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I'm an idiot.


ksdaddy

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So I did some repairs for a guy and in lieu of payment I suggested he give me any junkers he had laying around. Mutually beneficial. I maybe had $50 worth of repair into his banjo (if that) and rather than take his money, I'd take trash. I will take any guitar trash I can get my hands on and shamelessly dump it on ebay, and if it gets $10, so be it. Once in a while someone hands me trash that ends up being a keeper, but mostly they get dumped or parted on ebay. it's a little game I play. I have fun and no one gets hurt.

 

So he gave me a trashed Harmony electric neck and body. The neck and neck plate brought $18 on ebay. Also there was a late 60s (maybe) Stella 12 string. Not a "money" Stella 12 string, just generic 60s. Sold it without the bridge and tailpiece for $50.

 

Then there was the little one.

 

It's a Harmony/Stella small guitar, stamped "S-75" (Spring 1975). Actually in pretty good shape, straight neck, etc. I believe 1975 was the last year for US made Harmony guitars. I've heard of some being "F-75" so it's not like mine is one of the last ones...but close. It was free, as stated, but was missing the bridge and pickguard. I tried 2 or 3 times to peddle it and couldn't get $10 out of it.

 

So I won a bridge for it last night for $9.99 + $6.00 shipping. In conversing with the guy, turns out he has a guard for it. $25.

 

So this 'freebie' has now cost me $40. But you know, all it took was to know that nobody WANTED it and that drove me to fix it up.

 

21kf5o0.jpg

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So I did some repairs for a guy and in lieu of payment I suggested he give me any junkers he had laying around. Mutually beneficial. I maybe had $50 worth of repair into his banjo (if that) and rather than take his money, I'd take trash. I will take any guitar trash I can get my hands on and shamelessly dump it on ebay, and if it gets $10, so be it. Once in a while someone hands me trash that ends up being a keeper, but mostly they get dumped or parted on ebay. it's a little game I play. I have fun and no one gets hurt.

 

So he gave me a trashed Harmony electric neck and body. The neck and neck plate brought $18 on ebay. Also there was a late 60s (maybe) Stella 12 string. Not a "money" Stella 12 string, just generic 60s. Sold it without the bridge and tailpiece for $50.

 

Then there was the little one.

 

It's a Harmony/Stella small guitar, stamped "S-75" (Spring 1975). Actually in pretty good shape, straight neck, etc. I believe 1975 was the last year for US made Harmony guitars. I've heard of some being "F-75" so it's not like mine is one of the last ones...but close. It was free, as stated, but was missing the bridge and pickguard. I tried 2 or 3 times to peddle it and couldn't get $10 out of it.

 

So I won a bridge for it last night for $9.99 + $6.00 shipping. In conversing with the guy, turns out he has a guard for it. $25.

 

So this 'freebie' has now cost me $40. But you know, all it took was to know that nobody WANTED it and that drove me to fix it up.

 

Darn, you big guys have all the luck. Great price.

 

21kf5o0.jpg

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Nah, your not even close. When it comes to trying to breathe life into these el cheapo Harmony and such guitars meet Woof, the Lord of the Idiots.

 

I have spent alot of time and a bit (but not too much) money trying to bringing these things (usually found in the back rooms of small music stores) back from the dead. Fortunately I was able to scavange up a bunch of part guitars so always had a good supply of bridges, tuners and what have you laying around. If it all worked out and I ended up with a playable guitar I generally just found a good home for it.

 

While most were the run fo the mill 1950s and 1960s quartersawn birch Stellas occassionally I would find a gem like a Wartime instrument with the wood tailpiece.

 

Here is one that has been hanging around for a while and has turned into a pretty good player. Kinda cool looking little guitar - a 1930s Harmony-made Supertone.

 

SupertoneS210009.jpg

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Back in the '70s, I'd pick up some pretty nice old Kay & Harmony archtops at flea markets, along with some interesting parlor guitars. Would fix them up for maximum playability & tone, and then trade for something better. Kinda tapped myself out on that sort of stuff, to the point where, at a guitar show, I almost became ill at the sight of a whole row of Harmonys!

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Yeah, I also have the 'fix'er up'er' gene. Dont really see it as a bad thing, I love tinkering, learning, tinkering some more. Dosen't just apply to guitars, I am the same way with Jeeps and 4x4's.... another hobby that can get quite expensive. I like to do alot of my own work to save $$$'s but that also leads to buying tools etc.....lol. I am also a recording engineer and an instructor, I love finding/collecting/fixing audio gear too. All my buddies get me to fix one thing or another for them from time to time.....labour of love.

 

In the grand scheme of things it's all about haveing fun and learning.... keeping the old noggin' active. i just cant sit still and do nothing, so I am either working, playing, soldering, testing, wrenching, 4x4ing or ......travelling .....yet another fave pastime...

 

Cheers

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I love tinkering, learning, tinkering some more. Dosen't just apply to guitars, I am the same way with Jeeps and 4x4's.... another hobby that can get quite expensive.

