View Full Version : c.1920 Stella Bowlback Restoration

Jake Wildwood
Apr-15-2009, 4:50pm
Here's one I've been plugging away at for a customer in the Southwest: I've worked on one of identical styling and build, save that it had a mahogany neck and rosewood bowl. This one's birch through and through save the top. Has a nice ring and a lot, lot, lot of sustain and volume. It plays decently well save for a slight curve of the neck on the G & D courses after the 12th which makes those strings buzz up the neck a bit.

The bridge is a replacement from a completely different Stella bowlback (fancier) that was too gone to restore. The hardware has been as overhauled as far as it can go it seems. After finely steel-wooling this whole beast a bit after a lot of cleaning, I rubbed in a single coat of varnish to seal it up. This one's finish was reduced to rubble, as can be seen in the myriad nicks and gouges.

Work included: all braces reglued, top regluing, separations all over the back reglued, top cracks next to the neck sealed up, and general resto overall. Fun one, not quite my cup of tea, but fun.

Jake Wildwood
Apr-15-2009, 4:52pm
Here's one "in progress shot." I'll add some befores from the downstairs computer in a sec.

Jake Wildwood
Apr-15-2009, 5:02pm
Here are some more...

Jason Kessler
Apr-16-2009, 10:35am
That puppy's come a loooooong way...