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Thread: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

  1. #1
    Registered User Happy gnome's Avatar
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    Default Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    It's been a long time since I've had a project like this, but was just gifted this from a friend who found it in her mum's attic while dealing with her estate.

    The only real damage is to the back of the neck (pictured). I'd be interested to hear thoughts on how (or whether to) restore the finish on the neck.

    Otherwise, the neck has a slight bow, it is missing some frets and an inlay dot, the bridge is obviously a mess, the tailpiece is very oxidised, and the tuners aren't original (as far as I can tell) but otherwise it seems to be in fine condition. No cracks or internal damage.




  2. #2
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Nice Find!
    I’m not a luthier, but I would say if the neck damage is playing wear I would not refinish it. I think honest playing wear is just good mojo. If the damage seems to be from another source I might refinish. It’s hard to tell from the photo.
    Overall, I would just make it playable with as little alterations as possible.
    Good luck! I’d like to see some after photos.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    I am a luthiererer-er and DoubleE is right on the money. The only repairs you should pursue are the ones necessary to make it play and keep it structurally intact. I work hard to not get involved in the valuation market so I have no idea what your instrument is worth. Its relevant to some and less so to others. Some people pay good money for an instrument with playing wear like that. I just think its cool and would like to think of it as mojo from all the music created to make that kinda wear. The quality of the needed fretwork/neckwork is going to make or break whether or not the effort or expense is worth it. Without being able to inspect the instrument myself, I suggest evaluating the neck angle and structural integrity and if they're okay, jump in feet first but not into repairs beyond your abilities or potential to bail yourself out of a problem.

    I just had a wonderful encounter with a 1960's Framus student guitar. The job was just to replace a tuning machine but the guitar had terribly elevated strings and the client did not have high expectations. It was his father's guitar and the goal was just to go through the motions of maintaining it for sentimental reasons alone. When I began working on it I just was tempted to make it right so I asked if I could. I was a beautiful guitar despite being an entry level instrument built in the '60s. It was made in Germany with very high quality wood and finished well despite it being a flat-top acoustic with a very spartan trapeze tailpiece and a plastic bridge. I got the Okay and did the work necessary. The result was a very wonderful little guitar with a beautifully unique tone all its own. It was time well spent by me with great rewards.

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Geez, I think I had a capo like that once...

    Some talk about Wayne guitars "down under" on-line, says they were made (by whom?) for Wayne Music in Melbourne.
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    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Cut to the chase Allen. Are you saying it’s not worth restoring because of where it was made? I’m just not sure what you’re trying to say.
    Last edited by Steve 2E; Oct-25-2019 at 9:56pm.

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    Registered User David Houchens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    I don't think Allen was implying that it is worthless at all.

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  10. #7
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleE View Post
    Cut to the chase Allen. Are you saying it’s not worth restoring because of where it was made? I’m just not sure what you’re trying to say.
    Sorry Allen. I think I read your response and reacted too quickly. I was watching baseball, practicing mando, and surfing the web simultaneously. I’m not much at multitasking!

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  12. #8
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    What beautiful wood, even after the dang capo! (Or maybe it served as bracing on a construction site?) Close-ups of headstock & tuners would be interesting.

    I'm assuming that, like most (probably all?) archtops, it was built intending steel strings, not the classical/nylon ones in the photos.
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    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Doesn't look like any play wear that I've seen. Looks like it's been scraped on something hard. I'd clean it up in some fashion if that's the way it really looks in person.
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    There's a good chance the over-the-body frets were pulled in order to make the guitar playable due to a neck angle and/or bow problem.

    Those are some nasty wounds on the back of the neck. Cleaning the instrument thoroughly would be a good first step.

  15. #11
    Registered User Happy gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Thanks for the input all. I agree it needs bare minimum to get playing - it has a lot of character, which it would be a shame to lose.

    I honestly don't know what happened to the neck. There is some wear on the fretboard, so I suppose it's possible it was from playing but it does seem like a lot.

    I was also curious about the nylon strings, as I was under the impression arch tops needed steel strings for the higher tension?

    Here are some pics of the tuners. You can see the ones at the bottom of the headstock are screwed in so close to the edge that they're damaging the wood. There is an undent in the finish which shows the faint outline of what I assume were the original three-on-a-plate tuners. It looks like there are some vintage replacements available that match those measurements, so I'm tempted to replace them.



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  17. #12
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    I thought the tuners looked kinda cool from the front, but seeing how they’re installed I would replace.

  18. #13
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    I hate to bug you with more pictures, but what’s going on at the nut? Did this possibly have a zero fret originally?

  19. #14
    Registered User Happy gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    I'm not sure if you can really see from this pic, but the nut slots for the thicker strings have been filed too low at some point and the strings were shimmed up with what I think are matchsticks and a piece of something (cork?)

    It has a pretty standard nut slot and nut though.


