10/29/2015

1920s Oscar Schmidt "Artist" Parlor Guitar




This is a customer's old Schmidt and is roughly comparable to a same-period "Stella" guitar. It was a Hawaiian to begin with (complete with original raised nut) but I've converted it for the owner into a regular "Spanish" guitar via a neck reset, new rosewood bridge, fret level/dress, brace reglues, and setup. It plays just as it should and has that woody, bluesy sound that fingerpickers of the country-blues fascination adore from these.

Unlike most OS jobs, this one has a spruce top over birch back and sides. Normally these guitars are dark-finished (almost black on the edges with a lighter sunburst interior) but this one has had a lot of sun-fading over its life and is now a ghostly pale peach/grey mix of colors. It's a fun look. Just FYI, here's another version of the same guitar in the un-faded look.



This guitar lucked-out in that it has no cracks and all the top bracing was glued-up nice and pat. I did have to reglue a couple back braces, though. It has a 24 7/8" scale length and while the fretting isn't very accurate, it does play more or less nicely in tune. Accurate fretting wasn't exactly a selling point for OS factory builds intended for Hawaiian stringing when made...


Oh, yes, a new bone nut, too. This has that typical "rounded V" neck plus a 1 3/4" nut width.



I (luckily) had this cool grey/purple-hue rosewood bridge in my bins that fit the faded finish perfectly. I used new ebony pins and made a new compensated bone saddle, too.

Curiously enough the bridge is glued-on at a slight slant (the original was, too) which is necessary for compensation on the guitar. The original frets are all at a slight angle, too.

Aside from the bridge and its gear and the endpin, the guitar is otherwise original.






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