11/02/2011

c.1930 Regal Stenciled Hawaiian Parlor Guitar





Fun!

How could it not be?

This is a Regal-made (and branded) "0" size guitar built around 1930 or so and intended right from the start for Hawaiian play (with raised strings using a steel -- ie, slide) in the lap. Of note are the obvious tropical-themed stencils and the absence of a strap end pin, both pretty good clues that this was sold for Hawaiian playing out of the shipping box.

However... I've given it a neck reset, glued up some upper bout cracks, and installed a new bridge, plus setup, thus making it a good Spanish-style (ie, normal) steel strung guitar. I used one of my parts-bin NOS German-made rosewood bridges (I think these are old 60s Framus bridges) with fairly wide wings to both reinforce the lightly ladder-braced top and also cover up a bad old bridge "repair" job which left some ugliness around the old bridge footprint.


In addition, I dressed the frets, recut the fretboard extension for proper angle with the neck (as a Hawaiian-setup guitar from the factory, Regal didn't pay much attention to that), and made a new bone nut and saddle, too (both tone enhancers).



The original tuners were still in good shape. Because of the typical thicker Regal v-neck build, this guitar takes 50w-11 light strings just fine.



Multicolored inlaid rosette looks real cool, as do those fun stencils.


Standard plastic pins... note the long string ramps for good back-angle over the saddle. Part of the reason I chose this bridge design also is that the pins are farther back from the saddle which lets the new pin holes avoid the damaged/worn old ones.





Oh, woods! Back, sides, and neck are all solid birch with a "red mahogany" stain while the top is natural-toned solid spruce. The fretboard looks like dyed pearwood to me.





Remind me to let Tom Waits in off the porch before the snow starts falling...





This had previously been setup with a tailpiece at some point in its life. I removed that as it wasn't really necessary (the top is good and flat).

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