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Archtop repair

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Roland GR 88, Feb 10, 2016.


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  1. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    Toronto
    My neighbor pulled out an old archtop for me to look at recently and the sound post has fallen over. It's about the size of my finger and rattling around inside. Looks like it's been this way for a long time as the top has sunk about 1/2"-3/4" where the bridge sits.
    It looks like it's a mid 60's Italian-made Eko, branded as a Regent for an Ottawa music store of the same name. The top has checked beautifully and it's been in an attic closet so long it weighs about 2lbs - it's really, really dry.
    The guitar has sentimental value to the owner and she'd like to see it playable again so ...... is it possible to wrap the body in a damp towel or otherwise re-hydrate it to the point of being able to stand up the sound post again ?
    Any and all suggestions are welcome, thanks.

    Alex
     
  2. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    Most archtop guitars do not have soundposts in the same way that violins/cellos/etc. do.
    I would be frankly surprised to find one that was meant to have one.

    Could it be a brace that has fallen off the top?

    That amount of top settling is not unheard of for an older guitar, especially an inexpensive one.
    Rehydrating *might* help, but might not. On old violins, the procedure is to remove the top
    and use hot sandbags to re-form it into a plaster cast of the correct shape.
    That's way excessive in this case. Worst case, just make a taller bridge to get it back to playing.
     
    GKon likes this.
  3. Pics pls. We'll help you a lot better with them. ;)
     
    GKon likes this.
  4. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    Toronto
    You might be correct about the brace. It's so dry that the glue could have failed. It's hard to see through the f-holes but I'll try to get a better look inside. Pics coming ......
    Thanks
    Alex
     
    reverendrally and GKon like this.
  5. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    If it's anything like rectangular in cross-section, it's most likely a brace.
    Soundposts are almost always round in section. Again, I would doubt the presence of a post,
    though it's possible it could have been put in aftermarket by someone looking to stabilize a weak top.
    I've certainly seen stranger things...
     
  6. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88

    Sep 16, 2013
    Toronto
    Thanks Keith Guitars, it's rectangular, shaped a bit like a dog bone. I can't imagine this will be easy or cheap to fix without taking the body apart and I doubt the owner wants to sink any money into it. As it is, it looks nice hanging on the wall.
    Thanks for the replies, I'll get a pic this wk-end of the top. Maybe there's other options.
    Cheers Alex
     

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