Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Parlor Update

Hullo again! I realized I never posted an update to my work on the Cincinnatus parlor guitar. Well, here we are then, and here are some photos! They're not the best, but they show her all patched up!

All back together, strung with silk & steel strings (lower tension and mellower) and currently providing me with a nice fingerstyle sound. I'm hoping to find some other parlors for the shop instrument rack, but good ones are few and far between.

There you can see the leavings of the severe damage to this instrument... the cracks at the soundhole at the fingerboard end are a testament to the sunken neck. Fortunately, after lots of clamping and structural repair, the top managed to "get back to normal" -- and the wild curvature of the top was flattened out, which is necessary for the integrity of the instrument. The action is, by the way, 1/8" at the 12th -- not bad.

Those old tuners are holding well and are comfortable to turn! I put my "Lone Ranger" strap on this guitar as I've been playing it quite a bit lately.

And there's the back! The neck joint had been butchered, unfortunately, so I had to build up the old dovetail joint until it fit snugly, then reinforce it with another block so that the "same old" wouldn't happen again. I'm very sure the damage to the instrument was caused by an improper factory neck block (too small and installed off-center) combined with some foolish use of heavy bluegrass-style strings tuned to concert pitch too long.

She's playing well now, though, with a very mellow, focused tone. Sounds absolutely beautiful when played fingerstyle, as many of these old guitars were intended to be played.


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