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 Post subject: Is this thing on?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 15
Hello. New member here gearing up for my 1st kit. I live in Indianapolis and have a decent wood working shop and experience. I love to fix up old instruments but have so far only done setups and got broken down junk store guitars back in tune. Last year, I acquired a vintage 1954 Martin 0-18 which I ended up having reset and worked on by a pro and then I (long story) passed that instrument on to a good friend who is a traveling musician. That instrument didn't want to sit in my living room and is now on tour where it belongs so time to build my own as a new high end Martin is well out of my range. I did buy the wife the new 00-17L and it is sweet but I got the bug. I'm sure you understand.

Currently reading Bill Cory's books while I tool up. John Hall sent me a quote on a custom HD-28 kit the second I requested it. Fired up but not quite ready to roll. Looking forward to this project but also telling myself to slow down, enjoy, and take my time. I'll be sure to come back w/ progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this thing on?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1825
Hi. Welcome to the forum! You've come to the right place, where you'll find information, help, and loads of encouragement. Relax and have fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this thing on?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 15
Just posting back that I've decided to refurb my old broken Stella Harmony before I embark on the kit from John. About 20 years ago, I got the dumb idea to sand down my Stella and the both the top and back split and buckled as expected from what I know now. Penance and skill building time. I've ordered a new top and have been studying proper procedures from Blues Creek vids and other sources. I'm going try remove the neck, replace the top and back with some pre-joined pieces using the original ladder braces and if successful will help me feel confident that I can pull off my dream HD-28 kit. I know this is not a repair forum so hope be back soon with kit progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this thing on?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1825
That's a good idea. I bought a wrecked guitar and refurbished it before building my first guitar. I learned a lot from doing it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this thing on?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
Posts: 645
Location: Chadds Ford, PA
jread wrote:
... I know this is not a repair forum so hope be back soon with kit progress.
Not an issue here. Some excellent blogging on reconstruction/repair has taken place on the forum and your Stella plan can be a good prologue to building the kit. Don't forget to post pictures of your progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this thing on?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 15
Thanks for the encouragement. I've attached Word doc w/ 4 pictures with the "before" view of this old Stella. As I progress, I'll move over the "repair" topic but thought I'd end my intro with this:

This Stella Harmony is a bit of puzzler. The serial/model number reads H933 but this is clearly not a H933. Originally, it was painted black with the faux flame sunburst just like the H928. But this is smaller than a 928 and is bigger than 3/4 version.

The dimensions of the body are 13.25” lower bout, 8” waist, and 9.5” upper bout with a 24” scale length, joined at 12th fret so sort of a slightly smaller H928.

My best guess is that this instrument was supposed to be an H933 (which has a fixed bridge) but was messed up at the factory and repurposed or maybe a custom. You can see that the bridge pin holes were filled which I discovered under the original black paint so that was not done later.

I have the tailpiece but lost the floating bridge so plan to make one.

This guitar was my blues beater and got a lot of use in my youth. I decided unwisely to stand off all the paint one day many years ago and the top and back split and buckled. It seems possible that I could repair the solid birch top but am using this opportunity to skill up and put on a new top and back. Next step is to make a form.

I just steamed off the neck thanks John Hall’s videos so am posting this “before” view now to motivate myself to move forward.

I plan to replace the top with either Mahogany or spruce and the back with Mahogany. The sides are solid birch and are in fine shape. I also plan to re-use the original ladder bracing. If things are going well, I will put on some binding and who knows, maybe try to recreate the paint job.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this thing on?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1825
I found a similar guitar, made by Kay, in similar shape, that I used as a learning experience. I replaced the top, fretboard, and bridge, and repaired the back. I decided to make an x-braced top. I also installed binding. I remember having a similar problem with the model number.

Chicago cranked out a lot of these guitars, many destined for the Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogs. I installed a student grade sitka spruce top. It sounded good when I was finished. Birch is a great Tonewood and makes a very nice sounding guitar.

It sounds like you have a good game plan.


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