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  21. #15
    Registered User Steve 2E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Thanks. Not sure what to think of that. It is a fine example of “that’ll do.”

  22. #16
    Registered User Happy gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Ha ha, yeah that is exactly what it is. I recently fixed up a really cheap strat copy from the local junk shop where the neck was bowed so far back the strings touched every fret, so the previous owner had done exactly the same thing - glued a block of wood at the back of the nut to raise the string height. A wild and entirely useless solution!

  23. #17
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Happy Gnome: Have you determined whether this guitar is made from solid woods or laminated ones. It is hard to tell from the photos and I am unfamiliar with Australian guitars but it resembles American-made ones, simple in construction. Often these have faked grain patterns and I make a wildish guess that the top wood could be that. Can you tell in person about that? Also arched budget models often are not carved but pressed or steam-bent. That doesn't mean they couldn't be made to sound good, though. I have a 1950s unlabelled Harmony that sounds pretty good for a budget model.
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleE View Post
    Sorry Allen. I think I read your response and reacted too quickly. I was watching baseball, practicing mando, and surfing the web simultaneously. I’m not much at multitasking!
    No offense taken; I'm sure it'll be a decent guitar once restored.

    I was just wondering who built it; what I read seemed to suggest that "Wayne" was the name of the music dealer who sold it, not the name of the manufacturer. Were Wayne guitars built in Australia, or imported to be sold by Wayne Music? There are several lines of mandolins and banjos that were built in England but labeled for Australian sales, and I wondered if this one was similarly sourced.
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  25. #19
    Registered User Happy gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Happy Gnome: Have you determined whether this guitar is made from solid woods or laminated ones. It is hard to tell from the photos and I am unfamiliar with Australian guitars but it resembles American-made ones, simple in construction. Often these have faked grain patterns and I make a wildish guess that the top wood could be that. Can you tell in person about that? Also arched budget models often are not carved but pressed or steam-bent. That doesn't mean they couldn't be made to sound good, though. I have a 1950s unlabelled Harmony that sounds pretty good for a budget model.
    The finish makes it difficult to tell, but inside the f-holes there are two or three spots that make me think it's laminate. I had just assumed it was to be honest, though it was an uneducated guess - just the fact it had been a cheap guitar at the time

  26. #20
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy gnome View Post
    ... the faint outline of ... original three-on-a-plate tuners. ... there are some vintage replacements available that match those measurements, so I'm tempted to replace them.
    Definitely worth doing! Note that the current tuner posts are so much smaller than the holes they're in; that can't make for smooth tuning once the strings are at tension. Maybe that was the reason for switching to nylon?

    I'd guess that either the original posts were thicker or their bushings have been removed. While there's no obvious bushing impression on the face of the headstock, the holes seem to have been roughly chamfered, maybe obliterating bushing evidence, AND the weathered-but-shiny face has probably been lacquered over.
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  27. #21

    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Well, the neck had lots of exposure to salt from the skin, and as rural folk know, handles of rakes and tools often get chewed upon by the rodent crowd, porcupines being the worst. Doubt if any were in that attic, but there may have been smaller salt-seekers there chewing. It’s a theory!

  28. #22

    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    Hey Happy Gnome,
    I'm intrigued by this Wayne guitar you have been gifted - I was just researching a Wayne Jackaroo guitar that is for sale local to me, and found your post.
    I wonder if you had any progress restoring the ol' girl? From what I know, it probably dates to 1940s, and I'm pretty sure those tuners are probably from a very early Maton guitar, (eg a Starline), which would make them valuable on their own to a Maton owner with "bad decision to replace tuners in the 80s" scenario. I'm a member of VMGAS (Vintage Maton Guitar Appreciation Society) Facebook page, and there are always people looking for something to restore an instrument to original there...
    The Jackaroo I'm looking at is an archtop with f holes like yours, but has the top intact, and is a cream colour, with a cowboy (aka jackeroo) painted on the front. It has a slightly more modern headstock with a "Wayne Jackaroo" logo.
    The top on yours looks to me like Tasmanian Blackwood. Certainly not some painted "faux flame" like some of the early Harmony/Silvertone branded guitars of the 40s-60s.

  29. #23

    Default Re: Wayne guitar (no mando content)

    If there's a slight bow in the neck with no string tension and the bottom frets have been pulled, my guess is that under string tension the neck bow is severe, hence the nylon string conversion and fret removal. As is, it will look cool hanging on someone's wall.

    To make it playable, with no truss rod you're looking at putting the iron on it and clamping to straighten the neck. Of course some vintage looking machines and a new nut will let you at least evaluate the sound. As far as the neck damage goes, it would be uncomfortable for me to play it. I would fill the damage with dark epoxy and spot finish that part of the neck with tinted nitro. It is a cool guitar and should be a fun project. I'd love to see it cleaned up.

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