Bob Wolfe

Coverplate History

I am going to try something new ...for me. Will try to post an article on coverplates.
This article was just recently completed by Randy Getz and I. It's the whole story, titled "The Coverplate Story". It was not intended to be the last word on accuracy, just the best we could do with all the research.
If I'm successful, it should be and attachment to this post..I think !
Bobby Wolfe

Unique Model 27 Resos

 

Unique Model 27 Dobros® from the 1930’s

These unique Dobro’s have been mentioned in publications several times.

First in my article titled "The Best Dobro in the World" published in Bluegrass Unlimited, 1993. Second In The Tom Gray Article, Vintage Guitar, 2002 and third, in Randy Getz articles posted on several Internet forums.

This write-up is a very condensed version of the original story that has been ongoing for many years

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Reso Capo History

THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF THE RESONATOR GUITAR CAPO ACCORDING TO WOLFE

By Bobby Wolfe - Published in Bluegrass Unlimited March, 2002

 

In the beginning, when a Resonator Guitar picker needed a capo to play those fiddle tunes like the banjo picker (who had a capo) (ditto the guitar picker) he looked around for one and all he got was "what’s that ?" Being resourceful, as most pickers are, he would utilize such things as popsicle sticks, toothbrush handles, miscellaneous pieces of bone, plastic or whatever, even a Chuch Key (beer can opener to you un-initiated) and he would twist it in place between the strings and the fingerboard and say "let’s git it boys".

Seriously, back when you could count all the Resonator Guitar pickers on your fingers, that IS what they used for capos! Can’t you just imagine doing that today? Well, in 1965 when I got my first box it was still the same way but I got lucky. I found both of Tut Taylors’ World Pacific albums and on one was his address. I ordered his instruction book and LP which by the way I think was the very first post WW II Reso Instructional. In that book was a sketch of the Miller capo and so I immediately ordered one.

I knew absolutely nothing about tone at the time but I knew my new capo sounded awfully different than the nut or the bar. Being made of light weight aluminum channel, it simply didn’t have the weight to sound right. That was my reasoning. So, I found a ¾ inch round chunk of brass, got my hacksaw and files and went to work. I flatted one side for lining up on the frets, notched , drilled , tapped and stole the clamp part from Miller and had my first prototype capo. It worked. Big and bulky but man, I had tone !!

Later I proceeded to buy some 9/16 brass bar, round rod and vinyl tubing. Using machines at the local Community College and my home workshop I made 18 capos.

I sold about half , and gave capos to Tut, Josh, Jerry, Mike, Gene Wooten, and probably Curtis Burch and others. This was somewhere around 1970.

Now you have the early history of the Reso capo. Here comes the evolution part.

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My status as a Reso Builder

 

My wife Bobbie and I were very active from our retirement in early 1993 through 2004. At that time, age and developing health problems caused us to realize that we needed to curtail our Motor Home traveling and all other activities. I have managed to reduce my activities as a builder to the point where I think the following statement pretty much explains it all:

""I am now building instruments on a more casual basis and working to no deadlines or schedule. I am taking no orders. I am doing no custom work. Just building some instruments to my deluxe model standard. I continue to accept no deposits. I will however take names and honor a commitment for a person to have first look at any instrument I am building.""

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