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Thread: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

  1. #26
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis Kearns View Post
    Hawkeye - Thanks for keeping us updated on your repair of this Harmony 410. As an instrument that has survived nearly 80 years, it deserves to be restored so it can continue to make music and last another 80 years. From a purely monetary perspective, maybe not good “business”; but as an old guy, also with some damage, I’m happy to think that some of us are worth repairing and keeping in good playable condition, even if we are maybe not the most-desirable models!
    I have some very nice instruments, but I still like playing my Harmonys.

    This thread has been a lot of fun to follow. I really appreciate all the wonderful Cafe folks that comment, share their expertise (and opinions!), offer great advice, show how they have repaired instruments, and make me laugh now and then.
    - Denis

    Thanks so much for the kind words and chuckles. Figure when I'm done with it will probably have 40 or so hours and $25 in misc. materials so no real moneymaker. A good chance to embarrass myself here if I fail but will have at least tried.
    - Dave
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Aug-02-2021 at 7:17am. Reason: fixed quote syntax

  2. #27
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Heading onward and uphill I have started on the side repair. Removed as much silicon as I can in the cracks and just going to resign myself to some of it remaining as for me to open up the crack for removal would be disaster in my hands. I'm gluing in 3 cleats of veneer on the inside to lock it together. Grain is running perpendicular to the side grain. Sanded the inside with 120 and used a sheet of acrylic to hold it in while it dries. The first cleat starts before the crack emerges from under the kerfing but the three are all the same length and will end up just short of the tail block. Trying to use the spool (I use that word loosely) clamps to align the top and bottom as they were not aligned when the previous "repairs" were done. May or may not work.
    About my "spool" clamps - They are 1x1 cork faced on 1/4" carriage bolts. The straws protect the finish and add a bit of color don't you think? These are Smoothie Straws which are a larger diameter than regular and slide right on without having to slice them. I have red, green, yellow and blue. I got 5 per straw and have 20 clamps so my OCD dictated 5 of each color.

    The acrylic was leftover from when I made a pick guard for my Stella Harmony I fixed up. It didn't come with one and I don't like the look of the white ones. Used the top fading for approximate shape, was able to see the existing holes to mark sanded the back side and sprayed the back with black enamel. The non-glare side faces out.

    The veneer I have was purchased to play with. An example here shown in walnut. It's a Argus "Brick" in full working condition. I think I have waay too much time on my hands.

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  4. #28
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMoe View Post
    Two useful products. I have not used them on an instrument. They do soften stretchy glue.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for that. I did use a bit of Goo Gone on the outside at the crack then wiped it off and cleaned the side and crack with lighter fluid. I was afraid to use anything inside as the ones I look up online, including Goo Gone said to not use on unfinished wood. I thought they might leave an oily residue which doesn't help glue to adhere.
    Dave

  5. #29
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Hi All,
    Finished the inside cleats today. The side pieces aligned better than I thought but not perfect. I set the original tail block in and noticed the right (picture side) is sitting on the top brace and not down flush with the top. Examining the block you'll see a small notch, which I assume was done at the factory, to help seat the top down. Just not far enough ,in my opinion, and that may have been a contributing cause for the failure plus the obvious missing chip at the tail piece hole. I also shot the block face and the dark line in the center is where the slightly angled sides meet. Kind of fancy, yes?

    So I have a couple of questions for any of you luthiers reading this. After I get the block glued in to the sides and top I was contemplating filling in the wood voids with super thin CA and ebony dust as a filler/patch. The worst 2 places are along the binding and the triangle shaped area. The remainder of the missing wood is on the back when someone had actually used epoxy to maybe fix a separation at the joint? Anyone have better suggestions or ideas?
    Looking ahead I placed the bridge in it's location and measured the string height with a metal straight edge acting as the string. I have .o45 at the 4th string and .050 at the 1st string with the bridge completely lowered. The bridge seems like a nice one and I think worth keeping. It is about 16mm (5/8") high. Should a neck reset be done as now would be the perfect time?
    Thanks for the advice and help.

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  6. #30

    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    I use epoxy and wood flower for filler rather than superglue. Epoxy is 100% solids. You are moving right along. Will you do anything to the braces? I use sewing thread tied to two safety pins to check how the string height, neck angle, bridge height, etc. will be as repairs progress. I am not a real Luthier. I mostly re-caulk bathtubs.

