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I've just acquired a prewar Washburn with some parts in good shape.
I've been trying to date it to determine how best to restore the bridge. It has no logo other than the Washburn stamp on the spine and the word NEW MODEL. It also had, over those words, a Beuscher Band guarantee label with the serial # 219494. There is an ink stamp on the neck block with the number 13700. No sign of interior signatures.
Its biggest problem is the hack job of a bridge replacement. Someone chewed the heck out of the top getting the original bridge off (I assume it broke) and then replaced it with a cheap and badly glued -- probably not clamped at all -- classical bridge. This was peeled up at the bottom about 1/8 inch when I got the guitar (it did have nylon strings on it), and it took part of the lower bout with it. Even with all that going on, it still had a sweet sound.
I think it needs a pyramid bridge -- ebony? -- and I thought I'd make it slightly larger than the original (about 1 1/4" across) to cover the worst of the damage to the top -- where it's gone, I mean. The bridge plate is also damaged, torn out where the peg holes have merged and been chewed up.
Is the original plate maple?  This has a fairly small plate, only slightly wider than the bridge. The guitar is V braced, with two diagonal braces converging on the treble end of the plate at the side.
Back sides and neck in pretty good shape. Still has one side of the original ivory tuners, other side has poorer quality broken replacement. Neck -- offset wedge -- slightly warped.
I'd love to know more about the instrument.
And yes, I plan to use hide glue. Put sliver replacements in the two top cracks below the bridge, patch the plate, patch the top and add a bridge plate overlay -- probably maple w the grain parallel to the top. Make a replacement bridge. Not sure how best to deal with the cracks as they extend above the bridge.
Yrs,
Barbara

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Here's a photo of mine, Matt.

This is when I first got it. I'd taken the strings off, but it still has the classical bridge on in here. Looking at the book about prewar Washburns leads me to believe this one was made between 1889 and 1905.
There's those and then there's these: http://elderly.com/accessories/items/AART1-C.htm
Leetle discrepancy in the price. But a better match for what is on the one side. Know anything about either of them? Do the stewmac ones work OK?
Sorry, I haven't had a cause to audition or stock the Stew-Mac set. I suggested them as a cost effective upgrade to the originals. In my experience, S-M's stuff is of 'really good' to 'exceptional' quality.

Which ones to get depends how financially deep you want to get into repairing/restoring the instrument.

Given the amount of work it needs just to be structurally sound and playable, I'd personally start with the Golden Age tuners from S-M.

The $40 investment will at least allow you to hear the guitar and evaluate its structural stability without breaking the bank. If the guitar warrants $300+ tuners in the future, you could upgrade and then use the GA tuners on a different project.

Best of luck with your project (:
I'd first remove the old bridge plate and then patch the missing spruce around the pin holes, then make and install a new maple bridge plate. Next make an appropriate size bridge(not oversize) approximately 1"X 6".

You shouldn't have to remove the back, it can all be done through the soundhole.

Jim
I wasn't planning on taking the back off until I discovered the crack tail block. I'm not sure how much it affects the structure -- it's cracked horizontally, but it feels pretty sound.
Jim, I noticed that both you and Dave said 'Make the bridge the same size as the original' rather than slightly oversize. (1" wide rather than 1 3/16") I was planning on doing the oversize one to cover where the top is chewed and where my patch will go. Can you tell me what your reasoning is as to why I should make the bridge exactly the same size? Is it esthetic or structural?
Barbara
I now have the back off and am debating how best to fix the bridge plate. I am leaning toward patching it with spruce similar to the existing plate. Other options include 1. taking it off and gluing on a new one made of a.spruce b. maple; 2. patching it with maple or mahogany or 3. patching it with spruce and then reinforcing the patch with a slightly larger piece of harder wood.
The issue is that the first bridge tore off and pulled holes in the bridge plate as well as the top. I want the structure to be solid so that when I redrill the holes the whole thing will stay sound. At the same time I'd like to return it to as close to the original sound as I can get. If I use a harder wood for the bridge plate, it will change the sound. What about a patch, though?
I would replace the bridge plate rather than patch for structural reasons since the top will be patched in the same place. If the original is spruce replacing it with same will be fine. But I would replace it. With the back off it will be alot easier.
I'd replace w/a maple bp for strength all around.I guess you'd have to not worry about original sound/tone unless you know what that was.JMO. Since back is off you'll be able to fix a lot of bones....
Steel or nylon?
Came with nylon. Structure of the rest of guitar suggests nylon. Of course, it could have been strung with all sorts of things in its long life.
Here's an extreme example of this kind of damage, maybe there's something relevant here. This is a 1902 1-34 Martin
with a monster bridge plate, epoxied in place, covering some nasty damage to the top.


Once removed, lots of damage noted. So, made a small tool to remove a wedge shaped area of the top where the damage was and used the opposite side of the same tool to make the spruce patch. When it was glued in, it was flush with the adjacent top material and quite strong.


Then I made the new bridge plate to match the existing outline which still existed (fortunately) and it came out like this.


So, with the back off, you have a lot of room to do the best repair. If it were me, I'd splice some fresh spruce in the area where the worst damage is and then make a new bridge plate. It will be a strong repair and my offer you more
options on string types. Plus, it's good practice for a more valuable or extensive repair in the future. You already have
the back off, now is your chance to really do the ideal repair and gain the experience. Just my 2 cents.
Bruce

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