Maybelle Guitar - Rebuild/Restoration After and Before

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Project by Jack_Tao posted 08-06-2013 07:49 PM 1928 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay this is an unusual one for me.

This MayBelle parlor guitar was in a flea market warehouse. The top was separated in places and looked like waves on the ocean. The back was cracked in two sections. It couldn’t stay in tune and was destined to be a wall decoration or on the junk pile. The flea market hadn’t even put it out and I paid them $20 figuring it was a project in which I could no more harm than already had been done.

I replaced the top with a solid cedar top, repaired the back cracks and replaced the fretboard with rosewood. I reset the frets myself by hand. Fairly proud of that though I am sure I broke more than one of the rules of fine lutherie.

It plays, but is a bit bright and jangly, so I tuned it an octave up (Nashville tuning) and am deciding where it fits in. I like it but it is not refined and I have invested some energy, so I may not be impartial.

-- Jack Tao, Connecticut

2 comments so far

View Jack_Tao's profile


29 posts in 2585 days

#1 posted 08-06-2013 07:53 PM

Forgot to mention that I gave it a non-traditional rosette (sanded out and painted and sanded out until it had no hard lines at all – somewhat ghostly). I stained the body and neck with a cherry finish before varnishing.

-- Jack Tao, Connecticut

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3359 days

#2 posted 08-07-2013 08:35 AM

Great job and nice save…..

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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