Fixing an old mistake

  • Advertise with us
Project by SST posted 02-27-2011 05:39 AM 3128 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I was in high school (a long time ago) My dad gave me a tiple (pronounced teeplee) guitar that he had when he was a kid. It dates to about 1925. Being a dumb high school kid, I thought I could make it look way cooler by painting it black. (remember, kid…dumb) In my defence, it was not in great condition. The bridge had pulled up from the face by splitting the wood. Someone, maybe even my dad, had repaired it by putting 2 screws & nuts to pull it back down. It was put away a long time ago and I recently found it & decided to see if I could right an old wrong.

Time had taken it’s toll & there were several cracks in the face and the face was separated where the bridge pulled up. I couldn’t use a stripper on the paint because of the celluloid (or ???) material of the edging, so I had to carefully sand the face.

The guitar is structurally sound except for the bridge area, so I needed to repair that, re-glue a few pieces & refinish the rest . The good news is that instruments are glued up with hide glue, so with a little heat, or steam if you’re careful, you can remove loose stuff & re-glue. I removed the black edging so I could carefully strip the sides , bottom & neck. I had to make a jig to pull the face together. I used the 2 holes that had been drilled in the face & added one more between them, since it would later be hidden by the bridge.

I put washers on the inside to protect from pulling the screws through & a block on top to pull it down. Wax paper kept it from sticking to the face. I used hide glue on everything except the cracks in the face which I sealed with a thick cyanoacrylate glue.

With that done, the rest of the work was putting back trim, bridge, and refinishing. I wiped on several coats of clear de-waxed shellac, rubbed out and then wax.

All I have to do now is put strings on it & it’s ready to make music, and best of all, it looks pretty much like it did in 1925….again.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

6 comments so far

View Dandog's profile


250 posts in 3886 days

#1 posted 02-27-2011 05:51 AM

Oh my…. God bless you,My Dad did the Same thing to an 1850 Martin Ny .He Tried to fix a crack .Now it’s Value has is in question. you did a great job.Those parlor guitars are beautiful.

-- life an woodworking is one big experiment

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5189 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 06:16 AM

its nice to take care of something that has been on your mind for a long time…looks great!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 4350 days

#3 posted 02-27-2011 06:45 AM

Wow, such a transformation from you black teen period


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4303 days

#4 posted 02-27-2011 03:34 PM

Nice job, and actually for a kid, the black paint job might not have been that bad.

Besides, an old guitar is a great place for a kid to learn new skills, or in this case

maybe new lessons. Very cool piece of the past!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View flcopper169's profile


187 posts in 4451 days

#5 posted 02-27-2011 04:21 PM

You nicely restored a piece of history…. Beatuiful…

Thanks for sharing….

-- Happy and safe woodworking, [email protected]

View bistraie's profile


12 posts in 3805 days

#6 posted 03-04-2011 07:49 PM

Nice job

-- canada

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics