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Forum :: General Discussion

Bean Reissue Prototype Body


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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 05/27/2008 at 7:22 AM    Post subject: Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

On April 23, Obie posted the following post on a thread that has been removed (due to open offer for 97 Beans wanted). I wanted to start a new thread showing Obie's post, since it has some historical value and information.

Obie
--------------------------
It's difficult to read but penciled on the body it says "Proto #1, Honduran Mahogany, Travis Bean Stage 2, one piece aluminum neck/body pan". Apparently my brother worked on the project, but to what extent I don't know.

http://img143.imageshack......41/beanphase2protoze5.jpg

Cheers,
Kurt O.
--------------------------

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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 05/27/2008 at 7:22 AM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

Kurt

This is really interesting. This is the original body style (narrow horns / thick body). I would assume that Travis and Obe may have kicked this idea around in the 70s.. way before the reissue phase of the late 90s. When Travis worked on the reissues, he still went with the later style (wide horns / thin body) design. As far as I know, I didn't think Obe worked with Travis later on for the reissues, but I definitely could be wrong here.

http://www.travisbeanguit.....com/image.php?ID=bb1bf916

I wonder if they ever got to the point of prototyping the pan/neck piece?

Kurt.. thanks for sharing!
admin

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 05/27/2008 at 4:12 PM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

I really don't know much about it. I've been told that Obe did do some work on the reissues for Travis but I don't know how much or when. His buddy who hung around the shop a lot made it sound like the whole thing was designed and built there but I really doubt it. My brother had very little metal working equipment. I don't know when the switchover between narrow and wide horns was but my brother had a relatively early Artist, #331, that was disassembled that could have been used as a pattern, or Travis may have had one to use as a pattern. I don't know. Obe never mentioned anything to me about the TB reissue project. I know he and Travis had a falling out several years ago but I don't know about what exactly.

I have two blanks cut to shape, the one in the photo and another, plus a joined piece of maple with the body shape traced on it. I also have a Koa body blank, cut to shape with the edge of one side rounded over. I believe that its from the original TB run, it just looks older than the other stuff.

There maybe some notes on the reissues in my brother's stuff but it will be awhile until I get to that stuff.

Kurt

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 05/27/2008 at 4:29 PM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

Hey Kurt,
Maybe you have reasons to keep this private, but I think you should post a photo of your brother. It would be nice to put a face on the history that you have been sharing with us. Thanks again for posting this stuff and remember: no detail is too small! I am sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 05/27/2008 at 10:44 PM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

Good idea Charlie.

Here are a couple of photos one of Obe's friends and customers snuck of him. He didn't like his picture taken and would always scowl at the camera. It was something he did even as a little kid. Despite what the picture looks like, he was always open and friendly to people. People would bring a guitar in for a minor repair and he would always go over it from top to bottom, check every screw, and not charge extra. One of the reasons he was always broke.

http://img526.imageshack......g526/8074/obeshop1az7.jpg

http://img239.imageshack......g239/4171/obeshop2or3.jpg

This was his workbench.

http://img239.imageshack......mg239/858/obeshop3re1.jpg

As you can see, a ton of stuff, but organized. The first time I went in there after he died I think I just stood and looked for an hour, I was just afraid to move anything.

This is a portrait I did in Photoshop for his memorial service.

http://img143.imageshack......mg143/8118/rick2bwag2.jpg




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admin

Joined:
01 Jun 2001
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: 05/28/2008 at 9:47 AM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

Kurt

Great photos! As always, thanks for sharing.

I have some information from Bill L. (TBG Employee) regarding this body.
"I remember the wood coming in and Travis showing it to me but I never knew anything was ever done with it. The pan idea was kicked around being made out of sheet metal or machined out of solid. We decided making it out of solid was too expensive but I did make up a sheet metal neck but it was a little heaver than the aluminum. I think it was assembled but I don't know what happened to it but it was painted gray and didn't look like aluminum at all. We figured the only economical way to make the pan model was to forge it but we didn't have the finances to do that."

So it's really interesting that the later re-issues were initially conceptualized back in the early days of TBG.

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charlie

Joined:
06 Jan 2008
Posts: 250
PostPosted: 05/28/2008 at 12:22 PM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

yeah thanks Kurt

Great photos especially his workbench...Obie had very impressive organization there. You can tell that is what mattered to him. It has inspired me to straighten up my half baked workbench area. I can see the layers of years of every different tool that was needed for many different projects.

Also, Nice job on his memorial portrait. That puts all these parts and pieces in the right perspective.

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Obie

Joined:
12 Mar 2008
Posts: 76
PostPosted: 05/29/2008 at 11:11 AM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

He was very organized, he had to be considering how much stuff was packed into a 18'x20' garage. He used vertical space a lot, floor to rafters. And he tried to group boxes of similar size together because they stacked better. I found lots of boxes full of empty boxes. He would find and collect all manner of boxes and containers. Somehow he got a bunch of old 16mm film tins from a TV station that cleaned out their archives. Little plastic snap top boxes, brake shoe boxes and dozens of Tic-Tac containers, perfect for small screws. He had hundreds of empty boxes of every sort. Which, makes perfect sense, because he would have them when he needed them, but it drove me nuts because I had to open every one to make sure there was no "treasure" inside.

He made a lot of custom tools. My favorite so far is an old dinner fork with one tine cut off and another shortened with all the sharp edges filed down. Perfect for popping off stubborn knobs. Also, his workbench was very high. He was 6'-3" (so am I) and the top of the bench was about elbow height. That way, he didn't have to bend over to get close to the work.

I'm about to start building a new garage at my place and I'm going to use a lot of his ideas in it.

Kurt

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BoulderBean

Joined:
04 Feb 2004
Posts: 303
PostPosted: 05/31/2008 at 12:13 PM    Post subject: RE:Bean Reissue Prototype Body link

With people like your brother building them, it's no wonder Beans are so awesome. It's neat how much you have learned about him through this process. Thanks for your posts.

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