Jump to content

Recommended Posts

This old Harmony had a custom maple neck built for it. The neck is good and straight but the dovetail joint is all broken up. A earlier attempt to hold the neck back was a bolt thru the heel. This resulted in a broken heel, probably because of a poor fit at the joint. [:(]

I've glued the heel and now plan to build a new dovetail with Bondo, shape it to fit perfectly and glue it all back up with carpenter's glue. Is this a reasonable approach or should I be gluing small pieces of maple where the dovetail is broken?

I was able to peel the fingerboard off and knock the neck loose by steaming the glue joints. That is why I want to stick with white glue, so that the guitar can always be repaired.

Click to Enlarge
tn_20131122135225_gtar1.jpg

38.12 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_20131122135249_gtar2.jpg

32.9 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_2013112213538_gtar3.jpg

40.64 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found some good stuff, a two part epoxy wood filler. It will take glue better than Bondo, I agree.

I think it might be a Kay, two notches up from a Harmony.

Jim, animal glue, like when they were using horses for transportation? [:)]

I imagine it would be a feedlot by-product nowadays.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I could have mixed flour with Bondo epoxy , that I have in the shop, for no cost, instead of buying two little cans of P C Woody, for $25? [:-dunce]

http://www.pcepoxy.com/our-products/woo ... -woody.php

I imagine it's epoxy and sawdust. But it's going to be just the right mix. If I tried flour, I'd probably get the mix wrong, like last time I tried pancake batter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it might be a Kay, two notches up from a Harmony.

Not really. Harmony, with just a couple exceptions, used solid wood for tops and sides. Not the best quality woods though, but it was one of the better brands that was mass produced for the department stores. Kay is usually laminated tops and sides, except for some of their arch top models.

Every one of the dept. store brands needs a neck reset - from the day it was built. Most got thrown out from frustration with the action, so they are dwindling in numbers, resulting in some higher values if fully worked into playable condition.

If you don't get the angles of the dovetail just right, it will end up being a wallhanger. I think it's important to replace the missing wood with wood and use hide glue.

As one of my woodworking hobbies, I worked with a luthier for a couple weeks, have restored or rebuilt just over a half-dozen acoustic guitars and built 2 from scratch. I have access to some amazing tools, supplies and tonewoods.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to a gun shop and purchase some fiberglass bedding mix and build back the taper. Back in the 70's I used to use that stuff to repair hundred year old broken gun stocks. You mix it, stain it to match and use a putty knife to form it before it sets up. Once it sets up you can machine it or hand form it using files, chisels, etc..

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't put Bondo on wood. For wood and architectural repairs, I'm a big fan of the Smith & Company products. www.smithandcompany.org

That said, I wouldn't use fillers on a guitar. Cut back and rebuild.

Back when I used to work with wood, I'd use animal glue for projects like this.

Try to buy a new neck.. don't use bondo.. that's a tone-killer... looks pretty junky to this guitar-player... I had a Harmony Rocket (elec) circa 1967...not bad but not great either... Maybe peruse 'Stewart-Macdonald" website.. Google them..

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif 1400721_752010431479004_1764219647_o.jpg

450.37 KB

Shot taken a few weeks ago in an old house in Medfield, MA. A fund-raiser for the place. That is me at far-L with the current band I am in, 'The Fathoms' (Surf Rock band Boston). We are having a blast. Old Fender Deluxe (1967) with new Squier Jazzmaster (uber-thick flat-wound strings). The tone I'm getting is awesome.. Notice my 'stomp box' .. the old Tremolo-Reverb switch (only). I'm guitar #2 supporting my old friend Frankie (on old Jazzmaster/old deluxe).

Link to post
Share on other sites

This guitar has solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides, so it is back to being a Harmony, thanks Bill. I got Kay from what somebody posted on the 'net, same body and no markings on the headstock. Do people just make sh*t up for fun?? [:)]

The tone will already be kind of dead, so I wonder if a quarter ounce of epoxy resin will kill it worse? But I have found some hard maple, so will compromise by fitting some wood to the dovetail and filling small gaps afterwards.

Hey, Rob, any UTube links for the Fathoms? Is that a 7 foot ceiling? I would need earplugs. [:)]

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some videos.. .. most with other crews on the plane.. That gig was great... I was surprised that a lot of people came out... great nite.. We try to play quieter with energy ... 'if necessary'.. You can see Frankie in action in a lot of them... The music is mostly written by Frankie.. we also do covers of a lot of Ventures, Shadows, quirky ancient surf-teen bands (like the Surf Teens) ... And a fistful of rockabilly.. great guys... we don't take ourselves too seriously and the object is to have a good time playing music.. :)

There are apparently fans of the band's music in other countries... one video shows a group in Germany covering Frank's stuff... kind of unreal.. another stop on the twilight zone.. Like today's inspection: 1802... sno-man steam, the entire gamut of stuff... eeesh..

Click to Enlarge
tn_20131123141641_IMG_6202.jpg

55.68 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

I once attempted to rebuild a twelve string guitar that I bought in a flea market. I butchered it and threw it away. I envy people that have the ability and patience to work on guitar (and have play and sound decent). Good Luck with your repair.

My son and I have some guitars and basses that we have acquired over the last few years. I found this one on the side of the road as it was being brought to the curb to be thrown away. It is a Japanese copy of a Fender Bass. There was a time when there were a bunch of companies selling knock-off Fender guitars. Does not play very well but is worth more than what I paid.

Click to Enlarge
tn_20131123172052_Conn%20Bass.jpg

22.56 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

1802... sno-man steam, the entire gamut of stuff... eeesh..

Wow....haven't seen one of those in a while.

It's cool you play. I used to have a kit and played with some buds, but progressive carpal tunnel from trade work has flattened my drumming career.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...

The old Harmony flat top sat on a shelf for 30 years with a broken neck, but is now back to life. I used a bit of maple and a bit of PC Woody epoxy.

I rebuilt the dovetail and carefully sanded it down to a super tight fit. Even so, when I tapped it home with glue, it rotated a tiny bit. So I had to bring the bass side of the neck up a hair with epoxy filler.

To find the high spots for sanding and feathering the epoxy, I rubbed it with a dirty old tri-square.

To get the intonation right, I put two strings on it and played the 12th fret both ways before clamping the fingerboard down with glue.

It could use cosmetic touchs where I glued cracks and such. The pickguard is tortoise shell that I got somewhere.

I would describe the tone as clear and bright.

Click to Enlarge
tn_20131222203523_Harmny2.jpg

46.05 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_20131222203626_Harmny3.jpg

27.65 KB

Click to Enlarge
tn_20131222204351_harmonyad.jpg

60.66 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

What has you convinced this is a Harmony? Did you find some other documentation for it?

One of the most telling distinctions between manufacturers is the shape of the headstock. Most of us who play can usually identify a make the second we see the head, whether it's a Martin, Gibson, Ovation, or whatever. You might see a change in specific electric models but, almost never with acoustic guitars

The head on yours doesn't match a single Harmony, or Kay for that matter, that I can find. Every Harmony I've found a picture of, has the same style head as the ones pictured in the ad you have posted.

Edit; Google "Supro" acoustic guitars. Take a look at the heads on those. They're real close to the same shape, and from the same era.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...