Creating the Tone Ring


Now there’s a topic that won’t fit into a few paragraphs. There’s the “Holy Grail” of the pre-war Gibson the whole way to wood tone rings. We use brass hoop tone rings in some, First Quality Music in others and pour our own as well. There are many discussions on what mix makes the best tone ring.  And just like the rest of the components, it depends a lot on the sound and type of music you want to play. The alloys can be tweaked to help in those areas. It is really a satisfying thing to see ingots melted and poured into a sand-cast mold then opened up to see it solidified into a new shape.  Once attached to the rotary table, it’s milled down to the dimensions needed, then over to the lathe to final sand to a bright finish. I was having trouble holding it tight enough in the lathe to machine without squeezing it out of shape because of the side walls only being .079 thick. I can now put it in light enough to sand without distorting it. Corky felt they had a deeper tone and very good sustain.

The next step...Applying Finish.