1839 Arthur Robb, Art Robb, Luthier, Lutes, Guitars, Repairs, Restorations, Plans
Arthur Robb
0044 (0)1666-822945



The guitar as it arrived in the workshop in May 2022 for restoration. It will be kept by the family for the use of a talented young musician. The body is Brazilian rosewood. The fingerboard is also rosewood but may be Indian rosewood.

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The bridge has come away from the soundboard. All six of the well preserved bridge pins have survived.

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The tuning machines which are fitted are not for a classical guitar. They have narrow, metal barrels (the strings wind onto the barrels). Looking carefully at the sides of the peg head, filled holes can be seen where possibly two previous sets of tuning machines have been fitted.

The first set was the original wide barrelled classical guitar set. The filled holes for these are clearly seen. A second set replaced these and they too have narrow barrels, but have different barrel spacing to the original set. Or perhaps this was an attempt to fit the current set which went wrong.

I intend to fit proper good quality classical guitar machine heads as this guitar will be played.

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The MOP eye on the ebony dot was no longer glued in place. In order not to lose the MOP, it was re-glued in place immediately. The turned buttons were removed and cleaned. They are made of cow bone.

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The back was removed using an old table knife, heat, gentle persuasion and patience. It came off rather easily but the two bars running across the back remained with the body of the guitar. This is a good time to photograph the label.

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The back had a repaired split. The repair would have been done through the sound hole. Not only is the glue not holding well, it peeled off, but one of the repair reinforcements is not on the split. The glue appears to have been applied by finger.

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The first of the back bars being replaced and a restoration label being glued to the back in an inconspicuous location. The last work on the back was to reinforce the split with rosewood squares.

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The soundboard and sides were next. There were some splits in the soundboard and these were reinforced with spruce trapezoids. As the glue dried, they were held in place by hazel rods. The photo on the left shows one of two splits in the rosewood ribs, one either side of the rear block. I use thin linen here, ironed flat and glued on top of the split. The repair is light and strong. There was another split at the waist. The old repair had perished and the same technique was used.

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The versatile hazel rods held the bridge in place as the glue set. A block of wood was created to fit the area under the bridge, so the rods could push down against a solid surface.

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Fitting new classical guitar tuning machines and filing the ends of the frets. The wood shrinks over the years but the metal does not.

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The finished guitar has a big, bold sound. It is strung with nylgut, Aquila Alabastro Light.

String length: 633 mm
Overall Length: 934 mm
Width of upper bout: 230 mm
Width at waist: 176 mm
Width at lower bout: 287 mm
Height at upper bout 93 mm
Height at lower bout:100 mm
Nut width: 46 mm
Distance between 12 fret and 1st string; 2.2mm
Distance between 12 fret and 6th string; 2.4mm
Weight: 1.210 kg

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