2/18/2015

1920s OS-made Stella Decalcomania Parlor Guitar




Another 0-size Oscar Schmidt sweetie! This is the quintessential vintage "Stella" blues guitar that one associates with Oscar Schmidt and New Jersey-made. It exemplifies plain construction and fancy decals and is mostly original save my new bridge/saddle install. It's all-solid birch with a poplar neck and stained-hardwood fretboard and, as usual, the OS-style ladder bracing and build lend it a mellower, woodier tone than similar guitars of its day.

My work on this included a neck reset, fret level/dress, new bridge and saddle, some brace reglues and small seam repairs, cleaning, and a good setup. Because of the 25" scale and ladder bracing I tend to string these with 11s but they're fine with 12s if you drop-tune or use lowered open tunings. This one has a (thankfully) straight neck so it plays spot-on after work.


The medium brown stain gives that birch a fancier look than it deserves, maybe!


...and those decals are "sumtin' else."


This guitar is luckily crack-free and shows very little wear overall save general use-related stuff.

The new bridge is an OS-looking rosewood pyramid bridge cut by the thousands over in China. The best bit about these is that they have proper compensation, a generous saddle slot for a modern-size drop-in saddle, vintage-style string spacing and "vintage style" rough workmanship! They look perfect on these and function 200% better than whatever original crazy bridges you usually find on old Stellas (which are almost always better to replace).


The original wood nut was salvaged, too.


Note the new side dots peeking out from the board. The brass frets leveled/dressed easily enough, too.








These tuners appear to be original... which would mean that this was built probably in the late 20s or very early 30s. Unfortunately, they were turned around "from the factory" so I swapped sides to get them to pull the other way (shaft therefore "digging into" the worm as tension is applied rather than the other way around).



The pins are all original, too, and have pearl dots.


...and check out the lovely old Stella label in the soundhole.

2 comments:

Amahl_Shukup said...

Whoa! Will that be up for sale, Jake, or did you work on it for a customer?

Jake Wildwood said...

More customer work!