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Coverplate History


The Original coverplate on the Original Dobro® in the late 1920’s was of the pattern shown above as Original Fan- # 1. The Metal Instrument version # 2 and the Poinsettia  # 3 showed up later. These 3 coverplates were used on most of the Dobro® labeled Guitars until they shut down during WW II. Resonator guitars made for other retailers during that period (usually less expensive models) utilized these standard coverplates plus several other less expensive designs. These other designs were not usually found on the Dobro® labeled guitars.

It should be noted that we’re speaking of the hole pattern as being the standard for identification purposes.  For example, there were several versions of the # 1 fan pattern. They all looked the same, but… some had the 12 o’clock screw pattern, some were “flatter” than others, some had a slightly wider mounting flange, etc.

Metal guitars made by Regal used the pattern shown # 5 on some (maybe not all) of these metal boxes. This # 5 pattern showed up on some wood boxes also. We have personally seen it on a Model 45 spruce top and on several regular Regal made Model 37.    

 After the War the brothers again started making limited numbers of guitars. There are no records or sales brochures to show what coverplates they used until a Standel Co. Brochure was issued. A picture in this early brochure shows a 12 fret box with the metal box # 2 coverplate. The new line of 14 fret boxes were developed around 1962  and a later Standel Co Brochure shows the new 14 fret boxes still with the # 2 coverplate. With one exception,every brochure from this era and all new Dobros built, including those from Mosrite features this coverplate until the old  #1 pattern re-appeared in 1969.

The use of this # 2 coverplate raises a lot of questions because most history articles state that all the metal dies and tooling were lost / rusted during or after the war. This is not true. In the first place, Ed and Rudy were struggling in the 1950’s to make a living  building instruments and probably couldn’t afford the very expensive tooling for making coverplates. Then, here is a quote from one of their early 1 page brochures…”The same tools and dies are again being used to make all the parts for the old Dobro® and for the new Original.” The new Original being the new 14 fret model.   A discussion with Don Young who worked with the Dopyeras off and on from 1972 until 1988 states that much of the 1930’s tooling was used until the move to Huntington Beach. He agrees that the old tooling was used to make the coverplate and that Ed and Rudy could not have afforded the new tooling. Why they chose to use this coverplate may well be that it was the only usable coverplate tooling at the time. Also, there’s Tut Taylors comment  about the new wooden 14 fret models …”the new dobros differed from the old ones, having a 14 fret neck and body style after the old metal models, the coverplate being identical.” The new box appears much like the old metal boxes. The brothers being the brothers may well have decided on a wood replica of the old metal boxes.

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Jerry Douglas : Glide

Coming August 19, 2008


Douglas's latest recording, "Glide," marks his twelfth solo release.

Featuring nine instrumental compositions and two tracks with standout vocal performances by country music legends Travis Tritt and Rodney Crowell, it is a follow-up to his critically acclaimed, "The Best KeptSecret" (KOCH Records), and the 2007 collection, "Jerry Douglas: Best ofthe Sugar Hill Years" (Sugar Hill Records). "Glide" portrays his adventurous and eclectic musical palette as it incorporates elements ofbluegrass, country, rock, folk, Celtic, Scottish and New Orleans-inspired music. Earl Scruggs, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer, Tony Rice, Carmella Ramsey and members of his touring band including drummer Doug Belote, bassist Todd Parks, violinist Luke Bulla and guitarist Guthrie Trapp support Douglas on various tracks on his much-anticipated new album.



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NEW Reso-Nation instructional material coming soon !

Hi Reso-Nation buddies,

For various reasons, I'm discontinuing my monthly article at Guitar Sessions--thanks for all of the positive feedback about my lessons over the last year and a half. I've recommended a couple of great Dobro teachers as potential replacements, but I don't know who they'll hire.

I've been envisioning a different kind of online instructional format, and Brad Harper and I have been discussing a cool idea: I'm going to continue creating lesson plans here on Reso-Nation! I haven't settled on the details, but each lesson will probably include a written explanation of a concept with Tab, audio, and maybe video someday. I'll be coming up with new topics, and also improving and expanding on the content I wrote for Guitar Sessions with new exercises, tunes, and techniques in modern and traditional bluegrass and new acoustic styles. Ultimately, I want to provide a large variety of coherent, systematic,  high-quality instructional material that's always available on Reso-Nation. Once this section starts filling up, you'll have something to work on any time you're looking for a new technique, tune, or musical concept. This forum will be free for subscribers of Reso-Nation.  I'm looking forward to being creative about this, and I'll do my best to provide some interesting and worthwhile material. Look for new lessons to start around October. Until then, happy Dobro pickin!



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