4/28/2012

c.1966 Harmony Rocket Electric Guitar


This guitar is owned by a customer of mine but I overhauled it and got it back into playing shape. This involved gluing up a horrid crack on the treble side as well as doing a bit of obnoxious wiring work inside (one replaced pot and hunting down ground issues), a new bone nut, cleaning, tuner lube, and setup.

These Harmony Rockets from the 60s are way cool. This one dates 1966 or onwards due to the trussrod and "moustache" pickup covers. These are semi-hollow guitars and this one is made entirely of solid birch with a poplar neck and dyed fretboard.


The finish on this guitar had tons of white spray paint speckles all over it, like it had been sitting in someone's garage too near to the workbench. Despite the weather-checked finish, it still looks good after cleaning.


A few bent shafts. This headstock lost a lot of the white spray paint flecks in cleaning, thank goodness.


Faux MOP dots, bound board. I didn't have to dress the frets because they had very little wear.


Cool "gold foil" style pickup. Adjustable polepieces. Note the replaced low E polepiece on this pickup and its bridge-pickup brother.


I also had to shim up this (replacement 70s?) bridge with a couple rosewood "feet" to get it high enough. The adjustable thumbwheels are long gone so there are (new) washers and apparently lamp knobs stacked in to adjust the height's fine-tuning. As usual, I had to clean the slots on the saddle because they were buzzing a bit.


I replaced the missing button on this switch. Also note that the pickguard originally mounted with a bracket from the side and a screw above the pickup. The pickguard was missing its top corner and the bracket was loose and someone had installed a screw through the bracket-mounting area on the pickguard right into the top to hold the guard on... so...

...I made a straight line out of the chipped portion of the guard and mounted a new 2nd screw at its top, thus making a top-mounted pickguard with a foam pad underneath that's stable and looks more or less right.



Did I mention the bolt-on neck construction and bound top/back body? Not bad!







See that big crack and the area juuuust visible at the bottom where there are metal plates? Apparently the jack used to be on the side but someone must have bashed into it because there's a big hole there and it opened up a crack from the old jack hole to the pickguard bracket mount scewhole. I glued that crack up as best as I could and installed what cleats I could, but because the kerfing inside is so tall there wasn't any room to install a patch on the broken area. Instead the customer and I decided mending plates would be just fine. Their screws install right through the kerfing and keep the area from trying to come apart on its own.


Simple tailpiece.

No comments: