Restoring a 1960’s Silvertone Archtop
But I had hope that I could make it a player.
I found an old Silvertone Archtop at a local antique store a few weeks ago. It was laying in the corner, next to a pile of has-been books, records, and vintage what-not. When I asked about the guitar, the owner, fairly unimpressed, said it may be able to be used for decoration, but ‘that thing has seen it’s last days of playing. Judging by the looks of it I’d say that he was correct, and after taking it to our local guitar store, they confirmed the condition “Well, you may be able to screw the neck back in and use it as a slide guitar.
The neck had separated from the body from the tension of the strings. But surprisingly, no cracks or structural damage could be seen
The tuning pegs were still in place, but each of them had cracked and then white ivory dials were gone. The pegs were not frozen, still able to be turned slightly though.
The finish on the the guitar is beautiful. The blonde finishe, which showed use but not abuse, had a beautiful patina that can only come from 50+ years of playing and sitting in storage.
Despite the antique dealer’s prognosis, I bought the guitar for $40 which came with a soft shell case. So, thinking the case itself was worth $40, I figured I picked up this guitar for free.
Those are some detail shots of the neck and body after the glue had been heated up with a steam wand and scraped. It was quite a chore and took a few hours to get it looking clean.
Once is was cleaned, we set the neck in the body again, and had to use a dremmel to remove a little material off the neck so it seated correctly. I played around with a few shims made outof old saxaphone reads, but found we were able to get a tight enough fit without them.
Huge thanks to my buddy Taylor from Aglipay Music for all the help and use of his tools and space. I wouldn’t have known where even to begin without him.