The original Gibson Mustache is quite a classic design in the Vintage Guitar collection circles.
If you own a Gibson Vintage with a standard belly bridge, you may get a “B” or a “B+” collectibility rating. On some of the models, if the guitar has a Mustache Bridge originally installed, it can raise the rating to an “A”.
I happen to be lucky to own a Vintage Gibson J45, and yes it does have the original Moustache Bridge. Many of Gibson’s Guitars were equipped with this bridge and even today, on several of their models they do have the bridge as standard equipment.
What I like about this bridge is that it singled out Gibson as in innovator in their bridge design and they could not be labeled as “us too” for copying C.F. Martin as they did with the belly bridge. The Mustache Bridge gives grace and class to any acoustic guitar and they are fun to make as well.
If you note – the plans we have available for the Vintage J45 have Gibson’s backwards belly bridge, which was typical for their acoustic flat top guitars. If you wish to substitute the Moustache Bridge for the belly bridge, I now have the drawing available for you as a free download. It will be available at the bottom of this article and it will always be available in the Free Plans Section of site.
A Word About The Mechanical Fasteners:
Unfortunately, Gibson did one thing with the Moustache Bridges that I strongly disagree with. They used mechanical fasteners to help hold the bridge in place. Whether this was just to help position the bridge for gluing or not, it is unfortunate that they did this. The fasteners are located beneath (2) Mother of Pearl dots located at either side of the end bridge pins. I have located them on the drawing.
I would recommend you not do this as you probably know how I feel about any foreign material in the bridge. I would recommend though, that you do install the MOP dots in the position shown to keep the Vintage appearance of the bridge.
Incidentally, I have not removed the metal from my old J45, as you really don’t want to mess with anything that departs from the original design. I will say though, that I am constantly fighting with myself to get that metal out of the bridge.