  7. #31
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMoe View Post
    I use epoxy and wood flower for filler rather than superglue. Epoxy is 100% solids. You are moving right along. Will you do anything to the braces? I use sewing thread tied to two safety pins to check how the string height, neck angle, bridge height, etc. will be as repairs progress. I am not a real Luthier. I mostly re-caulk bathtubs.
    What kind of epoxy do you use? I have plenty of ebony sawdust I made when I filled the nail gouges in my other Harmony fret board mixed with the CA. Sets in about a minute but I usually wait some before sanding and scraping.Plus it's black!
    The one brace at the tail will be reglued when the sides and tail block are done.

  8. #32

    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    West System is the best epoxy I have found. The 5 to 1 or 3 to 1 ratio is not handy for small batches. I use a digital postal scale. A laboratory scale is better. Smiths is very good and is 1 to 1. Devcon is not the best. Their Two Ton is better than their 5 minute. Our Hobby Lobby store has Smiths as well as a good deal on thin, medium and thick super glue. Super glue is very helpful for repair work and around the shop. I do not use it anywhere on a new build.

  9. #33
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Things just keep getting better. Today I noticed the fret board had come unglued from the extension. I slide my pallet knife in and was able to get to the 9th fret with no problem so it will need to come off and be re-glued. Since I have to do this a neck reset is now a no brainer so stay tuned for more fun with the amateur. I was also going to glue the top brace at the tail block and as I pulled it up a bit to sand the whole brace came off. At least that makes the sanding off of the old glue easier, so that has been glued back on. Have also started with the color touch up on the crack and buckle rash on the back. I'll post progress pictures and information as I progress as I know Sheila is interested. Maybe she won't be after the pictures post!
    Cheers.

  10. #34
    Every day is a gift. Sheila Lagrand's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by oldhawkeye View Post
    Things just keep getting better. Today I noticed the fret board had come unglued from the extension. I slide my pallet knife in and was able to get to the 9th fret with no problem so it will need to come off and be re-glued. Since I have to do this a neck reset is now a no brainer so stay tuned for more fun with the amateur. I was also going to glue the top brace at the tail block and as I pulled it up a bit to sand the whole brace came off. At least that makes the sanding off of the old glue easier, so that has been glued back on. Have also started with the color touch up on the crack and buckle rash on the back. I'll post progress pictures and information as I progress as I know Sheila is interested. Maybe she won't be after the pictures post!
    Cheers.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and skills, which far exceed my own. I am reading, studying photos, and perhaps driving my woodworking husband a little crazy as I learn. I'm long on enthusiasm and terribly short on know-how. For example: I need to tend to a few cracks, but I understand I need to remove the top (or back) to do so, and I don't know how to do so. How does one do so?

    And why, by the way, do we call those two components a top and a back, instead of a top and a bottom or a front and a back? A preoccupation with language can be damning, I tell you.
    Now, what was I after when I wandered in here?

    Phoebe, my 2021 Collings MT mandolin
    Dolly, my 2021 Ibanez M522 mandolin
    Louise, my 193x SS Maxwell mandolin
    Fiona, My 2021 GSM guitar-bodied octave resonator mandolin
    Charlotte, my 2016 Eastman MDO 305 octave mandolin
    Giuliana, my 2002 Hans Schuster 505 violin
    Sally, my 2021 Jasmine S35 guitar

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  12. #35
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    When wood is missing or so badly damaged that it cannot be pulled back into shape and re-glued, I graft in new wood rather than using fillers.
    The only place I use fillers is on badly damaged peghead veneers, and only very reluctantly.

    If the back is off the instrument, it is easier to "slip the block" to change the neck angle, rather than to remove the neck and re-set it. You will find information on "slipping the block" in violin repair manuals.

  13. #36
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    .....

    If the back is off the instrument, it is easier to "slip the block" to change the neck angle, rather than to remove the neck and re-set it. You will find information on "slipping the block" in violin repair manuals.
    I'll try to give off my best Sopranos "Oh Ho!".

    I think we're going to need a little more insight into 'slipping the block' (sounds like a means to get out of some cement overcoat....)

    This seems like the perfect place for it.

    A little online search raises some skepticism on its use on guitars....but for fiddles and in particular mandolins any neck resetting strategery has my full interest.

    Mick
    Last edited by brunello97; Aug-02-2021 at 10:36pm.
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  14. #37
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    When wood is missing or so badly damaged that it cannot be pulled back into shape and re-glued, I graft in new wood rather than using fillers.
    The only place I use fillers is on badly damaged peghead veneers, and only very reluctantly.

