(with radical headstock repair)
I believe this guitar (on the left of the photo) is a good example of a H.A. Weymann & Son’s attitude to their craft . Many guitars, especially in the early 1900’s appear to be one-off instruments, this could well be one of those. This experimentation and innovation of the company, and attention to detail, is why I like this company.
This guitar, besides having the larger sound hole compared to the standard Weymann ‘Parlor’ guitar of the era , is narrow in depth but still has a 24 ½” scale like it’s big brother (or sister).
I bought this guitar on ebay about 5 years ago for next to nothing as it had extensive damage to the mahogany headstock:
My friend, Matt, from Matts Guitar Service, Brisbane, did the structural work of putting this headstock together and I did the aesthetic aspects. The mahogany was very soft, but all the pieces were there and Matt was able to glue it back together. For strength he put 2 shafts of thick veneer down the outside edges of the headstock. He also routered in another veneer piece down the centre into the strip dividing the 2 slots (but not all the way through to the back). Then a veneer of rosewood was applied to the front.
This meant the back and top of the headstock still showed the original rosewood with the existing WEYMANN gold label and serial number. The original tuners were not usable, so I used some reproduction StewMac ones ( BTW so few makers from this era could achieve such clean slots cut into the headstock).
The holes where the tuner barrels went into the mahogany were oversized and the timber was soft. I filled them with an epoxy putty and imbedded ¼ “ tuner bushings (the same bushings used on solid headstock guitars). These provided a firm seat for the barrels and thus helped eliminate any problems of the guitar going out of tune. Some of the bushings needed to be shortened.
All in all, I was pleased with how the repair turned out.
The accentuated spruce grain is probably a result of wood-fire or cigarette smoke, and it is embedded into the grain. The replacement ebony bridge I made myself (see how in this post) and the bridge pins are boxwood. The beautiful rounded neck is the original finish, as is the rest of the guitar apart from the headstock.
This smaller guitar sounds great and is a great little player and it gets a lot of use around our house. With 6 children and 9 grandchildren dropping in at various times we just leave it in the living room, and it is always being played, and I don’t have to be too precious with it.
Here’s some youtube videos of this guitar, the first one is a duet with a vintage c.1890’s Bay State Concert guitar, this will feature in it’s own post shortly:
Many thanks, Namaste.