Dan G's
B &D
GROTON #1
Mfg.-Regal

Restore as per customer instructions
Make playable-Refinish

INITIAL PICS





Regal likely borrowed the body shape used by Gibson for their KG-11 model to build this lovely guitar. This model was meant to compete with the Kalamazoo and related lines. Regal sold these guitars under their own label, as well as re-branded them for other guitar makers. I have only seen a handful of these guitars survive, especially in good condition.

The guitar measures 38 1/2 inches long, 10 inches across the upper bout, and 15 inches across the lower bout and 4 inches deep at the end pin.
  This is a great blues box, with a strong ladder-braced sound, and made as a Spanish model, not a square neck.

The nut is 1 3/4 inches wide and the scale is 24 3/4 inches.
Spruce top, mahogany back and sides.


Repairs


Extension loose from heating, and neck steaming complete
Pick guard was not gassed out, and pulled easily, will re-use it




Steam needle was used for the process.
Minimum steam was needed



Will flatten curvature after board removal
Neck is Poplar



No damage to dovetail our pocket in steaming




Bridge what was left, was part of the orig and part of an archtop bridge, and someone had added a trapeze tailpiece in its life.
We will go with a new O/S Rosewood bridge


Some holes and gouges to fill


Someone had already added a steel bar, but did not level neck before install, so they built the bow back into it basically
I am leveling the wood and metal, which cut at different rates to get back to level







Now to add an 010" mahogany veneer to make the diff and give me something to get a nice bond with






Hit with a scraper, checked for flatness. happy with it


Checking the fit, there is still a heel angle change to do, but later

BRIDGE INSTALL




Only a little bad area from old bridge will show, I will make all the low areas flat with #20 CA, in amber


Holes align perfectly




Trapeze holes will be filled


Scraping all components for best glue bond




Wax paper, #20 amber, with accelerant sprayed onto it, and pulled flat


A little block sanding and I'm flat




Metal caul under bridge plate for support


After the center is tight, the ears are push with the other 2 press blocks


Excess wiped, cure time, 24 hrs
Back to neck for a while...


Time to clean board, and leave time capsule


All scraped for glue


As is the veneer


All nice and flat and ready for glue




Getting the top coats on, starting with clear




One brace came loose when I was removing my rag, it must have been hanging by a thread.
I will level it and clean the inside, glue it back up.




Warming up the Old Brown
I like it about 140F, and the body about 90F




3 wedges, holding it down


Medium brown for the fade base color.



We were trying for a less pronounced fade, warmer look
Mocked up with the pins and saddle, bridge with 1st 2 coats of oil and pick guard hole repaired, and buffed to high shine


Fingerboard installed and clamped off.


If I see any problems with stiffness, I will go with this neck instead :)


Neck out of clamps, profiling the edges


Removed the rest of the frets, cleaned the board top with the radius block.
I will get the neck angle checked and fitted  before any real leveling will be done


A coat of clear on the Poplar for now


Heel cap is gassed out, will replace with same but new material.




ready to shape


Cleaned and machine buffed overlay



Working the angle on the heel before glue application


Good fit back down to the body and clamped


Nice even squeeze, lets keep our fingers crossed!
Now for some fingerboard  level/ radius work

FRET WORK


Bringing the radius to a real 14"now that I have it glued down, and the extension glued to the body
I will offer an opinion here.
I do not think this is a Brazilian Rosewood board, I think it is Indian
It has a brownish look in the shavings and no nice fragrance as is usually smelt when working Brazilian



Flat



I time compressed this procedure,showing the tools used
Fender acoustic fret wire sealed in with #10 Stew-mac
Fret slots cut to depth for modern wire
Compression fretting to the extension, and hand pressed to the end.
Frets were radius leveled which went well, very encouraging.
Board is being oiled and steel wooled



After end dressing, more oil and wool, frets polished with special wheel



After that, it was taken back to the machine buff.
Board was burnished, wire polished to high shine.
The cleaned, oiled a final time for now, and wiped with soft cloth.
That completes the fretwork.
I plan to work the setup next and let it settle in some, get all that working.
It is when you hope all of your "guess work" can come to a happy ending!
And then, will pull it back down and "Finish the finish"



OK 1 string on that is all I need to know, and right where I'd hoped to be.
This is a universal bridge and made over sized so you can match your needs
All I need to do is take off about 1/8", sand smooth and re-oil, then cut saddle to match.
So lets get to it.



The "Sure form", will make quick work of the overburden.
Then I will block sand it smooth

Cutting the angle back in the peg holes

Prepping the top for final coats
Saddle completed and will string it up once more to check the work before going to final finish coats.

BACK TINT


Since the mahogany is figured, I went with a tight edge fade and a little  less flow out than on the original
Not much, but the opacity is less.