    If the back is off the instrument, it is easier to "slip the block" to change the neck angle, rather than to remove the neck and re-set it. You will find information on "slipping the block" in violin repair manuals.
    Thanks for this information. I had never heard that term so looked it up over coffee this A.M. Here is a link for everyone's edification:
    http://www.fingerstyle2.com/uploads/...scription2.pdf
    Seems like a lot more work than the neck removal with a lot of downsides. at least on a guitar. Once the finger board is off the joint will be staring at me. In addition I was thinking about the strength left in that glue joint as it seems this instruments' glue has headed south in numerous areas. On my other one I did The back was starting to pull off and I was easily able to slide a x-acto knife around it to pop it off. This one also needed a reset but I could not find any information on the joint used so I sanded down the bridge and just got it playable with the adjustment wheels removed. I strung it up with light gauge strings and called it finished. One day, a couple of months later, I opened the case to get it out and found the action at the 12th to be about 1" or so. The joint had given way and left the finger board extension still glued to the top. Oh joy! I'll post a couple of pictures of the repair later today.

  15. #38
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Slipping the block is OK for fiddles because of the top and back plate overhang. When done to guitars it very often results in eventual side cracks.
    The head block is released from the back along with the rim to back joint around the upper bout. Then head block is then re-angled to change the neck angle and reglued to the back. That process causes the rim to bulge at both sides of the upper bout. On a fiddle that bulge is concealed by the overhanging back plate; on a guitar it is generally forced into compliance as nearly as possible and that introduces considerable stress in the side wood. It is considered an obsolete repair in guitars, but it was commonly done years ago before people figured out how to re-set a guitar neck. Even classical guitar makers and repairers don't like to "slip the foot" because of the danger of latent damage.
    If a mandolin neck can be removed and reset I would surely rather do that than slip the block.

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  17. #39
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Glued in the tail block this A.M. I bet it's a lot easier when you don't have to do a double clamp.
    As promised earlier here are a few pictures of my other harmony. Please notice the extremely shaved bridge. That was needed to get it playable with the wheels removed prior to the reset. Also a picture of the new projects' bridge compared to Mr. Skinny which is still shorter than the projects' bridge. If you look close at the neck side view you can see the shim under the fret board extension reflecting the angle on the neck tenon.
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  18. #40
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Moving along I decided to tackle the fret board removal followed by the extension and then the neck itself. I drilled 2 1/16" holes through the board and will use locating pins upon re-glue.
    Probably overkill but what the heck. Besides I will patch the holes and re-ebonize the board with "witches brew". The pictures show heating the extension, removal showing the joint with a piece of the extension stilled glued in.My other Harmony had a straight extension, this one is notched and sits down in the neck pocket. I've glued the notch back on and show the profiles of it and the neck. The neck removal process was pretty ugly in design and execution and will not be shown due to its' graphic nature. Good news is it came out cleanly. Also shot a picture with the reset formula and what I'm intending to do. I think when it's done there will be plenty of adjustment, especially down as that will probably be the only direction the bridge will need to go in future years. If I'm wrong in my assumptions please correct me on all of that. There is also an end shot of the tail with me holding the back on showing approximate alignment. All in all looks pretty good. Still have a long way to go. The reason for the neck job now is when it comes time to reattach the back I may need to use a strap to pull the sides back in while gluing and clamping. My other one the sides had splayed out and trying to align it all back with the glue and clamps was a 4 handed job that didn't end up as well as hoped. Live and learn.
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  19. #41
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    You can make a temporary mold out of rigid foam insulation from the lumber yard. You can insert cardboard shims between the mold and the body to make any adjustments. It's a lot easier then trying to pull the sides into shape with clamps or straps.

    I would recommend that you do not re-install the neck until the body has been reassembled. If you install it while the back is still off, the neck angle might not be correct after the back goes on.

