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guitarcapo

Going to overhaul a Harmony

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I got this Harmony Sovereign Jumbo on Ebay a while ago. It's got the typical loose neck in the pocket and high action. It needs the treatment. I figured I'd snap some photos of the work.

 

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Here's the victim. A Harmony Sovereign 1260. The finish isn't bad but the action is off. It came with nice tuners that replaced the originals. I got a decent deal on this one. $150 including shipping.

 

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oof...Action pretty high. I don't want to play slide guitar with this thing.....

 

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....the back is nice...no cracks

 

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I'm always raving about these backs. One piece quartersawn Honduran mahogany. I never really liked how the tinted shellac they used never showed off the wood well. I'm probably going to refinish the back and sides to fix that and get rid of the scratched after I'm done. I'll leave the top alone though. I like the sunburst and it's rare on these models.

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The saddle is almost down to nothing. I'll be replacing that with ivory once the neck is reset. I'm hoping to get it up taller so there will be lots of break angle for better tone and years of time before another is needed.

 

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This shows the inside a bit. No center seam. Looks like they washcoated some shellac inside for added measure. Hide glue for the back braces.

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Well let's get to it. I pulled the strings off. Time to pull the neck off to reglue it.

 

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I'll use this to pull off the 15th fret...

 

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that was quick.....

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This hot iron will loosen the fretboard tongue from the soundboard....

 

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And this jig helps me pull off the neck when steam is in there....

 

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...getting the old cappuccino machine ready...

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Now time to take the back off. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons. I have to repair some loose braces. I also plan on installing a pretty invasive pickup system in this guitar and replace the ladder bracing with X bracing. I also will use the back off as a way of creating a new neck angle when the back is glued back on. Anyway...time to break out the Xacto knife:

 

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....off with the binding

 

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...in goes the knife

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You can see the blade inside as it cuts between the kerfing and the back:

 

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here's all the binding off:

 

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...more of the blade working around....

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Wow!

 

That must be a 'later' Sovereign, I've never seen that sort of pickguard on one. When were the last U.S. 1260's made?

 

By the way, do you ever 'part with' any of your reclaimed 1260's...I have the growing desire for a very playable example in the foreseeable future.

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I'm getting the side ready for the pickup too. Reinforcing the sides to accpet the electronics.....

 

Notice I glued the necl on already after cleaning up the dovetail area....I'll reset the neck when I glue the back on. The dovetail just needs to be glued in solid.

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gluing this last bit I'm careful to set the neck angle by adjusting where the neck block attaches to the back...I use the string as a measuring tool.

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I'll cut a new binding channnel and replace the binding....

 

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But first cut a new saddle out of ivory...lots of height here now and the action is low even with all that....

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I got lazy and didn't take many pictures of the refret I did....here's one somewhere in the middle of all that....

 

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Here's the tool I use for the binding channel.....

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