GG146, Levin tenor 1935

In the batch was an unusual Levin tenor guitar from 1935, full size but with only 4 strings. That they are rare may be due to the fact that a tenor guitar does not have to be this big, the solution with string holder and the stable very high up on the lid is not a good solution either. The menstrual cycle is only 55 cm and the stable is far from in the middle of the lid, which is optimal.

The match for a worn guitar you have to look for, it has obviously been played a lot. Not much except the neck had the same shape as when it was new. The lid and bottom were really shrunken, the bottom had been re-glued with a black cloth to glue. The lid had a wide crack between the lid halves. The original stable was planed down as much as possible, but the string height was still too high. The straps were narrow and low as on an old mandolin and also worn. The bottom binding was almost completely missing and part of the lid binding was replaced with a piece of white painted spruce (!). Even the half binding of the fretboard was replaced with a new binding. Original tuning screws were replaced with cheap open standard mechanics. The string holder intended for strings with a loop and not a string ball was in good original condition.

Loosen neck without major problems. The bottom also came loose, but the bottom notch was not beautiful with the black glue (resin?).

It had an oversized ladder bracing. Not good, after all, it is only 4 thin strings that will drive the large lid. After a bit of scratching, it became something that resembled Taylor's new V-rib, two thin spruce sticks (one under the stalk) across the lid to hold the fibers together and two longitudinal ribs stiffening the middle of the lid and a stable transverse rib above the sound hole. Later, I swept out and added a transverse rib under the sound hole, felt like the lid needed support on both sides of the sound hole. The new bar was scalloped hard so as not to stiffen the lid too much. The wide bottom got four regular ribs a little smaller than the originals.

Planed the bottom carving clean from black glue and supplemented with small pieces of new carving where the old one broke when the bottom was unloaded. Thinned lid. In the wide crack of the lid, a spruce stick was glued in. The bottom was significantly shrunk. To solve the problem, a 2 mm thick rosewood strip was glued around the edge of the bottom to make the bottom wider, then a new 2 mm thick plastic bond was glued on the rosewood strip. At the bottom bonding I had to press the coffin into the narrowest place about 1-2 mm to get the bottom to fit the rest of the coffin, the excess bottom was removed when the trench for the new bond was milled.

Gave the fretboard a light 20 ″ radius. Banded on with brass straps and reused the upper saddle in bone. Upper saddle toning is not as necessary as on a guitar, the strings are thin and do not vary much in thickness. Intoned the new stable according to the usual method. A brand new stable was made of ebony with the original as a template. Did not feel right to let the strings rest directly on the ebony wood, folded in 4 small pieces of brass band. The neck was rearranged so that the stable was at the right height above the lid. Intones well, with the floating stable you can fine-tune the intonation. Added a couple of coats of spirit varnish.

It got four new Waverly banjo tuning screws purchased from Stewmac.

After a lot of vibration with double aquarium pumps, I think it sounds really nice with the four thinnest strings from a regular 0.11 strings. The pressure against the lid was less than expected, you can certainly use strings from a 0.12 set as well. Maybe as good as it can sound with floating stables, a stable stable is always preferable in my opinion.

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