I came by this guitar (best guess is a 1963) from my wife's uncle. It has been terribly mistreated. It was apparently stored down in a basement for years next to a furnace or radiator and has obviously had a lot of issues because of it. I decided to take a stab out of making it a player because I loved the idea of having a vintage guitar I could actually play. First Luthier I think did a pretty good job. The issues were...
1. Loose bracing
2. Bridge pulling up (see side pics)
3. Remove weird plastic rosette someone had put there to protect from strumming damage
4. Straighten wavy gravy pickguard and reglue
5. Replace bridge with non adjustable bridge and setup
6. Remove janky 1/4" plug someone drilled into side of the guitar
The idea was this would get it to playable condition and it would let me decide whether I wanted to spend more to get it right or just keep it as a heirloom. I've decided I REALLY like the sound of it and want to continue playing it. I decided to keep the custom teenage artwork on the front as a part of the guitar's story even though I don't love it.
1. There's a pretty big belly on the guitar. Not sure if this can ever be fixed but the repair guy compensated and the action is awesome. I was warned it might be a good idea to use light strings
2. The rosette still has some structural issues and could prolly be shored up.
3. While replacing the strap button with a straplock button the heel block cracked off (even though I used the same screw). I glued it back but there's a line that looks unsightly (see pics)
4. Considerable fretwear on the first 4 frets
5. Considerable scalloping of the fretboard in the first 4 frets
6. Top continues to crack even though I've been careful to keep it humidified. I'm not sure if it a problem with the belly below the bridge or something else but there's a new crack I diascovered this week
7. The tuners aren't great. I removed the original because several were very stiff and replaced it with a set of allparts aged vintage set which look good but still aren't very accurate, since it's a frankenstein I wonder if plugging the holes and putting Grover or something else on there might make sense?
I guess what I'm asking is WWGGFD? Would you spend the money (if these problems can even be fixed? I don't know that they can be) to get it into stable playing shape? The other option is to just stop and play it occasionally and admire it. I plan to get another J-50 (prolly the 60's original version) to play out with etc. But I'd kind of hate to never play this one again.
Pics are here: The first four are how I received the guitar the rest are post first round of repairs. https://imgur.com/a/OmK20Jz