Visit the Gibson Factory in Bozeman Montana. For over 128 years, Gibson has shaped the sound of music with their handcrafted American-made guitars played by some of music’s most renowned artists.
Gibson Acoustic Guitars’ Bozeman manufacturing facility, employing skilled artisans who craft their iconic acoustic guitar collections, recently announced an expansive expansion to meet increased demand.
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Is Gibson still giving tours in the Gibson factory in Bozeman Montana?
At this moment (Oct 2023), we know Gibson is not offering Factory Tours in Bozeman. To our knowledge, Gibson has yet to start delivering them again.
Please consider this article a virtual tour of the Gibson factory in Bozeman.
The Gibson Factory in Bozeman, Montana
The Gibson Guitar Corporation is an American company that manufactures acoustic guitars and other musical instruments. With more than a century of experience, the brand is renowned for its superior craftsmanship.
The company is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, but also maintains a manufacturing facility in Bozeman, Montana, where many of its acoustic guitars are created. Over 100 full-time employees use traditional techniques and modern manufacturing processes on custom-built machinery to craft some of the world’s iconic Gibson acoustic guitars, such as the J-45, Hummingbird, and Dove models.
Gibson Acoustic Guitars takes pride in the attention to detail and quality control they put into every acoustic guitar it produces, with each step overseen by a team of workers dedicated to crafting the finest instrument possible.
In addition to acoustic guitar models, Gibson produces several electric ones here. These guitars utilize machining processes similar to acoustic models but with greater attention to detail and quality control than most of their counterparts.
In addition to acoustic guitars, the Gibson Factory in Bozeman, Montana, also manufactures other music products like bass guitars and drum kits. Although these guitars are more expensive than those sold elsewhere, they are all of exceptional quality – making the extra expense worthwhile.
The Gibson Factory in Bozeman, Montana, is the birthplace of some of the world’s most beloved acoustic guitars. Some of the finest luthiers craft each instrument meticulously – from sanding, assembly, and binding raw wood to painting, buffing, and tuning each guitar.
In this episode of “The Process,” Robi Johns (Senior Product Development Manager, Gibson Acoustic) and Don Ruffatto (Product Development Manager, Gibson Acoustic) take viewers through the initial steps in crafting these unique acoustic guitars in a factory that does more handwork than any other major manufacturer. These guitars boast an authentic sound from carefully chosen tonewoods that improve with age; each dovetail neck joint is fitted by hand.
Bozeman, Montana, marked the beginning of Gibson’s flat-top guitar revival in the eyes and minds of artists, dealers, and fans alike. Bozeman’s dry climate made it ideal for acoustic guitar production – providing plenty of inspiration to artists, dealers, and enthusiasts alike.
After several years in Kalamazoo and Nashville, Gibson relocated their acoustic guitar division to Bozeman in 1987. As their manufacturing facility expanded rapidly, Gibson decided to more than double their Bozeman acoustic guitar factory and add a custom shop and showroom for better customer service.
For over 119 years, the Gibson acoustic guitar has been a mainstay in music. Notable artists that have featured its classic sound include Slash, Jimmy Page, Sheryl Crow, and Luke Combs – to name a few!
Due to a surge in demand for acoustic guitars during the COVID-19 lockdown pandemic, Gibson responded by investing in an expansion that more than doubled their facility size. The new 25,000-square-foot addition will create between 100 and 200 jobs.
This expansion includes additional manufacturing space, a more extensive machine shop, enhanced custom shop capabilities, and an artist showroom commemorating Gibson’s 119-year handcrafted acoustic guitar heritage. This modernized facility will enable Gibson to produce more acoustic guitars without compromising quality standards.
The Custom Shop
The Gibson Factory in Bozeman, Montana, is home to skilled artisans who continue the company’s legendary tradition of acoustic excellence. Utilizing dovetail neck joints, hide glue, domed tops, and nitrocellulose lacquer. They craft guitars that will last years of playing and show their age gracefully over time.
The Custom Shop at Gibson is a highly sought-after division, with many people visiting to have their dream guitar built from the ground up. Whether you want to recreate an artist’s piece or have your beloved Gibson reissued with updated specs, the Custom Shop is the place for it all.
In addition to offering new Gibson guitars, The Custom Shop also carries an extensive selection of other musical products. Plus, visitors are welcomed on guided tours through their factory to learn how guitars are constructed.
Experience the custom shop firsthand on Gibson TV with Robi Johns and Don Ruffatto as they take you through the initial steps of crafting acoustic guitars at their famous factory.
Guitarists worldwide have played Gibson acoustic guitars for over a century, helping define music genres such as folk strummers and hard rock ballads. From folk to hard rock ballads, these instruments have shaped generations of guitarists and still do today.
As one might expect, multiple steps are involved in crafting a Gibson acoustic guitar. Each step must be meticulously done for an instrument that sounds as beautiful as it looks – an exacting process!
The initial step in building a guitar is carefully selecting the wood. Once chosen, it’s carefully cut into the desired shape before being glued on top and polished until perfect. Finally, multiple coats of nitro-cellulose lacquer are sprayed over everything – this requires several passes with great skill before each coat cures between each application.
It can be a long, laborious process that takes much time and energy; however, the outcomes are well worth all the trouble.
Once an acoustic guitar is finished, it undergoes a final inspection and tuning by a Gibson employee before being packed up and sent off to musicians worldwide.
Gibson acoustic guitars are known for their impeccable craftsmanship, which is one of the reasons why so many artists choose Gibson to craft their instruments.
Gibson plans to expand their Bozeman, Montana, acoustic factory to meet growing demand. This expansion will create between 100 and 200 additional jobs. Read this news article by Gibson.
Gibson also manufactures electric guitars at its Bozeman facility, in addition to acoustic models. These include Les Paul, SG, Flying V, and Explorer models.
Currently, Gibson is no longer offering guided tours in Bozeman, Montana.