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Educate me on Chainsaw Cases . . .

midgod07

New member
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
4
Hello there - some experience with vintage LPCs, but not a ton. I've had a '79 LPC that had a chainsaw case and an '81 that also did. I'm looking at purchasing my dream guitar, it's a 1980 LPC but it has a "custom case" that the seller stated is what it came in. It's not a dealbreaker for me but I know that chainsaw cases can fetch $300-400 . . . can someone clue me in on what's supposed to have a chainsaw case and what isn't?
 

Tollywood

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Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
360
I have an ‘81 and an ‘89 with chainsaw cases, and an ‘82 and ‘85 that have aftermarket cases. I guess over the years the previous owners replaced the chainsaws. The lack of a chainsaw case wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for me, but I would prefer the original chainsaw case.
 

J T

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,258
There are several versions of the Gibson "Protector" case. These cases have become known as the Chainsaw case.

The late seventies are the earliest version with two plastic latches and a padded handle and a red padded interior. Not many of these around. I saw one of these a few years back. Never personally saw one of them again. The next version of that case has three plastic latches and a padded handle with a piano hinge holding the top and bottom together. The interior is red. The Gibson logo is molded into the top of the case. Still pretty much the same case. Les Paul Standards, The Paul, other versions of the Les Paul sized body came with that case. The next version came around 1980, 81 and is the bigger version and looks very different. It has hard plastic and metal latches and a non padded handle. Gibson logo is on a separate piece of plastic glued to the top of the case. Les Pauls came in that case. There was a version for SG's as well.

Well, guess what happened? Then the two and three latch cases became separated from their original guitar and were sold on eBay or wherever. Once in a while, you will see a late seventies or early eighties guitar with it's original protector case but the mentality seems to be sell the case separately. So that is why the question of "What guitar originally came in this case?" is getting more difficult to answer. But, generally, late seventies to 1980, 81 a Les Paul style guitar came with the original style protector case.
 

J T

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,258
This is a Gibson Protector Gen1, ver 2 THREE latch case. This case originally held a Gibson "The Paul" guitar. The imprinted Gibson logo was gold paint. I believe that SG's will fit in there too.

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CAGinLA

Active member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
428
When I bought my first SG in 1987 it came with a chainsaw case. I never really liked it, to be honest.
 

fernieite

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
505
Here's a lengthy thread from another forum.
 

uOpt

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
166
I have one but don't use it. One of the hinges gave up and in general they don't inspire too much confidence.
 

midgod07

New member
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
4
Amazing help guys, thanks! I ended up scoring the guitar of my dreams which did not have a Protector case. I didn't really mind giving mine up because it was a whale of a deal. I hate those things too, can easily put a hole in drywall if you're not careful!
 

Tollywood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
360
I have two chainsaw cases but I actually transport my Les Pauls in a shockproof and waterproof Gator Titan case. This thing is so sturdy and yet the inside seems so luxurious. It even has wheels. When it arrived my wife asked how much the case cost because it just looks expensive. I told her it was $360 but it’s protecting guitars that are worth $4000 and she immediately agreed that it was a wise investment.

https://flic.kr/p/2nAaPts
 

akstrat61

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Messages
1,827
I have has most all the protector cases over the years. The first red ones were nice. Guys liked them because you could put them in the over bins on jets.

About a year ago, I bought one of the new ones for my Aged Skinnerburst that I play out regularily. I think it does a great job within reason. Drop it from a two storry building, not sure any case could hold up. FWIW
 

Seeker of Rock

New member
Joined
Dec 22, 2021
Messages
15
I have an ‘85 LPC that came with a chainsaw case stock and an ‘86 prehistoric reissue that came with its stock Lifton case.

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