This one is "fresh from the barn" where it has been for awhile. The owner wants to know if it can be repaired- I give him the "anything can be fixed with enough time and money." The top appears to be solid mahogany, any opinions on if it can be made flat again? (I am assuming that It will have to be removed from the body first.) I am also guessing that the most straightforward way to remove is to remove the fingerboard first, then I can get into the top edge seam- there is no binding. This is a ladder braced, 12 fret all mahogany. Label on headstock-Paiges Terre Haute, Ind. Any Info/ suggestions/ links are appreciated.

Tags: top, warped

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I guess you could replace the top.......ouch my music hole melted!Neck l00ks OK>
Hi Hector,

It is probably repairable, but this is a rather low quality instrument, not really worth the expense it would take to turn this thing into a player. I would guess a $400 to $600 repair tab by the time it's done if it was brought to me for repair. I think the guitar would be hard pressed to fetch $200 if it was in good playing order. I would recommend that they hang this one on the wall.

If for some reason your customer was not concerned about money, I would pull the neck, finger board and all. Chances are likely that it would need a neck set anyway. If your going to remove the top then you might X-brace this thing, ladder bracing is not a good choice if your going to want steel strings on it. I would wet the inside surface generously and press the removed top (braces removed), clamped between two flat panels until dry and repeat until flat.
Hi Paul, Yes, I agree, this guitar is not worth the bench time. I guess I posted this to see what suggestions might come up. Also, IF it were to be rebuilt (for the sake of discussion) I was thinking of removing the fingerboard first because I have no idea what kind of neck joint it has. But as you say, this one is probably headed for the wall.
I think I'd remove the neck and/or fingerboard and/or tuners and use them on another guitar. Or if you're really ambitious and the owner has deep pockets, AND the back and sides are nicely grained, solid and in good shape, I' make a new X-braced top for it with a pin bridge.
That's a $14.95 mail order guitar from the 50s or so. It's like my first one. Good for the owner to try to fix on his own, but I wouldn't put a dime into fixing it otherwise. Not remotely worth it, as others have noted.
I just started a similar project to this. Mine is a '39 Lone Ranger Guitar and it was warped and cracked. I knew I should just replace the top since mine was made of birch, but I wanted the extra challenges. Instead of removing the top, I went in through the back. I removed the bracing, which was barely attached anyways and I soaked the top with hot water. Then I pressed it flat using 2x4 scraps. I let it sit 2 days and it was perfect when I checked it. (Side note: Make sure you clear the old glue away very carefully, or you will find your top reglued to the flattening boards). I decided to X brace the top and am looking forward to the final result. I know when it comes time to sell, I will not get anywhere near my time investment, but it has been fun and very rewarding to bring something back to life when I do not believe another person would have considered this guitar for anything but kindling. I guess I should add that although I consider myself a luthier, I only do work on my own guitars (and close friends) so my bench time doesn't have an hourly rate. If there is no personal attachment to a guitar like this, it is hardly worth the time. By the way, the fret board is really beautiful on this guitar.


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