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Thread: Regal tenor restoration

  1. #1

    Question Regal tenor restoration

    I bought this tenor a while back and I unfortunately hadn't paid enough attention to the condition in the photos. It's got a lot wrong with it and I was hoping to get some opinions about the restoration.

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    On first glance it doesn't look absolutely terrible but it has a crack all the way through the center that goes up through the side of the fingerboard extension. There is a seperation of the top from the rim on the lower right so I wonder if it was dropped. It's also got a section of the backstrip pushed in.

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    All this has caused the top to sink at the bridge:

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    The action is high so it needs a neck reset as well as everything else.

    My questions are:

    Am i correct in thinking that these have a dowel neck joint?

    Would it be better to remove the top or the back to attend to the internal issues and side seperation as the neck is coming off anyway?

    With the amount of work this needs would it make sense to x-brace it? I know some of them were built that way and presumably it would help the sinking top.

    The bridge isn't original but it is quite nicely made. Would a different design (thicker with a bone top as per the original) make much difference to the tone or volume?

  2. #2
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    I restored one and rebuilt it with an X brace.
    I sold it on EBay or to be more correct almost gave it away on EBay
    I cant remember exactly how much I sold for but I think it was around 160 ($200} and I spent a lot of time and effort on it including mini geared tuners that cost me 75.
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...r-guitar/page2

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    This is mine....Ben moved away from Minneapolis awhile back. Is in Tucson now. He did an excellent job on it. Still rock solid.

    https://www.brockwayguitars.com/abou...or-restoration

  4. #4

    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    Oh not a dowel then - I had presumed they'd be built similarly to the octophones.

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    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    I found a few pictures Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    More info on mine. As you can see from the Brockway site I did have some additional work done on mine. Added a four string trapeze tailpiece (ebony crosspiece by Andrew Mowry and cannibalized ebay short trapeze metal bits) and Waverly 4081 Uke tuners. Just could not get used to looking at the geared banjo tuners. The intonation was also bad at the bridge. He make a new ebony one a little wider to cover up the scar/discoloration. The front of it has some bearclaw.....and the back and sides are flamed cuban mahog that looks like a cross of strongly flamed maple with the color of rosewood.

  7. #7
    Registered User Cary Fagan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    I'm not an expert but I have done some minor repairs on three of them and fairly extensive on an octofone. I think taking off the back--which is much easier to do than the top and any scars are less visible--is a good idea. The sinking of the top may have to do with loose braces. And you need to take of the back really to get the neck off anyway.
    Cary Fagan

  8. #8

    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    Thanks for the advice everyone - it's all very helpful!

  9. #9
    Registered User liestman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    Would you please post any comments and photos on how your restoration goes? I love the old Regal tenors (I have one with the figured mahogany back and also one with Brazilian rosewood back and sides - the Professional model) and would love to watch the project.
    John Liestman -
    Eye new ewe wood lye kit!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    Yep! I'll update when something is happening - expect it's not going to be for a little while however. Mine is rosewood too:

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    Pretty sure mine is Indian rosewood which Regal were a big importer of (they apparently sold Gibson the Indian Rosewood they used in the 1930s and they were also the original importer of that lovely curly cuban mahogany they and Harmony used).

    I think mine was second in the line to the custom shop model (which i think the only difference was that it was x-braced?) but I've never seen a catalog with the higher end models in so I don't know.

    Are there any opinions on the bridge? I feel like maybe a slightly wider bridge would distribute the string tension a bit more widely and might improve the tone?

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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    The back of mine....not a great picture. Is ladder braced.
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  13. #12

    Default Re: Regal tenor restoration

    I restored one of these a few months ago and here's my two cents.
    I agree the bridge on Cerebarats is too thin. The footprint of the original is visible on mine and it's at least half again as thick. I have about as much sinkage under the bridge as this one with no loose braces and it's been very stable so I'm not sue how much of a problem that is. The neck reset was a little easier than most because it was only holding on by the fretboard extension. This is what I found when I got it off.
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    Mine looks like the twin of Ajhs except with the original adjustable banjo tailpiece.
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    I made the bridge out of Osage orange and bone. It actually looks the same color as the spruce top.
    It also needed a half fret job and board releveling. There is a lot of honest wear on it but I think a 95ish year old instrument is supposed to look "well loved".
    Lastly, I would leave it ladder braced. Nothing against the X braced ones but the vast majority of them were ladder braced and I think that sound is part of their charm.

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