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Gibson Cromwell Parts

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Hi all,


This is my first time on the forum. I wasn't sure if this should go in vintage or restoration because it's a little of both, but I chose this one. I recently inherited an old acoustic guitar, which I believe may be a Gibson Cromwell. My grandfather bought it in the 30s. Judging from the label I believe it was from a Montgomery Wards catalog. Here is a link to a few pictures I took the other day.


Gibson Cromwell Pictures


First off, can any of you confirm what this is? It looks like a Cromwell to me and the dates match up, but it doesn't have the logo on the head like most do.


Second, as you can see in the pictures it's missing two screws on the tuners. I've looked in hardware stores and it seems to be a 4-40 slotted oval head machine screw, but I can't seem to match the threading. Any idea where I could find these?


Third, the pickboard is unattached. From what I've seen there is usually some sort of right angle bracket that the pickboard attaches with, but I don't have it. Where could I find the bracket and screws?


Finally the bridge is no longer attached. I'm sure I can find some information on the forums for fixing this, but I just thought I'd mention it.


I didn't include pictures of the case, but its a black leather case, with a purple velvet interior. Did these guitars normally come with a case? Could this be the original?


Thanks so much. I look forward to any advice. I'm really excited to get this back in playing shape! \:D/

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Hey Darg! First of all, welcome, and I think that you chose the right section for your questions. I am guessing that you are new to guitars and I share your excitement over getting it back to playing condition.

This is an archtop-style guitar and the bridge is not meant to be attached to the top. The strings attache to the tailpiece and run over the bridge. the bridge remains movable to adjust intonation when tuning it.

My reference material confirms that it is 30's 'budget archtop' made for sale through M. Wards. It further states that 'some' Recording King/Ward guitars were made by Gibson, others were made by Kay, Regal and Gretsch.

From what I glean from the reference material I am certain that it is not (although similar) a Cromwell. I lean toward a Ward guitar built by Kay or Regal. I come to this conclusion from the lack of a name on the peghead and a lack of a serial # on the back of the peghead. However, details are 'dicey' for guitars like this and of this era.

I would suggest finding a 'good' ol' music store that may have extra parts in their repair shop and pull some screws from some old,broken tuners that will work on yours. Have them string it and set it up, tune and intonate it for you.




I had to revisit after looking at your pictures again ! The build and finish do look of Gibson quality.....so it could be [confused] There are a few more experts on the forum that may shed light. The pickguard is awesome and will really 'dress-up' the Ol' Gal. You can find replacement brackets for this....or may find one in the parts can of that Ol' music store.


For further clarification, what are the dimensions of the body (thickness also)


Good Luck, Rod

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Thanks for the info Rod. You're correct, I am very new. This is the second guitar I've owned. I went ahead and took some measurements according to the diagram on this page (Guitar Measurement Diagram)


Lower Bout Width 16"

Upper Bout Width 11 1/2"

Body Length 20 1/4"

Overall Guitar Length 41"

Body Depth (lower) 3 1/2"

Body Depth (upper) 3 3/8"

Waist 9 3/8"

Bottom Neck Width 2 1/4"

Top Neck Width 1 3/4"

Neck Length 14"


I've been in contact with Jake Wildwood from Antebellum Instruments who's been extremely helpful (he's also got some great instruments on his site [thumbup] ). He suggested finding the tuners and pickguard parts on the Stewart MacDonald website, specifically the "Golden Age" repro tuners. Does anyone have experience with these parts.


Also he noted I may have to do maintenance on the inside braces and outer seams before stringing it. How would I go about evaluating the current state of the braces and seams?



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Hey Darg, I still can,t nail down the maker/model for you (too many variables).... As far as Stew-Mac products go....."Top-Notch".....As far as loose seams or braces.....get a flashlight and small inspection mirror and examine the interior through the F-holes. Rap on the guitar body(top and bottom) and listen for any rattles. Visually inspect where the top and back of the guitar joins the sides.

I will check Jake out, Rod

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