 

Having spent some time working in old Wagoneers and such I can safely say that Jeep only rhymes with cheap.

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Having spent some time working in old Wagoneers and such I can safely say that Jeep only rhymes with cheap.

 

Yeah, depending on the model the parts can be....sub-par. That is why I have pretty much no Jeep parts on my Jeep.... Custom axles , t-case , roll cage etc etc etc .....

 

 

http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/jeep_yj/4110265050/sizes/l/

 

http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/jeep_yj/4109249301/

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Done deal. He produced a very nice guard and I won the bridge on ebay. All I need is one tuner shaft (and I probably have 200 loose ones here...). I just want to make it whole again, even if it ends up being a wall hanger. I get all sentimental when I think back on the Chicago companies that closed... well any iconic makers that are no more. I grew up with Harmonys and Kays. Most were junk but it was still a part of my youth.

 

Now to dig out the buffer while I await USPS.

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I get all sentimental when I think back on the Chicago companies that closed.

The best Harmony I ever picked up for cheap was a Cremona archtop from the '30s. Carved solid spruce top, and very ornate. Also had a very nice Kay archtop with a pressed solid spruce top, and one of those uniquely shaped KayKraft mandolins from the '30. But probably my all time favorite flea market cheapo was a '30s Ward archtop, sporting a carved X-braced solid spruce top, V-shaped neck, and absolutely superb tone. Later came to discover that this instrument had been built by, you guessed it, Gibson. Back in the day, virtually no one wanted these old acoustic hollowbodies, and they'd almost always go for $10 to $20. Even managed to pick up a very interesting L-48 from the late '40s. L-48 construction can be all over the map, as evidenced by this one which had a pressed solid mahogany top, with a braced back & sides seemingly lifted from an acoustic flat-top! Good memories.

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Nah, your not even close. When it comes to trying to breathe life into these el cheapo Harmony and such guitars meet Woof, the Lord of the Idiots.

 

I have spent alot of time and a bit (but not too much) money trying to bringing these things (usually found in the back rooms of small music stores) back from the dead. Fortunately I was able to scavange up a bunch of part guitars so always had a good supply of bridges, tuners and what have you laying around. If it all worked out and I ended up with a playable guitar I generally just found a good home for it.

 

While most were the run fo the mill 1950s and 1960s quartersawn birch Stellas occassionally I would find a gem like a Wartime instrument with the wood tailpiece.

 

Here is one that has been hanging around for a while and has turned into a pretty good player. Kinda cool looking little guitar - a 1930s Harmony-made Supertone.

 

SupertoneS210009.jpg

Zomby, what you are doing is a great service......these repaired guitars will live beyond us, and we are lesaving a legacy for those to come after us. Otherwise, these guitars wind up in the junk heap...so cudos to you!!!

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The best Harmony I ever picked up for cheap was a Cremona archtop from the '30s. Carved solid spruce top, and very ornate. Also had a very nice Kay archtop with a pressed solid spruce top, and one of those uniquely shaped KayKraft mandolins from the '30.

 

If you can find a spruce top mail order catalog guitar you often end up with a winner. After many years, this one remains one my favorite guitars - a mid-1930s Kay Deluxe round soundhole archtop. One of the last Kays to be made with the Zorzi adjustable neck.

 

007.jpg

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Done deal. He produced a very nice guard and I won the bridge on ebay. All I need is one tuner shaft (and I probably have 200 loose ones here...).

 

Hey ksdaddy - would you happen to have any short shafts that would work on 1930s-early 1940s open gear Klusons - the ones with the stamped trademark in a circle on the plate? The only loose ones I have laying around came off of slothead tuners.

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Hey ksdaddy - would you happen to have any short shafts that would work on 1930s-early 1940s open gear Klusons - the ones with the stamped trademark in a circle on the plate? The only loose ones I have laying around came off of slothead tuners.

 

Not a clue to be honest. I've parted out many sets and just tossed them into little drawers, only separated by shafts, gears, worms, etc. When I need something I just root. If you want to email me some pics and some dial caliper'd dimensions I'd be happy to look.

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A whole new level....INDEED! .....YIKES [scared]

 

Yeah that's over the top. Said the guy who retopped a Fender Shenandoah.

 

Sometimes we do stuff 'just because'. I reattached a severed headstock on a cheapie Samick, veneered the headstock, refinished the neck, then sold it to a friend for $25. I was cool with that.

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Yeah that's over the top. Said the guy who retopped a Fender Shenandoah.

 

Sometimes we do stuff 'just because'. I reattached a severed headstock on a cheapie Samick, veneered the headstock, refinished the neck, then sold it to a friend for $25. I was cool with that.

 

I guess it's official. you, woof, and I are certified guitar nuts. The things some folks do for fun......

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I guess it's official. you, woof, and I are certified guitar nuts. The things some folks do for fun......

 

 

As my wife would say, she'd rather I messed around with strange guitars than have me hang out in bars with strange women (not that I would, of course).

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