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  21. #42
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Yesterday got the glue off the fret board and neck and glued up the board and the extension. I used the rubber tape pictured. It only sticks to itself but I covered the neck with painters tape just to be on the safe side. Today I filled the holes for the locating pins and started on the color filling. The back of the neck, which I failed to take a picture of was in pretty sorry shape so I have doubts I'll be able to do much with it. On my other one it was so far gone I just painted it black. We will see about this one. The side cracks seem to still have some silicon and the color isn't liking it much. I'm going to lay down some clear shellac on the veneer scrap and see if it will hold the colors. If so I may fill the cracks with shellac and then do the color over it. My guess is it will be a no go but gotta try it. The colors I got at Hobby Lobby and took the piece of veneer and the back with me for training aids. It's about a close a match I could find so will just have to do. The black is Testors semi gloss enamel model paint. I used this on my other one and it seems to be about a perfect match.

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  23. #43
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Silicon repels finish. I don't know of anything that can be done about that, except to either live with whatever might happen when you try to get something to stick to it, or cut out the contaminated wood, graft in new wood, and touch up or refinish to the best of your ability.

    Aniline dyes are usually a good match for pre-1960's finish colors.
    The hardest thing about a good touch up on a colored finish is minimizing a dark line where old finish meets new.
    There's a fellow named Steve Mirwa in Australia who is particularly good at touching up colored finishes, and he gives some tips on his website. It's worth the time to take a look at some of his techniques. He does a lot of his work with an airbrush.

    Good luck on this one. Since you are dealing with silicon-contaminated surfaces, you might have to settle for repairs that are strong but not pretty.

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  25. #44
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Glued the back on today. I think it fits pretty well all things considered. The tail block area is a bit off but at least it now has a tail block area at all. For the non-professionals like me viewing this project I don't think I mentioned the purpose of the straws on the clamps. Without them if you push the clamps up tight to the body the threads will leave marks. Learned that one the hard way. Don't be like me.
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  27. #45
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    I think I'm about to stop on making the crack more presentable. I've just run out of talent in this particular phase of this project. I knew from the start it was always going to show but was trying to mute it as much as possible. Because one side is proud of the other you have to sand up to the crack from both sides or bad things start happening. Maybe I should have created a Goth/Death Metal theme on the side, popped a bunch of staples in and painted dripping blood oozing out. Would have been easier.
    I did get the neck angle sanded and installed a shim under the extension. The shim is about .035" at the end and tapers to nothing at the heel end.
    Going to start sanding and repainting the black and then fresh lacquer over it all.

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  28. #46
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Got the body and neck masked and painted today. For it's age, except for the damaged areas and edges along the back, the paint was pretty good. Only minor edge touch ups on the headstock so no spray paint needed there. Prior to painting it was sanded down with 400 and 800 wet/dry and wiped with Ronsonol. I masked off the body using tracing paper which I've had for probably 30 years. It is also called trash, flimsy and bum-wad in the architectural fields of which I once belonged. I cut out some small areas under the painters tape to adhere it as I wanted the edges loose to try and avoid as much of a hard paint line as I could. Drilled a small hole in the neck block and screwed in a plant hook for hanging purposes.Shame on me, I know. It's obvious the factory originally painted these with the neck attached and it really leaves an ugly area below the fret board extension. Thought I'd rectify that. Painted them at 6:30 this evening with the temp @ 90 and humidity @ 40. We are supposed to have rain most every day until almost the end of the month so figured it was now or much later. Got them out of my paint booth (back yard clothes line) about 8:00, stripped off the masking and hung them up in the drying room (bedroom curtain rod). Monday I'll sand and feather the paint and see what touch ups they will need.

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  29. #47
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Got all the paint feathered and removed probably 90% of what I'd shot so everything seems to be blended well. I also endeavored to make the back of the neck more presentable but it's probably going to have a look only a mother could love. Don't think the humidity got below 75% Monday or Tuesday so no painting. I took off the fret board tape, polished the frets and filed down the sharp edges on the upper frets with a 3 cornered file. As you can see there is fret wear on the first few frets but they'll live through it. The masking tool is an eraser shield you can still buy at most any art supply store. It's thin stainless steel and works a treat. Another tool of the trade I've had forever. While I was at it my witches brew had been cooking in the window sill for a week and was ready to use. I had poured about an inch of whiter vinegar over a fluffy tablespoon sized wad of 0000 steel wool into an old jelly jar and taped the top closed except for a 1/4" in the center so I could agitate the mix and let it gas off. Strained the mix through a medium throw away paint strainer into a new jar.I now have enough mix for about 2,000 instruments. Soaked 2 tea bags over night to get some tannic acid that acts as a catalyst for the witches brew and ebonized the fret board. I'll probably do it again after the neck is set.
    Wednesday afternoon the temp was 92 and humidity 53 so I shot 4 coats of clear lacquer and hung them back up on the curtain rod. The Minwax dries in 30 minutes so you can lay a bunch of coats fairly quickly and it doesn't require sanding between coats. It is also supposed to fully cure in 24 hours so Friday morning I'll see what kind of finish I can coax from it. The nozzle is adjustable and sprays a flat pattern so you can spray side to side or up and down. If you use this pay attention to the nozzle as if you go the wrong way when you spray it will leave a very thick line about 1/2" wide. You've been warned.

