I have been asked to make this guitar playable. There is no identification on it. I looked in the book Regal Musical Instruments 1895-1955 by Bob Carlin and found one guitar that looks close and the dimensions given for the guitar are very close. I've attached two pages from the book.

The height at the 12th fret is 7/32 (guitar to pitch). It has nylon strings on it but I suspect it started as a steel string. Ladder bracing. There are some cracks that need to be attended to. I have not taken out the bolt in the heel of the neck - there is a wing nut on the other end, but have loosened it a bit and the heel towards the fingerboard seems to be tight against the body.

Also, someone wrote in pencil 1878 GB (as seen thru the soundhole). If I've identified it as a Regal, then it was made somewhere between 1900-1904 (according to the book)?

Is a neck reset still possible or is the neck been pulled to far up?

If a neck rest is possible, would it be best to set it up for nylon strings?

Looking forward to your replys.


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Thanks for asking. A floating bridge should be a bit higher than a glued down one. A glued down bridge is about 9 mm high, from memory a floating bridge should be around 15 mm from the top to the strings. I may need to check it for real tomorrow (I have some sample bridges I use when making floating bridges). It all depends on how stiff the top is, if it's curved or well braced a higher bridge is no problem. I have to admit that I haven't investigated this particular detail that much, most of my restorations are done with glued down bridges.

Looking at my example floating bridges, 20 mm is not too high. I'd say between 15 mm and 20 mm between the top and the strings should work. The taller the bridge, the more force is put on the top.

Hello again Roger,
Thank-you for taking your time to reply to my question. I plan on making a rosewood bridge with a bone saddle (the bridge that came with the guitar looks like it was originally made that way but someone decided it would be better to modify it to it's current condition. That being said should I set neck angle the same way as a glued bridge (straight edge landing on top of the bridge)? To me that seems the way to set for acoustic guitars.

Yes, the same way. With a bone saddle you want the usual extra 2-3 mm height of the saddle above the bridge surface. The interesting measure is the final height of the strings above the top, 15-20 mm. The bridge itself should be 2-3 mm lower than that to make room for the saddle.

Great! I can see the end of this project now. Thanks again for your time and expertise.

I have one just like it but it mahogany with a beautiful medium dark reddish brown top. Same neck carve and hardware. Mine is engraved "1902" on the tailpiece.

I removed my neck to reset. I think it's cedar with an ebonized pear fretboard with cool folk art inlays.


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