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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:48 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:28 am
Posts: 178
First name: Leonard
Last Name: Duke
City: Kalamazoo
State: MI
Zip/Postal Code: 49001
Country: USA
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
A friend of mine has a 1937 National. It had a rip in the side all the way from the top to the back. The rip was caused, believe it or not, when (blind) Rev. Gary Davis was carrying it and walked it right into a heavy antique fire extinguisher. She couldn't find a guitar repairman who had a clue what to do. It sounded horrible, no bass.
I pushed the two sides of the ripped brass together and bridged the crack with common electronic solder. Two years later it is still holding. This thing is a real joy to play.
My question is: does anyone have any experience of what would be the right way to fix it? I've thought of making a tiny thin nickel-silver plate to cover the Doctor Frankenstein look of the repair. That would be the right color metal, but it would probably look almost as out of place as the way it is now. My instinct is to not make it any worse in case someone later cares enough to fix it correctly.

These users thanked the author philosofriend for the post: Lonnie J Barber (Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:50 pm)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:43 pm 
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:04 am
Posts: 2060
Not making it worse is the best path. If anything further is done to it, it should be done by a qualified restorator. The solder you put on could be removed at least, so there are certainly worse things that could have been done (sheet metal and rivets?). Still, if it's holding as is, I wouldn't attempt any further impromptu or experimental improvements on an instrument like this.

I'm surprised she couldn't find a repair person able to take this restoration on - you know we have Steve Olson, one of the most experienced and sought after resonator specialists in the world, right here in Lansing. Then although I'm not sure he's doing much for repairs these days, we have Matt Eich at Mule Resophonic up in Saginaw, who is a master of metal work, including artificial aging.

In any case, if it's working right now, I'd strongly suggest leaving it alone until the owner finds an experienced restorator who is fluent and familiar with the path to restoration, with predictable results.

Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:24 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:15 pm
Posts: 448
Location: Santa Barbara, Ca
First name: John "jd"
City: Santa Barbara
State: Ca
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
For such an historic instrument, I would think you want to go right to the source -Don Young at National Resophonic is a nice guy and very helpful.


These users thanked the author windsurfer for the post: Lonnie J Barber (Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:51 pm)
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