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    My Avatars' Indian name was - Snakes in Head
    Mine is - Runs with Beers

  30. #48
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    It's been a busy last few days so I'm breaking this into 2 posts. Aren't you excited? This one deals with the hardware and short discussion on the neck reset. I reset it on Friday. I pulled a string from the center of the tailpiece through the center of the neck and placed a piece of tape along the edge of the body where it meets the extension. This insured I got it straight and didn't end up looking like it just stepped out of a 1930's cubist painting.
    The tuners were disassembled, cleaned, polished and lightly oiled. I used a short piece of vacuum hose on the end of the tuner shaft, hand chucked in a electric drill (A $5.00 estate sale item) and polished each one with 2000 grit wet sand paper. The plates got wet sanded as much as I could get to, scrubbed with Dawn using an electric tooth brush, blown dry,and dried again with a hair dryer. Also scrubbed the worms and gears with Naphtha, lightly oiled and reassembled. The oil is clock oil for pivots. I kept the gears, posts and screws matched to their original worms just in case.
    I polished the pick guard with Brasso followed by Meguiars PlastX. Bet you didn't know Brasso was a good plastic polish/scratch remover did you? I could have wet sanded with 2000 first and then polished if I wanted all the scratches removed but decided not to.
    Tried to show the before and after in the pictures.

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    My Avatars' Indian name was - Snakes in Head
    Mine is - Runs with Beers

  31. #49
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Now it's on to the body work! Prior to setting the neck the body was wet sanded down with 800, 1000, 1500 and finally 2000. If you thought that won't take too long you'd be wrong. Spent about 3 - 4 hours on this phase and I probably could have spent more time as there are a few areas on the front I'm not particularly proud of. When you sand along the edges of the unbound back and F holes you have to (in my best Elmer Fudd voice) be vewwy, vewwy caweful or else you be staring at bare wood. At this stage that is not what you really wish to see.
    Next out comes the Turtle Wax polishing compound. Say it ain't so Dave. Yep, that's correct. Followed by Zymol car polish. You're killing me, man. The result pretty much speaks for itself. I'll need to get some good outside pictures when strung up to show off the front and back and then you be the judge. Problem right now is it's 90 with 95% humidity outside and my camera lens will be fogged up till Wednesday. As predicted the side will win no beauty contest but surprisingly looks much better in person, especially if you look real, real quick. All in all I'm fairly pleased with it and will let it show off it's war wounds with pride. Still have a couple of light touch ups to do so please don't beat me up too badly on the finished product. Just mutter it under your breath. Treated the fingerboard again and used a fret rocker to locate and adjust a couple of slightly high frets. Hopefully my next post will show it complete as I just need to set the tailpiece, set the nut string heights and string it up. I'll be using D'Addario light gauge on it.I brought in some before pictures for comparison.

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    My Avatars' Indian name was - Snakes in Head
    Mine is - Runs with Beers

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  33. #50
    Registered User oldhawkeye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harmony Monterey H410 Rescue

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Looks like I've come to the end of the road with this. I did find out, when I tried to move the tailpiece cover over to this one, that all Waverly "Cloud" tailpieces are not created equal. No way it was going to slide on so I swapped them. I hope everyone has enjoyed this exercise and maybe you learned some things not to do if you're so inclined to try this at home. The mandolin set up well and has 0.045" at the 12th fret with no issues whatsoever. Next I'm going to pad and line the chip board case it came with as it will rattle around pretty good if I don't. I'll add the pictures to this thread with before and after shots. Please let me know your thoughts on this thread if you are so inclined. The last picture is both my Monterey's with the threads subject wearing the cloud. I need to sell my first as I doubt anyone wants a salvage title mandolin so if anyone knows an approximate value I'd appreciate it. Will post it here in the classifieds if you want it.

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    My Avatars' Indian name was - Snakes in Head
    Mine is - Runs with Beers

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