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Hello everyone, I recently bought a 1963 Harmony Master from eBay on impulse for $100. Now I have to fix it. I'm 16 years old, I got no job, and almost zero experience with repairing guitars. The only thing I've ever done is set up my other guitar's action with a knife and sandpaper, and that's not really a repair. I gonna go ahead and apologize that my questions are so basic and boring.

 

I see only a few problems with this guitar; it's got 2 cracks on its left side and needs a neck reset. I've read enough online that I think I know what to do to fix cracks. It's got a little f-hole crack (easy repair, I think I can do it on my own), a much larger crack a few inches to the right of that f hole (a little harder, but I think I can handle it) And it's in desperate need of a neck reset. I've read lots on how to do this too (I sort of understand how to perform one).

 

I have several questions:

Crack questions -

1. What kind of clamp should I use?  Frank used violin clamps for an f-hole crack, but will they reach the bigger crack which is closer to the middle?

2. Are there any alternatives to using clamps? They are really really expensive ($58 for a set of 4 on Stewmac) and I don't have that much money.

3. How do I open up the big crack a smidge to clean it?

 

Neck reset questions-

4. Is the 15th fret where I should drill a hole? I know that's how it is with many flattops, but this is an archtop. (The 14th fret is the first fret to meet the body so I think it is, but not sure.)

5. Alright, here's the big one. I understand how to get the neck off, but what exactly do I do after it comes off? I've read all of the articles I can find on neck resets, but after chiseling off the glue, it gets too complicated, and I don't get it. Can someone please please explain what I need to do to the neck before reattaching it? 

 

Again, I'm sorry if this is boring for you, and you've seen it a billion times.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew

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I love these old Guitars! They were cheaply made but I think warrant using / practicing good repair techniques.

Good place to try hide glue! Or at the least , not bubbly stuff. I bet someone down the line will appreciate that , as these antiques become more appreciated.

Harmony Archtops Rock!

I think I have about 10 of these old guitars and I tried removing the neck and the finger board and I have a neck dove tail jig that I made and by rerunning the the dove tain joint on it and a trus rod with a little groving on the peghead I insta led  the adjustment there.

 

I think I have 4 with factory pickups with tone and volume knobs  I guess I will go to work on them.

 

They ard mine so I might just refinish them also.  They won't have to look new

 

Ron.

 

 

Lee Valley sells a large head bolt thats perfect for cheap neck resets. You drill a hole through the point of the heel and neck block. Cut a 1/4-20 thread in a strap pin, push the bolt through the hole from the inside. Turn the strap pin on from the outside and your neck joint is stable. 

A 1/4-20 tap and the proper size bit will cost you about $6 and the bolt costs .40. If you're careful you can probably turn the tap with an adjustable wrench. You will need a small vise or clamp to hold the strap pin and getting the bolt through the hole from the inside is a bit of  trick. I've soldered a guitar string onto the end of the bolt but you could glue a piece of string onto it to pull it through. Good luck

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