c.1930 Regal Parlor Guitar(s) - Part 2

Well, she's all done! This is the aforementioned Regal parlor (concert) guitar that was undergoing a bridge reglue among a lot of other repairs. It's turned out to be a very sweet little blues guitar with a nice warm, direct, but mellow tone. It didn't turn out exactly as I'd like but that's often the case. Here's some of it in action:

Headstock. I polished up the shafts and degunked the tuners but didn't polish up the plates. It's sort of fitting to have them a bit worn in on such a played-in guitar. I raised the nut a hair with a mahogany insert as the slots must have been cut down when the bridge was pulled so far up before.

Fretboard is all cleaned up, brass frets are polished up, and it's showing a nice reddish-brown color instead of the previously dried-out yucky grey. Bakelite dots.

Body all cleaned up nicely, too.

Mh-hm! Old-timey floral goodness, I'd say.

Bonnie and I love this multicolored inlay. If nothing else, these old Regals sure have a lot of class in terms of the decor!

And here's the bridge re-glue job! Not too shabby if I say so myself! It was so warped I was a bit worried I wouldn't get a bridge out of it again... but a whole lot of shaping and sanding of both the bridge and the top yielded a very firm re-glue. I've installed a new fret-saddle, as per the original. Those are original bizarro wooden pegs, too. The action at the 12th as it is right now is between 1/8" and 3/16" -- not my desired below-1/8" mark that I usually can get... but any more material off the bridge would compromise its strength. To get a better player out of this I'd really need to reset the neck... but guess what? It's perfect for blues. It really shines Charlie Patton style...

Back -- yes that birch really is that red.

I managed to minimize a lot of the scuffing and scratching that was previously all over the back.

3/4 shot.

Another 3/4. This guitar glows nicely orange-reddy-brown all over.

Tuner plates. The bakelite buttons either shrunk over time or were TINY to begin with! Two shafts and gears were replaced along the way somewhere, but all the tuners work just dandy.

Fretboard detail.

Upsy-daisy! This guitar's going out on the store rack after the holidays.

That's not the same guitar!

Nope, this is one that just arrived in the post. It's another Regal of slightly higher prestige but worse condition than the floral one arrived in! The seller neglected to mention the lovely warped neck. Ick. Otherwise it'll go back together just fine. I'm debating on whether or not to make a new fretboard, try and straighten this one out with a shim underneath, or simply modify the whole lady into a Hawaiian lap guitar. Either way, this needs substantial work: all the braces are loose, the back is loose, loads of binding is chipped or missing on the rear and fretboard, the bridge will need a reglue, and the neck needs some gluing as well. This is in addition to all the typical overhaul needed: cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, finish resto, etc.


Is that a compensated saddle, with the weird bulges? No, no, sorry, it t'ain't.

How about that?

And that?

Till next time, keep reading!

1 comment:

Bruce Kula said...

So it's a Regal! I own its brother. See the bottom photo here:


You did a beautiful job restoring yours. The only thing I've done is replace a fret marker (with one I made from a seashell).