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A Panormo that was unsympathetically modified by its owner in the late 1960's. A wooden set square was glued to the sound board. Attached to the set square, a bridge was used to space the strings. A crude tailpiece was added at the stern and steel strings were fitted to the guitar. Many screws and bolts, as well as glue, were used to attach these modifications. To finish the job, a coating of thick brown varnish was applied over everything on the top. One side of the guitar was badly cracked.
My client was a friend of the owner and they fell out over the modifications. They never spoke again but at the owner's funeral my client asked about the guitar and just in the nick of time, saved it from being taken to recycling. The owners family and my client decided to have the guitar restored.
The first job was to remove the hardware and the set square. There was a lot of glue beneath the set square and very ugly holes left by screws and bolts. Next the back was removed revealing plenty of loose bars, some serious damage to the bars below the bridge. One bar needed to be replaced.
The label was easy to photograph at this time. The body of the new bridge was attached before the back was replaced.
Decorative additions to the bridge came later. I had been unable to save the original varnish on the sound board and used half a dozen brushed on coats of shellac instead. The top was so worn and corrugated that any finish involving sanding was out of the question.
The finished guitar will always display traces of it's turbulent modifications, but I think it successful as a working guitar.
A quote from James Westbrook, The Guitar Museum:
I met [your client] this week and he showed me the guitar, for all of its faults, it does sound and play really well.
String length: 637
Overall Length: 930
Width of upper (smaller) bout: 228
Width at waist: 176
Width at lower bout: 287
Height at upper bout: 85
Height at lower bout: 95
Nut width: 47