is that I need three of these, plus a lock latch (and a case handle...), and there are only two left on Ebay (they had ten........I contacted the seller to ask if he has more of these, but did not receive a reply yet). I guess it could take MANY years to complete a set, if that would be doable at all. So I am now thinking of looking for comparable 'close enough' hardware (e.g. US made period nickel latches, which seem to be less rare).

I therefore suggest that Latestarter buys the Ebay latches, since he only needs one. Plus a spare for Mingus?

You're a good man Arch...I was holding off, waiting to see if you wanted them!
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Messages
207
Yer welcome - but now you have to find out how to age that thingie.. :hee

I know now I will never find an original FB case handle either. These were used also on a bunch of early sixties Gibson amps but with nickel, not brass ends. I found one, but it is attached to an amp carcass...and the seller is not really willing to separate it. Silly me, thinking Gibson likely would have used generic luggage hardware for their cases and amps.

Yup - those early Firebirds were something special, including the cases they came in...
 

latestarter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
4,068
Yer welcome - but now you have to find out how to age that thingie.. :hee

I know now I will never find an original FB case handle either. These were used also on a bunch of early sixties Gibson amps but with nickel, not brass ends. I found one, but it is attached to an amp carcass...and the seller is not really willing to separate it. Silly me, thinking Gibson likely would have used generic luggage hardware for their cases and amps.

Yup - those early Firebirds were something special, including the cases they came in...
I agree - my old FB3 has had a hard life, but when you strum it you can tell why.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Messages
207
I know now I will never find an original FB case handle either. These were used also on a bunch of early sixties Gibson amps but with nickel, not brass ends.

I think I now found the EXACT period handle...but again, nickel ends. Anyone needing this? Let me know.
 

copernicus

Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2007
Messages
59
Re: Case question for owners of vintage reverse Firebirds (1963-1965

Congratulations with your case, but without wanting to rain on your party: you do know that these poorly designed cases caused the necks of more than half of the original Firebirds to snap, don't you?
Gibson made the cases too shallow, causing the Firebird to rest on its outer Kluson tuner, and when pressure was put on the lid, or if a case fell over, the head would snap like a matchstick. Ever wonder why "no breaks or issues" is a standard sentence in just about every vintage Firebird ad? Well, that's why. So be very careful, and should you take your bird on the road, do like I do and buy yourself a nineties-, or modern Firebird case. They're up to the job.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2015
Messages
207
Re: Case question for owners of vintage reverse Firebirds (1963-1965

Congratulations with your case, but without wanting to rain on your party: you do know that these poorly designed cases caused the necks of more than half of the original Firebirds to snap, don't you?
Gibson made the cases too shallow, causing the Firebird to rest on its outer Kluson tuner, and when pressure was put on the lid, or if a case fell over, the head would snap like a matchstick. Ever wonder why "no breaks or issues" is a standard sentence in just about every vintage Firebird ad? Well, that's why. So be very careful, and should you take your bird on the road, do like I do and buy yourself a nineties-, or modern Firebird case. They're up to the job.

Got a 90s brown one for the Boid - I would not trust that shitty old case with ANY guitar, period. That one's only for the anal buyer's set, when the time would come to sell..
 

Hiwatt Bob

New member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
27
Re: Case question for owners of vintage reverse Firebirds (1963-1965

Got a 90s brown one for the Boid - I would not trust that shitty old case with ANY guitar, period. That one's only for the anal buyer's set, when the time would come to sell..


agree 100%.
 
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