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Thread: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

  1. #1

    Default Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    I bought this guitar knowing it obviously needed a ton of work, but I basically bought Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. Most of the rest is junk, due to being damaged and amateurish repairs. And I have to fix cracks in the rosewood, but it is gorgeous wood. It's a tiny parlor guitar, about the size of a Martin Size 1 (one size smaller than O). I've always wanted a mandocello, but this seems like it's probably too small for that?

    I'd brace the new top for steel strings.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    Here's info on posting photos. I've had a couple of Washburn flat tops. Very finely made in some respects, with nice materials.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...e-in-your-post
    BradKlein
    Senior Producer, Twangbox
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  3. #3
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    Size 1 might be more appropriate for an octave mandolin. I would also be concerned about the thickness of the back and sides being enough to hold the tension of a 'cello over a long period of time.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    Thanks for the replies. An octave mandolin eh? Never played one of those. Sounds interesting.

    I'm only considering options because the guitar is too far gone to ever be anything close to original again. I have to build a new top and a new fretboard at the very least, plus bridge, nut, saddle, etc., and a new neck wouldn't hurt, although I maybe could use the original.

    Someone "repaired" the guitar top with luan, the floor underlayment, cheap plywood from a lumberyard. And made a new fretboard out of maple or something, but the frets are crooked. It may have been simply to make it into a wall hanger.

    I just couldn't walk away from the Brazilian back and sides. So I paid $70 for the guitar. I didn't want to pay that much, but I did.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    If you do choose to work on the instrument, I'd be interested in seeing details of the neck joint. I understand taht it's not always the tapered dovetail as you might expect.
    BradKlein
    Senior Producer, Twangbox
    Twangbox Videos

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    I love parlor guitars, I would rebuild it as a parlor. Most of these were great guitars.

    Brad, I have only seen one neck joint in older guitars that resembled a violin neck joint, still a dovetail, but different.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    Here are a few photos. You can see there is not much to work with. I need to repair the linings and cracks on the back. I do not have Brazilian to make cleats out of, but I do have some Cocobolo, which is dark and looks much the same. I'll probably use that. In the past, I just used spruce, but if I use a similar wood to the Brazilian, the cleats won't show as badly.

    BradKlein, here's a photo of the neck joint, which is a very well fitted dovetail.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    With all the braces on the back I wouldn't worry about cleats. I have used dust and glue for smaller cracks successfully. I will spline a larger crack. I do not loosen back braces to close cracks, I find since it has already shrunk it is more stable as it is. Looks like a good candidate for a nice parlor to me.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  10. #9
    Registered User David Houchens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Washburn guitar needs total rebuild. Conversion?

    Nice looking brazilian.
    Last edited by David Houchens; Feb-09-2019 at 7:40pm. Reason: rambling

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