1910s Weymann Style 25 00-Size Guitar

This is a customer's glorious 00-size 12-fret (19" body, 14 1/4" lower bout) Weymann (Philadelphia, PA) that was sent in for repairs. It'd already had a lot of good, tidy work done and so my only work was to level/dress the frets, adjust the bridge and saddle, replace the pins, and set it up properly. It's as if someone who was skilled at most repairs did the structural work but failed the setup side of the job.

At any rate, the serial number (164XX) dates this to around 1905-1910 (update: Mr. C. informed me that this places it at 1912 +/- one year) and it looks that way, too. Weymann guitars are very rare (Jimmie Rodgers played one, though!) and I've only worked on one other personally, but a big-body (for the time) like this one with Brazilian rosewood back and sides has to be up there on the rarity charts. After work, the sound is huge and full and sounds absolutely amazing fingerpicked... or flatpicked!

A long scale length (25 3/4") coupled with a lightweight but sturdy ladder-braced body recalls quality Galiano/Ciani guitars from around the same time. It's almost a Larson-brothers tone on steroids.

The top is solid spruce and the back and sides are solid Brazilian rosewood. Both the fretboard and bridge are ebony and the bridge looks replaced. Apparently, this guitar had been refinished... but I think it's actually just been top-coated/oversprayed on the top as much original handling wear (and, for that matter, the neck's original decal) is evident and the finish looks "right" to me.

The original bone nut (1 3/4") had an awful cardboard spacer installed. That was quickly removed and swapped-out for a thin rosewood spacer before setup. Note the nice rosewood headstock veneer.

The ebony board is flat-profile and the last repairman actually replaced the frets. He/she didn't level the board first and as a result they were all askew and needed a pretty heavy level/dress to get them in order. I sneaked in some side-dots at the same time.

The neck itself is Spanish cedar -- something I expect to see on period guitars. It's stiff, lightweight, and a good material for necks. The hybrid V/C shape with a good "medium" depth means that this neck has remained true throughout its life.

Aren't those purfling strips and rosette gorgeous? This quality is so typical of Weymann instruments, which I find to be tremendously devalued for their level of workmanship.

I added new ebony pins all-around. The saddle is bone but was cut with a radius (!) which didn't match the fretboard at all. After some re-working of that and some minor string-ramps added to the bridge for better back-angle, the bridge was set to go.

This guitar has a set of steel 10s on it. It's possible that when this was made it was entirely designed for gut, but the bracing and neck hold out just fine for this very light set.

Nice stuff, huh?

I love how the rosewood has "bleached" over time!

Inside the guitar, the rosewood is dark "as normal." On the outside, it's this lovely, grain-showoff lighter color.

StewMac "Golden Age" repro tuners adorn the headstock.

...and I'm guessing an early adoption of a "tailpiece" setup is what kept this guitar's top in such good order until it was fixed-up by the anonymous previous repairman.


Anonymous said...

What a beauty!

charlie said...

Yum, Yum, Yum.....do not want to be pernickity, but a serial number of 16,000 would date this delicious instrument to 1912 plus or minus 1 year. Substantiated by the decal also.

Jake Wildwood said...

Thank you so much for jogging that memory. I'll update.

charlie said...

Close enough anyway. Would still love to do a web page on Weymann guitars but time is slipping away.