c.1965 Kay Bolt-on Neck "Parlor" Guitar

Here's a ply-body, bolt-on neck Kay from the mid 1960s. This has an unusually thin body and I was surprised by how big and raunchy-sounding a blues tone popped out of this when I finished setting it up. With a more or less "full scale" short scale of 24 3/8" this works well as a student guitar, beach bum, or campfire buddy.

After work, which included a fret level/dress, tons of cleaning (this was filthy, very very filthy), slight bridge reposition (for the 2nd time, apparently!), and setup, it also plays nicely, too.

There's plenty of random spray-paint dots here and there on the guitar.

Kay's take on a Fender-style block neck? Heh heh. Of course, painted on.

See the extra holes drilled for the bridge feet? This has an adjustable bridge like an archtop, but no base for it, so the adjuster poles simply run into holes drilled on the top and the wheels hold the bridge upright. This works well, except it would be nice if folks at the factory measured first, then drilled later, when doing intonation! I had to move it, of course, for proper intonation.

Painted-on "binding" and faux-woodgrain all over, of course.

Big old bolts do the job.

Japanese-made original tuners are lubed and ready to go.

The only non-original part is the tailpiece which is from my parts bin. The original was way too rusted out.


Lisa Davidson said...

I have that one love it

Chris Till said...

Just bought one at the flea market for $40. Well, I don't know what I paid for it really. I bought it together with a nice '70s Harmony banjo for $125. Both in very nice condition. The Kay is seemingly all original. Unlike yours, while the bridge is adjustable, it does have a base. Same weird thin body, but it does sound good.