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The Guitar Medic

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1898 Mandolin
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1970 Stella H927
1970 Harmony H165-1
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This Page Shows Dave V.'s Rare Harmony H165-1 Guitar
Dave V. (last name withheld) is an acquaintance I've made in Minnesota. In a discussion (one that I likely monopolized with my seemingly endless dialogue about my hobby of repairing guitars) Dave told me that his father, who passed away some time ago, used to be a professional musician. One of his dad's old "bang around" guitars that he played around the house was this all solid mahogany Harmony H165-1 model. It is dated Fall (or "First--depending on who you talk to) of 1970. That year, Harmony had begun switching over to the four-digit model numbering scheme. But just before they did so, they built a few of this model of guitar. It was a kind of transition model from the 1960's H165 to the 1970's H6365--having a truss-rod like the H6365--which the former H165 did not have, and having no binding, much like Martin's J-15, and unlike any other H165 or H6365. It was known as the "poor man's J-15". So Dave inherited this extremely rare and beautiful instrument, but it had some problems. That's where I came in. He asked me to look at it. I did. In fact, I took it home to central Indiana and did some work on it. It had a large crack in the side of the lower bout, that had been poorly repaired. Also it had experienced a strap-wart. That's one of those areas of a guitar, where it lay against a strap in storage for some time and reacted with the lacquer finish--causing a completely "messed up" area. The strap wart was on the back of guitar in the center.


Below are photos of the finished guitar. It came out beautifully. I was thrilled that it did. If you have read my introductory page, you know how I feel about putting an instrument back into a nice playable condition for someone. I was just ecstatic about being able to work on this beautiful instrument and put it back into Dave's hands. It is a real beauty and will give him years of pleasure.

BELOW - The area of the "bad repair" is barely visible now.

BELOW: Another view of where the crack was.

BELOW: The back where the "wart" was, now is completely refinished, and looks immaculate!

BELOW: Tuning machines had rust on them. I used a product called "EVAPO-RUST" and removed all rust and corrosion from the tuning machines.

BELOW: The face of the guitar (soundboard area) only needed cleaning. After cleaning, I applied Martin Guitar Polish, and it gleams like new.

BELOW: This photo is included both to show the beauty of the headstock in its original condition (just a few nicks here and there) and to show the truss-rod cover I made. The original truss-rod cover was missing, so I made one to match the body wood (above). It matches fairly well and makes the guitar have even that much more class. The "battle scars" on the headstock give the vintage instrument character, so they were left alone.