Tag Archives: guitar

Restoration of ’60’s Harmony (by Heath) hollowbody electric guitar

This cool old piece walked in the door yesterday, in need of some TLC.

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Looks like a side seam had opened up, among other troubles. I didn’t get real far, but laid out a curve to match the true edge of the body.

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Then made a wooden caul to exactly match the shape.

Once I finish the clamping jig, I’ll press the side back into place, get some hot hide glue in the seam, and clamp the pieces together.

More to come..

As an aside, the original pickups look to be DeArmonds, and they have a very unique (not to mention cool) sound. Easy on the eyes, too!

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I’ve seen plenty of Harmony Rocket guitars, but this is the only one I’ve seen that started as a Heath kit. Awesome! 😉

Clamped and aligned..

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It took three clamps to stabilize, but looks like it worked out well. Hot hide glue applied, now letting it set up hard.

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Good result..

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Bringing the pickups into adjustment- those polepieces were crazy high, and the pickups themselves were very far from the strings… The new positioning will give the instrument a much stronger signal, with less background noise.

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Here’s the fretboard- Dirty, corroded frets and covered with gunk. Funny what 20 years sitting in a barn will do to a guitar.

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Some cleaning, polishing, and a good moisturizing treatment will bring this back from the dead.. lol

Washed, scrubbed, scraped, buffed, and oiled…

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Much better now!

I found an old switch tip that matches the character of the instrument, drilled and tapped it to fit the original switch. One more item down.. 😉

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Now a partial disassembly, bath, and polish is in order..

Tightemed up a loose neck

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Pulled the tuners off and polished the headstock on all sides

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Cleaned. lubricated the tuning machines. Straightened two bent tuner shafts, and repaired a binding, sticky tuner- reinstalled.

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Cleaned, tested the electronics and reinstalled.

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Polished and tightened the loose bridge.

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Knocked the nut off- it had been glued off center. Cleaned the slot, the nut, reinstalled properly.

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Pulled the pickguard, output jack. Cleaned and aligned the jack, polished the face of the instrument.

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Here’s a little gem under the pickguard.. Awesome! 😉

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