Cataloging my experiences and encounters repairing and restoring guitars

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This is a Harmony H-1422 which was branded as an S.S. Stewart model 7004 for distribution by Buegeleisen & Jacobson. As of the authoring...

Harmony H-1422

This is a Harmony H-1422 which was branded as an S.S. Stewart model 7004 for distribution by Buegeleisen & Jacobson. As of the authoring of this article, H-1422 does not exist in the DeMont Harmony Database and only a few examples appear on the internet.




This particular instrument has a floral decal applied to the upper bass bout which I inspected closely and determined to be quite old. Whoever placed it there did so a very long time ago and must've lacquered over it because it exhibits checking. Was it a special order from the factory? Can't really know but its definitely not a recent addition. Unfortunately the instrument was oversprayed and polished so its glossy but there are some visible drips on the sides and the original nitro lacquer is hiding beneath. It was done adequately so I have no intention of trying to remove it.


Age

This instrument does not have a visible date stamp within the body so any dating will have to be done through what I can observe and what I can compare against.

Image Credit: VintAxe

This is a scan from a 1940 B&J catalog showing this model of instrument and the description states "natural color mahogany throughout". No Harmony catalog scans exist from the 1930s unfortunately.



The tuning machines are Waverly and I have the exact set on a 1936 Harmony I own (confirmed via date stamp). All my post-1940 Harmony guitars have had Kluson tuners or the generic bell-end tuners. I've done some research on Reverb listings and as far as I can tell, Harmony started moving away from Waverly in the 1930s and then went entirely to Kluson in the 1940s.

The fretboard has two slots cut in it which are visible from the dovetail and the nut which I believe are to accommodate two steel reinforcing rods running parallel down the neck. The neck is also extremely responsive to magnets, more so than my other guitars that I know have a single bar. My theory is also supported by a 193(6 or 8) Harmony Supertone, which I owned, that had two parallel steel reinforcing rods.

Construction


The neck is very light colored mahogany, steel reinforced, and with grafted headstock wings. The fretboard is a slab of gorgeous Brazilian Rosewood with the typical 1-2-1-2 inlay dot pattern. The frets were small, vintage-style and terribly worn so I replaced them for my restoration.



The back and sides are solid Mahogany and the top is also solid Mahogany. A typical, winning combination for a pre-war archtop from Harmony.



The top has the typical parallel tone bar bracing that you'd expect to find on an archtop from this era but the back has ladder bracing like a flat top. I've seen that back bracing on a 1930s Kay-built Old Kraftsman and believe it indicates a solid wood back.

Markings

Model No 7004
Serial No 2633
4187H1422





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