Bringing Back to Life a Folk Era Harmony Nylon String Guitar
A recent customer dropped off a Harmony nylon string guitar to be restrung. This one was assembled in Chicago, IL by the Harmony Company to fill the swollen demand for guitars during the folk boom of the early 1960s. CMI (Harmony) was the largest manufacturer of stringed instruments at that time and supplied most of the department stores with their name brands. Unfortunately, we could not decipher a complete model number; something that appears to end in 10 – our best guess puts this instrument in the early ’60s.
The customer acquired it 17 years ago from a neighbor who brought it along for his tour of duty in Vietnam. Considering what it has been through, it is in quite good condition. If only it could talk, I’m sure it would have some wonderful tales to tell.
Before re-stringing, we had to replace a missing screw from the original Waverly tuner cog.
Fortunately, we have a tub of old Waverly tuner parts to mine from.
Success! We found a fit.
Several years ago, a quick and dirty fix to re-attach the bridge to the top wood was made using screws.
We used La Bella nylon strings because this Harmony requires nylon strings with a ball end.
A check of our work shows we have the ball end in the right position.
A small hand drill makes tightening so much easier.
Tip: if you have squeaky, tight tuners, don’t use any type of petroleum to smooth operation; it attracts dirt and dust. We recommend using paraffin wax; particularly Gulf Wax. We got ours at the local hardware store.