GG113, George Bauer model 50A ca 1890

A very special Old Gura is ready. It has a long history. Farre, one of my apprentices, found this guitar on eBay. I brought it home to him as the taller of old guitars that I am 🙂 When it came in a package it turned out that it was definitely not in the best condition, but it was already apparent from the pictures in the eBay ad.


Old American parlor guitars like this one often have very and far too thin covers. This one had a lid that was between 2 and 2,4 mm thick, probably made for late strings and that they should sound good already as new. As the wood ages, it becomes brittle, loses some of its tone and bursts. The lids were also some of the cleanest I have ever seen. The positive was that the lid was X-ribbed in a variant that did not follow the usual Martin template. The men's watch was also very long, 65,5 cm which means that the strings get a higher tension than normal. Also the grip board was too thin, about 4 mm on the edge, which means that the neck is not really stable in the attachment. Parlor guitars before the turn of the century often have thin boards, later it was realized that the grip board should be at least 1900 mm thick for it to hold.

Farre found one old directory with Bauer guitars.

The stable, upper saddle and tuning screws were completely missing. An aggravating circumstance was that one was sitting on a large stall with two screws (similar to a classic stall probably) that came loose and brought along a piece of the lid. Even worse was that two notches were cut in the head and massacred some of the fine inlays in mother of pearl. Originally, this guitar had banjo screws in a flat head. Last but not least, the lid had a lot of cracks and about 15 cm bonding with inserts was missing. The lid was also not glued to the lattice. The bottom was in two parts when I unloaded it. The guitar was not in the best condition! Still cost about SEK 7000 with customs and shipping from the USA.

Opened the bottom and got rid of the celluloid strips all over. Bottom of it was a week's glue of everything that was resolved. The most difficult thing was to get order for the completely loose coffin where the lid binding was damaged. Got glue in more spruce along the edge. Reinforced the bottom block which was clean and cracked in the middle. Glued new sewing around to be able to glue back the bottom, the originals were clean and in poor condition.

A funny detail is that both the lid, bottom and all the ribs were colored in brown. A fashion at the time probably. The lid had no stable plate under the stable (possibly originally had a small maple plate), a large stable plate in spruce was glued in to cover the hole and strengthen the thin lid. A piece of spruce was glued in from the top to fill the hole in the lid and a new oversized stable was made to hide the repairs. The screw holes from the old huge stable were filled with spruce.

All the ribs in the bottom had to be original but were glued. The loose piece and a few cracks got a team list on the joint.


The lid got new and stronger ribs and team patches on the cracks. I followed the original's X-ribbing except around the sound hole. Glued in an A-frame instead of making the area around the sound hole stable. The stable plate got the usual plugs and reinforcements around the pin holes. Also fitted a K&K mic before the bottom was glued back into my jig.

The neck got a carbon fiber rod and new nickel bands. The head grooves were leveled and a little more rosewood folded in to make the head stable. The head was thinner than normal, but luckily the expensive Waverly mechanics have a narrower bottom plate that just fit on the side of the head without sticking out (more than a few tenths). They are good and good too!

Got mother of pearl bits milled with CNC by Polar Per Marklund (thank you!). Also made the two pieces of moldings that were made using glued cookies of plates with dark and light wood which were then artfully cut into the 1 mm wide checkerboard strips which were then edged with white, red and black moldings. The holes between the mother-of-pearl pieces were filled with skin glue that was blended with lamp black and ebony dust.


To prevent the neck from pressing into the soft spruce in the neck pocket, a maple plate is milled into the top of the neck pocket.


The neck was glued in my jig and a screw was mounted through the neck block on the inside.


Did an oversaddle linting and sawed up gaps between the strings in the stable leg which were then filled with pieces of maple veneer (a new variant).

The guitar sounds fantastic and is very beautiful. Unfortunately, I dare not put on stronger strings than Newtone Heritage 0.11, but more is not needed. The thin lid and the large body as well as the X-ribbing and rosewood at the bottom and side give an open and soft sound with unusually much bass. A perfect finger-playing guitar. No noticeable wolf tone with good volume and sustain. In short, one of the Old Gura that sounds the best of the ones I've done so far. A memorable guitar 🙂 Little finished pictures.


The binding of the binding is hardly distinguishable from the original.

With press fit, it just went into a Gator 3/4 case!


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