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1960’s Stella Acoustic Repair

South Austin Guitar Repair

 

Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar
Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar

 
Here is an old guitar that underwent a total makeover. Once again, the was the unfortunate result of parents allowing their young children to “play” their guitars. I honestly don’t know how these kids are able to deconstruct this guitar the way they did, but this is absolutely the most broken guitar I have ever come across…

The top and back were almost completely separated from from the sides, only being held together by the neck, which was broken at the dovetail joint, loose from the top and fingerboard splitting apart from the rest of the neck. The inside of the guitar had melted crayons scattered about. There were no tuners or string nut and bridge saddle. The kerfing on the sides has been split in various locations… basically, this guitar was as they call in the auto-industry, “totaled.”

But one can’t put a price on sentimental value and it was decided to bring this guitar back to life. I think for this occasion, I’ll let the pictures do the talking 😉

 

Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar
Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar
Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar Austin Guitar Reconstruction - 1960's Stella Acoustic Guitar
  1. Dan Powers Reply
    nice job. I was fortunate to find a "closet" Airline made in fall of 63 of the same type as the Stella (rebranded by Mongty Wards) in a pawn shop. It is a great player and it sounds excellent for what it is.
    • admin Reply
      I agree! These little guys have an earthy tone and are quite loud for their size. Like a fine wine, old acoustics get better with age.
  2. Steve West Reply
    I'm restoring a Stella just like the one you did. Mine is not in quite as bad a shape, and I have two guitars, so I can pick and chose the best parts of each to have one good guitar. Neither guitar has a saddle, so I am not certain what the original looked like, except from the slot in the bridge, I can see it was about a quarter inch wide, and quite long. Do you have any photos of the saddle so I can craft one like the original? Thanks. Kindest regards, Steve
    • Andrew Reply
      Hey Steve. I appreciate your interest in this project. I don't have any pics of the saddle specifically, but there pretty simple to do. These old parlor guitars have a flat neck radius, so the saddle doesn't need any curvature like others would. I'd suggest getting some bone stock and sanding it down as needed to fit in the slot. You'll want to also sand or file the top of the slot at an angle to create a "peak" for your string to rest on. If it's left flat, it'll vibrate weird and sound like a sitar. If you want to get really fancy with the saddle, you can take a small flat file and compensate the B or G strings a little farther back to help with intonation.
  3. maruska estudios Reply
    Did you steam the neck to remove it? (I feel like I can fix my stella but never don it before) thank you in advance Maruska
    • admin Reply
      I did, yes. The neck joint had split in half, but both parts were still glued to the body of the guitar. Steamed both off in pictures 6 and 7.
  4. Allen Reply
    I have an old Stella that needs some help too. The front and back are usable but the wood is very dirty and dry inside. Looks like a few drinks my have have sloshed around in there too. Is it advisable to use a wood conditioner on the top and bottom? Stain? any help appreciated Al
    • admin Reply
      As long as it's not causing the wood to crack dry isn't a necessarily bad thing. If you're able to, I'd sand the areas with some 220 grit to remove the layer of crud. From there, you could potentially use wood conditioner, but I would suggest getting a small humidifier (the ones made by Taylor guitars are great), leaving it inside the body of the guitar and in a case for a day or two.

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