7/13/2015

1920s Oscar Schmidt Decalcomania Tailpiece Parlor Guitar




The same fellow who owns the recent decalcomania Stella also owns this one. They both got much of the same work (neck reset, fret level/dress and fret seating, bridge work, seam work) but this one also had almost all of its braces reglued. This guitar was a bit more of a headache to setup, too, because the neck gained a bit of twist/warp as soon as it was tuned up and about half of the frets needed to be tacked into their slots with some glue (as they were sounding "dead" when played on).

Still, after work it plays respectably (3/32" overall at the 12th fret) and has a honky, bluesy tonality (as expected) with an (unexpected) extra boost on the lower end compared to a lot of these Oscars. The body is all solid birch with some nice figure/curl to it and the neck is poplar with a dyed-maple fretboard. The original bridge was long gone and so I made a new one from ebony. In the soundclip above I'm playing it in open D with a set of 50w-11 strings.



You can't get around how cool these old 0-size Oscar Schmidts are: just check out those cool decals!

The owner and I talked about converting this to a pin-bridge guitar a while back, but after I checked out the bracing (it's got one less brace than your standard-issue pin-bridge Schmidt but the same longer 25" scale) I decided it would be safer to keep it in a tailpiece setup.


New bone nut, too. This also has the typical 1 3/4" nut width and bigger V-shaped neck profile.





I made my ebony bridge folksy enough (but compensated) to fit the aesthetic. The neck reset gave this better height on the bridge which, in turn, gives the guitar better carrying-power.



Amazingly, the guitar lacks any cracks.






Screws replaced nails on the tailpiece hanger and I added a new ebony endpin to replace a missing one.

No comments: