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A Repair Question UPDATE

#1 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:05 PM

I asked this over at AGF and was met by a deafening silence. I have an old Schmidt jumbo. As is typical of these guitars it has a light ladder bracing - no popsicle bracing around the soundhole and only one brace from just beneath the soundhole to the bridge plate. The top is collapsing. I have owned this guitar for quite a while and never really gave it much thought as it plays fine. Just got some kind of an itch and decided to see if I could fix the thing. While I have repaired broken necks, replaced bindings and bridges and such, this is a new one for me. Yeah, I know probably not the best idea I have ever come up with but no guts no glory. So I humidified the heck out of the guitar and used brace jacks to slowly raise the top (and pray the bracing does not let go). While it ain't perfect, it is looking a whole lot better than it was.

My question is, would you remove the source of the humidity but leave the jack braces in there for a bit while the guitars dries out. I am thinking that if I remove them too quickly it will all go back to the way it used to be. Not a great loss as again the guitar is a good player as it was but I really hate spending all this time for nothing. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 User is offline   Victory Pete 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:11 PM

View Postzombywoof, on 09 October 2017 - 03:05 PM, said:

I asked this over at AGF and was met by a deafening silence. I have an old Schmidt jumbo. As is typical of these guitars it has a light ladder bracing - no popsicle bracing around the soundhole and only one brace from just beneath the soundhole to the bridge plate. The top is collapsing. I have owned this guitar for quite a while and never really gave it much thought as it plays fine. Just got some kind of an itch and decided to see if I could fix the thing. While I have repaired broken necks, replaced bindings and bridges and such, this is a new one for me. Yeah, I know probably not the best idea I have ever come up with but no guts no glory. So I humidified the heck out of the guitar and used brace jacks to slowly raise the top (and pray the bracing does not let go). While it ain't perfect, it is looking a whole lot better than it was.

My question is, would you remove the source of the humidity but leave the jack braces in there for a bit while the guitars dries out. I am thinking that if I remove them too quickly it will all go back to the way it used to be. Not a great loss as again the guitar is a good player as it was but I really hate spending all this time for nothing. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.


Pictures?
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#3 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:10 PM

I have a '50s Silvertone archtop where the top started caving in. I jammed a too big post under the caved in spot and worked the post vertical until the top was back where it should be. The post has remained in the guitar for about five years now, keeping the top from caving in, again.

I have another a guitar, a flat-top Kay guitar made for a Missouri music store. I took the strings off, let it be in a properly humidified room and the top went back to where it should be. Until, I put the strings back on and tightened them. Then the top caved, again.

From my experience, I'd leave the shoring up that you did in the guitar. Or, for the cost, totally replace all the bracing as it seems to me the top caved with its original bracing.

Others may disagree.

Just my two cents.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#4 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:24 PM

View PostVictory Pete, on 09 October 2017 - 03:11 PM, said:

Pictures?


This guitar dates to the early 1930s and still has the old style tuners with the worm gear below the cog. It is identical to a Schmidt Sovereign which was the top of his guitar line. There was nothing to ID the guitar when I stumbled across it but the domed back, slanted neck heel, and bracing pattern were dead giveaways that is was built by Schmidt (a number of independent Italian-American luthiers in NYC also built guitars under the Galiano name).

The burst should look familiar to all here as it was an attempt to copy that on a 1930s Gibson. This is the guitar with the pickguard I just posted elsewhere.

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#5 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:33 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 09 October 2017 - 04:10 PM, said:

I have a '50s Silvertone archtop where the top started caving in. I jammed a too big post under the caved in spot and worked the post vertical until the top was back where it should be. The post has remained in the guitar for about five years now, keeping the top from caving in, again.

I have another a guitar, a flat-top Kay guitar made for a Missouri music store. I took the strings off, let it be in a properly humidified room and the top went back to where it should be. Until, I put the strings back on and tightened them. Then the top caved, again.



That store would not happen to have been Jenkins Music was it. Reason I ask is I have a 1935 Gibson Capital archtop that was made for Jenkins. They apparently sold enough Gibsons that they were able to have guitars built for them under their own house brand name.

Thanks for the response although that is not what I wanted to hear. I know I should have removed the bridge to do this job properly. I was just being lazy. But if it goes back to its same old used to be I will just bring it to somebody who knows what they are doing. I will probably go ahead and have them replace the bridge plate and add popsicle bracing around the soundhole. This guitar is pretty rare so I probably should not have messed with it in the first place. I plan to pull everything out tomorrow and string it up. So we will see what we will see.
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Bukka White
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#6 User is offline   Tarrr 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:39 PM

ZW, hope maybe this helps a tad. I bought a project guitar for my first reset, 71' Guild F112 with similar sinker issue. After I shaved the dovetail, a carpenter friend helped me cut a tapered shim for under the fretboard tongue to comp for the sink. Total guesswork but I made the tapered shim (shows white in pic) higher than was initially needed after the reset allowing for the future bracing deflection. (if that makes sense) Saddle was very high at first but ~2yrs later the deflection brought the saddle/action back to a good place. It was a crap shoot but has held for past 3yrs, blind beginners luck would be correct.

I doubt your old braces will hold shape, fought that issue at the time, but could be wrong. Look, my pic worked :)

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#7 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 08:14 PM

View Postzombywoof, on 09 October 2017 - 06:33 PM, said:

That store would not happen to have been Jenkins Music was it. Reason I ask is I have a 1935 Gibson Capital archtop that was made for Jenkins. They apparently sold enough Gibsons that they were able to have guitars built for them under their own house brand name.

Thanks for the response although that is not what I wanted to hear. I know I should have removed the bridge to do this job properly. I was just being lazy. But if it goes back to its same old used to be I will just bring it to somebody who knows what they are doing. I will probably go ahead and have them replace the bridge plate and add popsicle bracing around the soundhole. This guitar is pretty rare so I probably should not have messed with it in the first place. I plan to pull everything out tomorrow and string it up. So we will see what we will see.


Mine is a Custom Kraft made for St. Louis Music by Kay, circa early-mid 60s. The top is still caved in, so I put a high nut on it and it's now a lap guitar for slide with high action. Sounds/plays okay for a lap slide guitar now.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#8 User is offline   aliasphobias 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 05:09 AM

I would leave the jack braces in. In my experiences (as you said) it will return from whence it came in pretty short order without them. G'luck!
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#9 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 05:35 AM

The one thing I have not done is a neck reset although I have had a few guitars on which the neck was so loose it just popped off with a little thumb pressure. In the past I have left a brace in a guitar underneath the bridge plate and it really muffled the sound. I guess I will just have to see what happens. I could look at it like the only reason I have not had to have the neck reset on this guitar is that the caving in top has lowered the bridge enough to make it not necessary. But I do you thank you guys for chiming in wit your experiences.
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#10 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 09:57 AM

After a couple of weeks of using brace jacks and supports, adding humidity and allowing the to dry, I decided to see where I stood. While I was lazy and did not remove the bridge (which I really should have) and the top was not perfectly flat it was a whole lot better. So I crossed my fingers and strung guitar up without leaving any support posts in. The top has at least thus far remained stable and not gone back to its used to be. As I figured the action is now a bit higher when you get down past the 7th fret. But I have plenty of saddle to lower the action if I want. I figure I will leave it be for now and see how it does over the winter.
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#11 User is offline   Murph 

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 07:15 AM

Cool project....
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