Now I will add the final clear coats to the body and the neck up to the peg head while Dan gets me a set of new machines for it.
The originals leave much to be desired.


Installing the nice new Waverly tuners
Will not use bushing on front to keep a more vintage look so holes are good just as they are.



After buffing the top

1st setup
Strung with 47/10 coated.


Pick guard is just set down for looks
Lacquer checked on the seam as soon as it went under tension
I'm sure all that inside bracing looks tight but may not have been.
Oh well, it is not bellying up, thats a good thing.
Tuned to pitch, no fret issues on initial test
Neck is centered pretty well, only about 1/64" off  perpendicular.
Action is about 1/16 higher than I want but very playable, encouraging.
Want to let everything settle here for now.


Installing guard with 3M double sided paper from Stew-mac, made for this .


You just peel the backside paper off now and stick it
Since it is going on lacquer, and old celluloid I liked this option  better that raw wood and glue.
If it ever did start to gas out, a heat gun and a new one would be much easier this way as well.


The good and the bad.... next morning


Everything still together, bridge has not flown off...etc
But I see a crack from bridge top to sound hole
Thought it was finish check, but its not.
Have to go look

 
I reached in and glued some cleats up it,  rubbed in some glue will re-string now.
Its is either live with this, or pull the back, really repair it, refinish the top.
Most is under the pick guard now
Could have gotten weak in the bridge removal-reinstall new, not sure but under tension it let loose.


Some more hours together, nothing else has changed
Finished the saddle, and nut work, playing better than before, want another 1/16" lower is all to be "Medium low"
 

Phase 2
After a week, nothing else has changed.
But I feel that the neck angle or the neck straightness is not the issue
I think it is rising slightly under tension
I feel there is glue degradation at the neck block caused either from time, or from steaming the neck out.

Looking inside with lighted scope


The neck block, under tension, does show some gap on the bottom side.





  Up by the top, I see a tiny separation there, it does not take much



And the bottom, treble side, I see an opening here as well.
The dried yellow glue is the assembly glue used to reset the neck.
That is definitely "up"


Back apart for inspection


After scuffing, time to check the block for real


No tension, neck is back down where I want it to be


Going in, this seam was suspiciously opening up by the heel so starting there

Right around to the front like it was nothing, we got dry joint issues abounding I expect.
We all know where this is headed and the reality is, that this time, it will actually be repaired
If it goes OK, it should be juts a spot finish to tie it all back in after repairs... I hope.

At the neck block, ...nothing, not even an effort and this is usually the hardest spot.
I'm happy to know that my guess was right and all the hidden stuff is exposed.

A pretty clean release, a few kerfing pop-offs,
Bracing is "stuck" but barely.
The one I already glue is stuck .
I pulled the cleats and now can really smooth it and do it right


The glaring problem with the back...is it is missing the entire front brace.
Saw that with cam, but didn't snap the pic
Maybe someone thought it sounded tubby?
Will clean that glue from bridge installation off.2 center braces loose on both ends 3"
Other one is stuck from me gluing it previously
That little bit of kerfing I can skim off and replace it onto the affected area.
It pulled because of the new glue in that area


Quick water spritz, they are ready to pull.



After pinning it to the table, I glued and pinned the braces down



My smallest  drill bit, to add weight to the center.
Ok...my Smallest Oil Drilling bit.


After curing, bracing weight is reduced by....this much.




a thin coat of shellac, to make it more climate tolerant.
An accepted method in today's world.


Ready to glue up


Getting it in the clamps-12 hrs.
Doing one side and both neck blocks at once, so I can use that retention to push on the other side when I feed in glue and clamps, so the body matches up with the back.
Without a jig, you cannot make a body not flex so I would rather work my way around it.


Well, 95 percent went well.
Treble upper rib was "out" and no amount of pushing was going to change that.
Added to that area (Black CA)and re-profiled
The rest was aligned and required minimal profiling , but lost some finish


Fade on edge re-shot, ready for clear


First coat of clear, we seem to be headed back to the end of the tunnel.
Do not move the light back again!


Finish blending complete

2nd SETUP


Neck angle is good, it all just feels stiffer, better.



Action is now right one, 4/32 at the body.


Saddle height is back up to achieve this
So Id say I'm on the path again.
Will need to re- dress frets a little, but so far, so good.

PFINAL PICS

Strung to pitch again, action is good raised the saddle, tweaked the fretwork, seems good to go.
Should easily take Medium to medium heavy gauges
Now it can settle in and we can strum it to get it to start opening back up.













I will let the finish cure before I do any more buffing and then some wax, and will await the "King of the Tension Lock Tailpiece" to come and give me a visit at the Haven.
Thanks Dan, once again you have inspired me to get out of my comfort zone !
Everyone else...Thanks for watching
Vinnie