GG134 Levin Lute 1929

The last forwarder in the last batch is sent to the customer. This is the first Levin lute guitar converted from floating stable to solid stable by me. It turned out to be with unexpected problems which is why it was only completed now.

The guitar was in OK condition except that the lacquer in both the lid and the bottom had melted in some places, probably a campfire injury 🙂 It looked bad, but it was only to scrape away the worst and with new lacquer on top it hardly appears. Can add that the paint on Levin around 1930 always poses problems when I paint with spirits. The first lap usually goes well, but the second lap dissolves the original lacquer so that the lacquer smashes. When the liquor varnish dries, it stretches and becomes more even, but it is necessary to grind and polish the bumps. Sometimes it can be so only on the lid and not on the bottom / side or vice versa. Levin used some sort of mysterious varnish that is sensitive to both moisture and spirits.

The tuning screws were replaced with new ones, a K&K was installed and it got a new fingerboard and a fixed stable in Madagascar rosewood. Since it is larger than a parlor and has a wide lid, I gave it x-ribbed inside. Stringed up with Newtone Masterclass 0.11 strings, not the usual low tension variant. This guitar was built as a tank with thick ribs / lids / bottom. The bottom and lid were both thinned down almost 1 mm.

These usually sound strict and not much else as original. In addition, it is like a soap when playing on it, either you should be used to the round shape or also mount a guitar band! For these two reasons they are usually cheap to buy, not many people like these lute guitars.

The neck angle was adapted for high string height and a high floating stall. Since the neck and neck block are one and the same piece of wood, it was difficult to find the right angle at the turnover. Took one day to carefully measure the right angle before gluing the neck / neck block. But everything changed when the bottom was glued on. The coffin is not at all as stable as an ordinary curved guitar, but more like a spring that easily changes shape. Did what went into maintaining the neck angle at the bottom seam, but that didn't quite work out. To save the project, the neck had to be thinned a few mm at the top and also the grip board one mm. Since the neck was sharply tight (albeit considerably thinner at the top) it went well. Also got to grind off the varnish on the underside of the neck and repaint it completely with the alcohol varnish.

Next time I work with one like this, I know that it is a lot of extra jobs and that the neck angle must somehow be tested with the sides fixed in some way to the bottom. May try to find a good method next time!

It received oversize toning, segmented stable legs and plugs. Think it sounds really good. The drip-shaped body is probably quite sound, but completely wrong ergonomically!

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