Well, today was the day we saw a much-loved and carefully restored guitar back in the arms of its rightful owner. It’s always hard to say goodbye to instruments like this one, especially having spent well over a month with it in the shop. Still, I’m happy to see it in fine playing condition! Feast your eyes:
She turned out great! With all of the damage done to this family treasure, it was surprising to see it back in one solid piece, with cracks fixed and bracing intact. Tonally, this guitar started out sounding really thin and tinny, but that may have been a symptom of having sat unplayed for so long. After a few days of strumming (and a weekend session with the Tone Right) this guitar opened up a great deal, exhibiting a softer treble and a more pronounced bass. One can only imagine what this guitar will sound like after it’s been well-played again, its thin soundboard waking up, as it were.
Also worthy of note: the finish re-adhered to the top whilst I was cleaning up some glue residue. My intention was simply to re-heat some of the hide glue that had seeped out from under the bridge, but I noticed an unexpected side effect: the finish re-flowed! So, even though most of the finish is still dull and lifted, a good chunk of it actually looks like it should. I think it makes the guitar much more interesting!
Brent, its owner, seemed really happy to finally have it back in his possession. The smile on his face let me know that, like most of the instruments we work on, this is more than just a guitar to him- it’s a direct connection through time, a common thread which he can hold and touch that stitches his family history together.