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  #31  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:19 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Here's some new pics!
Top having been cleaned and all the braces removed. Now gluing the crack, heading south toward the bridge. There's a pretty prominent warp in the top so Steve's gonna see how it holds and flexes, once that crack is cured then proceed from there with checking the stability of the top overall, then cleat it for added stability.


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  #32  
Old 11-21-2017, 12:58 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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I meant to add that Steve said the first order of business is to render the top stable enough to pass judgement on it's condition before moving on to the braces.
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  #33  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:23 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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That is a nicely figured piece of birch. As these old all-birch guitars are so easy to find and so cheap to buy I used to occasionally experiment with them. I took one in particular which had an unusually pretty top and converted it into a Big Joe Wlliams 9 string lap guitar. While I was at it I enlarged the soundhole and refinished it. A couple of folks told me they liked the way it looked so much they offered to buy it off of me.

But in your case, I would also definitely want to leave the graphics be. The cool factor is undeniable.
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  #34  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:32 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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I'm also in the middle of a Regal project. This one is all solid woods. Spruce over mahogany. I took out the ladders, added X bracing, Kimsey brace, herringbone back-strip, back center-strip, installed a truss bar, etc..... It has a solid Brw fretboard. I like tinkering with these old guitars - especially the dovetail ones with great materials and factory-mass-production craftsmanship and assembly. My favorite is my moniker - the under-appreciated Harmony H165.




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  #35  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:34 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Thanks zombywoof! Iíll bet that was quite a sound too! Your guitar mustíve been somewhat of a guess as to what you would get in the end but itís always nice when it ends up with folks trying to buy it from ya.
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  #36  
Old 11-21-2017, 01:38 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Hey H165, interesting bracing, what made you decide on it, or was it merely a try then check process?
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  #37  
Old 11-21-2017, 03:33 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
I'm also in the middle of a Regal project. This one is all solid woods. Spruce over mahogany. I took out the ladders, added X bracing, Kimsey brace, herringbone back-strip, back center-strip, installed a truss bar, etc..... It has a solid Brw fretboard. I like tinkering with these old guitars - especially the dovetail ones with great materials and factory-mass-production craftsmanship and assembly. My favorite is my moniker - the under-appreciated Harmony H165.
I am not as much a sucker for the H165 as I am for the figure 8 body H-162.

I always love to see one of these old guitar having new life breathed into it.

Here is the spruce top, maple body Regal that is in line to be my next project. I may just go ahead and replace the bridge with a pin bridge. Not sure of where I want to go with it but the lumber it is built with does make it a candidate for a full conversion. As it is perfectly playable as is though there is no great hurry.



Here is my last Regal "conversion" - the 9 string lap guitar. I left the bracing as is but not much else.

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  #38  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:02 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Wow! Thanks for showing these two guitars, zombywoof! I love that Regal, that pickguard and the whole guitar is AWESOME! It's great that it already plays even though not converted yet. That Lap is an interesting guitar too! Never seen one before.

Steve just sent me another email stating that the process for removing all the glue and gunk was this way,,,,
first he chipped away at the old glue, by hand with a razor blade. Then he used 80 grit sanding ceramic discs to clean and finishing with a nice Festool orbital finish sander.
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  #39  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:25 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looburst View Post
Wow! Thanks for showing these two guitars, zombywoof! I love that Regal, that pickguard and the whole guitar is AWESOME! It's great that it already plays even though not converted yet. That Lap is an interesting guitar too! Never seen one before.

Steve just sent me another email stating that the process for removing all the glue and gunk was this way,,,,
first he chipped away at the old glue, by hand with a razor blade. Then he used 80 grit sanding ceramic discs to clean and finishing with a nice Festool orbital finish sander.
I had to swap out the bridge on the Regal to get the action down to make it playable so it will still need a neck reset. There was nothing on the guitar to identify it but there is no mistaking the headstock. My guess is the guitar was built for the Oahu Publishing Co. You probably never will see a guitar the likes of that 9 string again. I only posted it to give you an idea of how nice a birch top can look with a refinish. I actually had one guy want it because he said it was a piece of folk art and intended to hang it on his wall. Good Grief!

Yeah, I have cleaned out all kinds of glue and gunk from inside guitars. Every time I start I mutter a silent prayer to the Guitar Gods - please do not let it be epoxy.

You have inspired me to talk with Steve about the Regal and a mid-1930s spruce/mahogany Kay I own. The last two guitars I worked on turned out to be more involved than I was expecting and took a lot out of me. So I am not so eager to start up another project at the moment. I am also sure Steve or H-165 would do a far better job than I could. I pretty much just muddle my way through and hope that my luck holds.
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Last edited by zombywoof; 11-21-2017 at 05:39 PM.
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  #40  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:57 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Yep, this was old epoxy too. He said it was very labor intensive but the end result is always worth it. Better than me, I would've given up, probably. But I guess when you've done enough of these, as he has, then it's just part of the job.

Yeah, that guy was crazy to think it should just be a wall hanger! I wanna play that thing myself! Or at least try to.
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  #41  
Old 11-21-2017, 06:35 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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Quote:
..interesting bracing, what made you decide on it,
This is standard Martin style x bracing from a model D, modified to suit the space and top size. It's extremely forward shifted (right up against the hole) and the bridge plate floats (Martin plates touch, or are tucked under, the X braces). These braces are also thinner than D braces, as it's an 0/00 size guitar. The trapezoid you see up at the top is an oversize version of a Bryan Kimsey design. It helps prevent top collapse and joint creep, thus delaying neck resets.

Quote:
I am not as much a sucker for the H165 as I am for the figure 8 body H-162.
I stand corrected. I have not found a guitar in this category which outshines my old figure 8 body H-162. The problem is that they are so dang hard to find. Some players say this is the best Harmony acoustic configuration ever made. But, there are also H-165s in this configuration, so that would be my keeper. I was lucky to get one in decent shape:


Last edited by H165; 11-21-2017 at 06:40 PM.
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  #42  
Old 11-21-2017, 07:16 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
I stand corrected. I have not found a guitar in this category which outshines my old figure 8 body H-162. The problem is that they are so dang hard to find. Some players say this is the best Harmony acoustic configuration ever made.
They are not the easiest guitar to find but not even near something like an opaque yellow Gibson J-35 (and not near as expensive). I have run across two of Figure 8 H-162s in the past 6 or so months but both were in wretched condition with the owners wanting way more than they were worth. I have seen them pop up from time to time on that Shopgoodwill site. There are folks out there who work in small guitars shops though that know I am looking for one in nice condition and sooner or later one will come in on trade and I will get the call I am waiting for.

The bracing I want to try in a smaller body guitar is what Gibson used in the early 1930s - a tall and knife edge thin un-scalloped X. Those old guitars have a lot of punch.
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Last edited by zombywoof; 11-21-2017 at 07:32 PM.
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  #43  
Old 11-22-2017, 12:43 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Ok, here's the latest. Steve says the glued crack did it's job beautifully, giving flex to the top but no give at the glued crack. YEAH!!! Now he said he will steam the top over the next several days to try and diminish that warp on the top, around the sound hole. We are going to talk bracing on Monday. Stay tuned!
Looks great in the pics he sent!

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  #44  
Old 11-22-2017, 01:37 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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Very nice job keeping the top looking good. This guitar will have the short sustain associated with this top wood.
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  #45  
Old 11-22-2017, 01:46 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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Thanks, yep, should be a lot of fun to play. I'm going to check with Steve, when we get there, to see if there's any solvent he could use on the top to remove some of the grunge or grime/dirt that have darkened the images somewhat, without removing any of the paint.
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