This Bruno parlor guitar came with its original coffin case.  The guitar itself is about as close to a basket case as they come.  It was held together with duct tape, and I suspect it had been used as a stage prop.  In spite of the many splits in the sides, most of the wood seems to be there.  Thick varnish was daubed over the sides and back, and you can see that same varnish still on the top and fb.  The top is in remarkably good condition except for the varnish.  Any thoughts about getting the thick varnish off, while trying to preserve the original varnish underneath?  Or should I just go with: "very little of the original finish is left on the rest of the guitar, so why bother?"

Once again, many thanks for the help and advice, George

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The original finish is more or less gone. You will need to get rid of the lacquer... usually a non-no when doing a restoration. Try methylated spirit and see if it dissolves the overspray, if so, a lot of spirit and tissue papers will get the lacquer off and some color will remain. This also gives a good base for some clear or tainted spirit lacquer or shellac.

The one thing you may need to give some color is the top, the wood in the sides and bottom will look good with a clear coat of spirit based lacquer or shellac.

Other than that, you will need a lot of hot hide glue and cleats! :-)

Oh, the top have a LOT of ladder braces, I count them to 7. Some must have been added, 3 or 4 will do.

Hey Roger,

I will try the methylated spirits.  I can experiment with the finger board, where the varnish all has to come off, anyway.

All of the many top braces are tucked neatly under the linings, and appear to be original to the guitar.  The  upper transverse graft is not under the lining, but that is the usual case.

I spent a couple hours yesterday making cleats, and suspect that I will need more.

The neck joint is a simple mortise and tenon, and I am leaning toward a bolt on supplement.

Even if the braces are original, there are too many of them. They can actually be tucked in later if the bottom is off. The two braces below the one under the bridge will dampen the tone.

I simply use a wooden screw through the neck block and into the heel from the inside for necks without a dove tail. A small washer to spread the load, thin superglue in the hole to make the connection stronger. The hole in the heel should be drilled as wide as the central part of the wooden screw. To make the fitting easier, screw in the screw with the neck loose and use some wax or candle-grease to make it easier to mount the neck.

Check my site for some inspiration :-)


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