Geoff Groberg

Resurrecting an Old Archtop Guitar – part 1

Some months ago, I purchased a cheap, old archtop guitar. It’s a 1957 Harmony. It wasn’t in great shape, but I knew that this particular guitar was made with all solid woods. I also knew that I couldn’t afford to buy a new expensive guitar. And I don’t really want one anyway. I want to restore (and customize) this old thing!

It’s not quite finished, but I’m getting excited. Here are some photos of the project so far:

The Harmony guitar is the one in the lower left. No offense, but I didn’t like the black and yellow finish.

I tore off the old fingerboard, after heating it with an iron. I’m replacing it with a new, natural ebony fingerboard.

Stripping off the old finish.

I have to reshape the neck joint. The angle was too low, a problem with a lot of old archtop guitars.

Removing the old plastic binding. I’ll be putting on some natural cocobolo wood binding.

I really need a real workshop. My wife agrees.

Glueing the new fingerboard to the neck.

Getting ready to “dress” the frets.

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