8/15/2015

1930s Regal-made Bacon Senorita #2 Flatback Mandolin




Bacon (the banjo manufacturer) had Regal make them a line of fancy guitars and mandolins during the 30s and this is one of them. It's a very upscaled "basic Regal shape" from the time but features solid Brazilian rosewood back and sides and much-upgraded trim throughout. This particular one was in for customer repair and it had a bunch of old, home-style repairs done to it (some ship-shape) and needed a bit more work to get it going properly.

These are rare, cool instruments and the deco-style headstock veneer and overall look is just extremely classy. After work the tone is vibrant, saucy, and rich. It's certainly not anything a bluegrass player could get away with but it would sound excellent for old-time, early-country, and (dare I say it) jazzy sounds.


Work included a lot of cleaning, a new compensated bone bridge, resetting the fretboard extension (it'd ski-jumped from compression warp around the soundhole), a fret level/dress, check on the old crack repairs (all holding fine) and setup. Someone had reset the neck OK in the past so that was good to go. I got rid of a lot of chunky glue globbing that was splattered all over and the look improved a bunch. Oh -- I also had to replace one missing pearl dot in the board and gave the tuners a good lube as well.

It plays spot-on (1/16" action at the 12th fret) and sings happily with a set of 34w-10 lights.



I always liked Regal's "3 dot" markers on the board from this time. This is a 13 7/8" scale mando, just like a Gibson. The neck is a bit deeper and chunkier than a period Gib, though.


Resetting the fretboard extension meant I had to remove the board binding (always hairy) but it all went back together smoothly. I can't say the same for the funky job someone did regluing the soundhole binding in ages long-ago.


Folks who read the blog know I like bone bridges on mando. I made this one to replace a junky replacement bridge that was on it when it came in. This compensated bone bit is about a zillion times more useful.





Pretty rosewood, huh?







Plenty of string-winder mark-ups at the headstock sides...



No comments: