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Thread: Build Thread: Stans 57 Harmony Jazz project

  1. #1
    GAStronomist stan's Avatar
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    Some months ago now, I bought a 1957 Harmony Master acoustic guitar off ebay.
    It came from the USA and the owner had looked after it well.

    It landed in Australia in great condition, very honest and considerate seller, for under $400 all up. Yep, landed to my door and and old hard case as well. Sometimes you get a bargain.

    It was always my plan to refinish this and add a pickup to make it an electrified jazz guitar - not that I can play jazz, but as we all know - that is beside the point.

    My inspiration was the Godin 5th Avenue series.

    He is the Harmony as initially received:











    The block markers are simply painted on, and the fret board is a darkened version of something much lighter. The body is all birch.

    The model is H945, as can be seen here through the F hole:



    A bit hard to tell from my pics, but it is really nice condition for its age and what else is on offer of this type.

    But I want a different look, so off with the finish. Yes and that was in pretty good nick too, sorry to all the purists out there:










  2. #2
    GAStronomist stan's Avatar
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    A few dings in the back marked out for more sanding, note small crack on the right of the pic too (most of the offers on ebay have full length body cracks...):







    Need to fix this too:




    Now hand sanded to 400 grit.

  3. #3
    GAStronomist stan's Avatar
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    The neck has a bit of a forward bow, with a straight edge there is about a 2mm gap above the 7th fret and covers most of them.
    Had a bit of a look on the web on repairing these.
    They have a truss rod, but it is internal and not accessible...

    So here is one way to do it:



    Clamped up and the pressure on the neck slightly forces it into more of a position of relief - apparently after a few days I should check again. There is actually a heated bar much like my setup that fixes this in a few hours...

    Since this will need a refret, I am also toying with possibly changing the fingerboard. This one is very flat, like a classical guitar, and I have been thinking of something more like a 12" radius, and in ebony or rosewood...

    There is a small separation up near the nut, so I imagine that with a bit of stream and a scraper, I should be able to get it off... Don't know if it's worth the effort, but I'm tending to think in that direction.


  4. #4
    Mentor lawry's Avatar
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    Wow Stan. Looks like you may have scored really well there. I'm going to be following this thread very closely cos playing jazz is right up there for me.

    Oh, and I'm no purist ;-)

  5. #5
    Overlord of Music gavinturner's Avatar
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    Beautiful guitar Stan! I'm very envious over here. That's an amazing project you have yourself there. If you could get the fretboard off it solves all your problems. Still I'm not sure I could successfully attempt it. Good Luck!! Watching your project with keen interest now - this is going to be an even greater guitar when you are done with her.

    cheers,
    Gav.
    --
    Build #01: BC-1
    Build #02: ST-1
    Build #03: JR-1DC
    Build #04: ES-2V
    Build #05: ESB-4 (GOTM July 2014)
    Build #06: RC-1
    Build #07: MK-2
    Build #08: TLA-1
    Build #09: JR-1DC
    Build #0A: LPA-1
    Build #0B: STA-1 (GOTM April 2015)
    Build #0C: MKA-2
    Build #0D: LP-1M
    Build #0E: JB-1
    Build #0F: FS-1

    Find me:
    https://www.facebook.com/firescreek.guitars/
    http://www.guitarkitbuilder.blogspot.com.au/

  6. #6
    GAStronomist stan's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. The LP is still having curing woes and subsequent small repairs, so thought I'd get onto this one.

    Getting the fretboard off doesn't seem too tough, but I still need a straight neck to put another one on. Also, I need to make it the exact same scale and this will be a fiddle. I can make existing measurements,etc, but a new skill for me.

  7. #7
    Mentor Nickosaurus's Avatar
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    Love it. Always wanted a nice jazz box.

    Keen to hear you play some licks on this when it's done!

  8. #8
    GAStronomist stan's Avatar
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    Thanks Nick - I only hope my repair skills are better than my playing

  9. #9
    Mentor jarrod's Avatar
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    Geez Stan what an intense project. This is a serious restoration and one to be proud of. this in my eyes screams traditional finish and I would be talking to The Gav man and DB on this one.please do keep us informed on the progress of this beauty as we could all learn something from you on this.

  10. #10
    Great project Stan. Just love the whole essence.

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