4/05/2014

c.1968 Harmony-made H162 Silvertone 000-size Guitar


This is a customer/friend's guitar that was in the shop this week for some fixin'! It got a neck reset (conversion to bolted/tenon joint) as well as a new bridge, bone saddle, cleaning, and setup. It plays "spot on" though there's a tiny bit of relief on the treble side of the board when it's tuned up to pitch.

The 1968 stencil in the soundhole places this version of the H162 (here labeled Silvertone for the Sears stores) at the late side of production, but maybe that's a good thing -- this one is in primo condition for one of these with no body cracks at all. The cherry-sunburst finish is glossy and looks slick as all heck, too.




I didn't manage to get a soundclip before this left but it has that dry, big, rich ladder-braced sound. These Harmony 000-size guitars tend to have a sort of mid-range bark to them that you don't get with fancier guitars and they record amazingly well.

This guitar is a solid spruce top over birch.


Like same-period Harmony products, the nut is plastic.


Faux-MOP dots in a dyed-maple (radiused) board. The frets (amazingly) were in really good shape and only needed light leveling. Down near the 14th fret, though, there was a "hump" from a previous botched neck reset/sliding neck joint problem so those got leveled a bit lower than the rest as the wood was distorted.



The original (dyed maple) bridge had bolts in it and there were a couple tiny hairline cracks because of them. I decided to just replace it per the owner's desires (and mine) with a dark-stained rosewood bridge that had a coloration roughly-similar to the greyish-brown of the fretboard. The pins are original plastic ones but I did make a new saddle from bone.




If I'd left the tuners as-is and hadn't hit them with a splash of WD-40, I'm sure the owner would've swapped them out right away. It's a wonder what a tiny bit of lube/cleaning will do for old gears...





Here's my "twin bolt" attachment system that I retrofit to old guitars from time to time these days. It's easily tightened on the interior with a hex-nut socket if it ever needs to be. The neck is also glued along the dovetail joint/flat part of the heel to keep it more stable, too.


Here's the S-68 (1968) mark.

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