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Thread: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

  1. #1
    Registered User Pappyrich's Avatar
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    Default Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Does anyone have an idea about the age or maker of this old tenor guitar. It was given to me as a luthier project. As bad as it looks, with the exception of the finish damage and the hole in the top it is in pretty good shape. No cracks, pretty straight neck, tight neck joint, and all solid wood construction. There are absolutely no markings of any kind inside or on the outside.

    Thanks for your thoughts.Click image for larger version. 

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    Richard

    Eastman 305
    Gibson A1 (1919)
    Martin D16 guitar
    Great Divide Guitar (Two-Old-Hippies)
    OME 11" banjo (1973)
    Pisgah 12" banjo

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  3. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    The pickguard (or where the pickguard was) makes me think it was a Regal. They were building with that pickguard and the squared off headstock in their later years. It looks like it was in some extreme heat. Those Waverly buttons shouldn't have deteriorated like that. It could also have been built after Harmony acquired the Regal brand name.

    Is that Bondo on the back?
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Yeah, I just watched OPPENHEIMER, in which one of the engineers at Los Alamos is depicted as carrying around a pair of bongo drums and whacking on them whenever he feels happy. His tenor guitar-playing buddy, who set up to watch the test detonation a little too close to ground zero, was left out of the film entirely.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Body shape and pickguard shape indicate Regal to me also.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Registered User PT66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Dave Schneider

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Came out of the same factory as this one I would guess.

    Or this one.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Aug-29-2023 at 10:14am.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  10. #7
    Registered User Pappyrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate the information.

    Mike, no, it is some kind of felt material. My guess is that this instrument spend a long time in a very hot attic sitting on top of a piece of felt which virtually melted itself into the finish. By Sanding and using paint stripper my wife was able to remove it without further damage. Judging from the deterioration of the finish it may have been close to in a fire, as well. It is interesting that despite the finish damage it is in pretty good shape overall. I guess you could say that this one has been "torrefied".
    Richard

    Eastman 305
    Gibson A1 (1919)
    Martin D16 guitar
    Great Divide Guitar (Two-Old-Hippies)
    OME 11" banjo (1973)
    Pisgah 12" banjo

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  12. #8
    Registered User Tug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    I want to see the end result.

  13. #9
    Registered User Pappyrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Well, I spent about 5 hours today hand sanding off all the yuck after my wife removed a lot of the old finish with paint stripper. What a pleasant surprise. Under all that gunk was a nice mahogany and spruce guitar with a mahogany neck. I am not completely done with the sanding, but so far the results are looking good. Here are some before and after photos. I'll send more updates as the work progresses. Not sure what's next. I'll probably take the neck off and work on the reset.Click image for larger version. 

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    Richard

    Eastman 305
    Gibson A1 (1919)
    Martin D16 guitar
    Great Divide Guitar (Two-Old-Hippies)
    OME 11" banjo (1973)
    Pisgah 12" banjo

  14. #10
    Registered User mreidsma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    I believe that is a 1960s Harmony-made, Regal-labeled tenor, the same as the '60s Harmony Sovereign tenor guitar, the H1201: https://reverb.com/item/49831497-har...1-tenor-guitar

    Nice work cleaning it up!

    Edit: whoops, looks like everyone else beat me to the ID. Read the whole thread next time, Matt!

  15. #11
    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Yeah, I just watched OPPENHEIMER, in which one of the engineers at Los Alamos is depicted as carrying around a pair of bongo drums...
    That's no engineer. That's Richard Feynman! :-)
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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    That's no engineer. That's Richard Feynman! :-)
    Seriously? I knew Feynman was a character in the film but I didn't realize he was Bongo Boy. That's too cool.
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar


  18. #14
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    He was the one who refused to accept the original explanation for the Challenger disaster. There was an interesting TV documentary on him in the UK quite a few years ago. Someone once said that they went to one of his lectures and, whilst he was speaking, understood clearly everything he was saying but five minutes later they couldn’t remember anything he’d said.

    Even I knew he was a bongo player!

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  20. #15
    Registered User Pappyrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    In case you would like to follow the progress on this old tenor, I am posting pictures of it in the "Builder and Repair" forum under a post about seeking advice for the binding repair.

    Thanks for you interest.
    Richard

    Eastman 305
    Gibson A1 (1919)
    Martin D16 guitar
    Great Divide Guitar (Two-Old-Hippies)
    OME 11" banjo (1973)
    Pisgah 12" banjo

  21. #16
    Registered User Pappyrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    I'm getting pretty close to finishing this old tenor guitar so I thought I would post a few pictures. I'm not totally satisfied with the finish on the top, but it is pretty close to looking like I want it to. The sides and back came out pretty well. I used amber shellac to darken it somewhat, and I like the final color. It took lots of work and provided lots of learning experiences, which was the main objective. The good news is that it sound really nice.

    Take a look at the first post in this thread for the "before" pics.
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    Richard

    Eastman 305
    Gibson A1 (1919)
    Martin D16 guitar
    Great Divide Guitar (Two-Old-Hippies)
    OME 11" banjo (1973)
    Pisgah 12" banjo

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  23. #17
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Wow. Just wow.
    A talent for trivializin' the momentous and complicatin' the obvious.

    The entire staff
    funny....

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Good job.

  25. #19
    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    Curious what the bracing looks like. On myH1201, it looks like someone tried to stick 2x4’s in with as much hide glue as they could manage.

  26. #20
    Registered User Pappyrich's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help to Identify this Old Tenor Guitar

    bbcee,
    You are not far off. As close as I can measure the back brace that is just above the sound hole it is @.1/4" wide and somewhere between 5/16" and 3/4" tall with scalloped ends and a rounded top. Which in my mind isn't that bulky. You are certainly correct about the amount of glue applied. Harmony builders were always very liberal with their application of glue. It must have been cheap, and they didn't want things to come apart. They obviously were told not to spend any time cleaning up the mess on the inside of the instruments.
    Richard

    Eastman 305
    Gibson A1 (1919)
    Martin D16 guitar
    Great Divide Guitar (Two-Old-Hippies)
    OME 11" banjo (1973)
    Pisgah 12" banjo

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