9/03/2014

c.1935 Richter Venetian-stencil Parlor Hawaiian Guitar




This cool old Richter could almost be a Harmony and could almost be a Regal in make. The body shape and style of bridge are Regal-ish while the bracing is Harmony-ish. The neck... however... is entirely different in cut from either.

I'm almost certain that this was probably sold as a Hawaiian guitar (lap slide style) to begin with because various conditions in the neck (light backbow, twist, and hump through its length which are not immediately obvious) plus a super-tall, non-compensated bridge would mean it would simply be unplayable as a regular (Spanish) guitar. With that in mind I went up fixing this to be a Hawaiian (raised strings lap slide) guitar and reglued the bridge, several seams, and braces... then installed a new big bone nut and gave it a good setup with standard light (12s) strings. On the 24" scale with the light build open D tuning sounds fine and open E tuning will probably feel a little tense in the body but sounds fantastic.

It's come out of work sounding bluesy and sure of itself with that midrange sort of presence you might find in a Dobro but warmer and sweeter.


This guitar has zero cracks in is all-solid birch construction. It's ladder braced and shows a bit of belly around the bridge.


The tuners are 60s Japanese ones from my parts-bin and the nut is a new big hunk of bone.


Celluloid dots and a stained-maple board...


As you can see through the soundhole: one back brace is missing. Everything else is there, however.


The stenciled Venice scene is way too cool, huh?






As well as the other work I did I also installed a bolt-through bit for the neck. It had a gap but a guitar like this is not worth the $$ to do a full neck reset. This works just as well on a lap guitar and it has adjustment access (big old hex nut) on the inside.


The "binding" is all painted on.




Original endpin...

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