A bit more than making a new bridge

This is my dad’s first and, if I’m not mistaken, only guitar.

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Its a Harmony archtop, probably from the mid 50’s.  Dad just told me he got it in third grade.  This has been moved around a bunch.  I had it for a few years and most recently my sister had it.  I just got it back with the intention of making a new bridge for it and cleaning it up a bit.  Turns out that it needed much more.

The neck dovetail was pulling out, which cracked the side.  I later found out it cracked the neck block as well.

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So I decided to see what I could do with it, both for experience, and so it was playable and not destined for the trash.  This was a first for me.  He’s what I did, in pictures:

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Well, that was exciting.  I used hot hide glue for all repairs.  I put the neck back on.  Nice and straight.

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Now on to making the new bridge, in pictures:

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The finish was pretty rough.  I could have spent a ton of time on it or even refinished it.  Not being a valuable instrument, I just did some minor touch ups.

It plays much better then it ever did.  The ridiculously high action that I always remembered is gone and it plays and sounds pretty well.

Glad I gave that a shot.

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Quick bridge rebuild and replacement

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Here is that wacky, cheap, 24” scale guitar that I rebuilt and replaced the bridge on.  The original bridge had no saddle, so I made the new one and put in a rosewood saddle.  I may replace it with bone. It sounds OK, but its really small for my hands.

I was hoping to glue the bridge on guitar number one today, but the humidity spiked in my shop.  Its cool and wet out so the AC didn’t bring it down.  So I’m on my second dehumidifier now, hopefully it brings the humidity back under 50%.  If so, then I’ll glue the bridge tomorrow.

I made new bridge clamps in the mean time and can still do more prep work, making clamping cauls, etc…

Finished finishing… and some bridge glue up practice

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Ok. I’m calling the French polish done. I will not touch them again, I promise. Shellac and alcohol has been put away. I’ll let them cure for a couple days. Meanwhile I practiced a bit by removing and making a … Continue reading