Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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From the database  H1250 - Jamboree Acoustic flatop - Black, white pickguard Production year(s) : 1957-1960 (othe...

Harmony H1253 'Roy Smeck' Jamborre

From the database 
H1250 - Jamboree
Acoustic flatop - Black, white pickguard
Production year(s) : 1957-1960 (other years possible, not verified)
TV guitar - Wide and thin body. Early models were made with the "Harmometal" body trimming.
 Top wood: Spruce
Body wood: Birch
All solid woods

I have the H1253 which is the same Jamboree construction except with a different headstock logo. This picture below is from a model with the Harmo-metal binding which appeared on earlier models. The main difference between that guitar and mine is this guitar has much cleaner looking lines in the logo while mine looks like it was quickly sprayed on and moved on down the line. Perhaps the procedures at the Harmony shop changed during the run of these guitars. Regardless I believe my model is one of the later years.

I recorded a quick video when I still had the guitar apart which shows the shattered bridge and the dovetail joint. The wood used for these guitar fingerboards is very fragile as I found out, I split the fretboard extension off and the folks at my local guitar shop (Driftwood Music, St Charles, MO) said the fretboard is a "fruit wood". Info I found on the internet suggested that the dye they used to darken these fretboards was a little too acidic and so it caused a "dry rot" in the fingerboard.

The guitar is stamped on the inside "21CH1253"

Here is my quick demo of the guitar after I got it to a more playable condition, there still are some buzzy frets unfortunately.

The repair work done to it involved taking the (already loose) neck off the guitar using steam, paying for a new bridge to be made out of Ebony, compensated plastic (I know, I know) nut, completing the partial tuner set with parts from Driftwood Music, and serious moisturizing of the guitar and the fretboard. It was extremely dry and I started work late at night (big mistake) and so I ended up chipping the fretboard when removing the fret above the dovetail and so I discovered that pearwood fretboards absolutely do not like being worked on. Every repair resulted in more crumbling and eventually I just decided to clean it up the best I could and leave it, this was a quick repair to get it playing for my grandfather. If I had more time and a set budget, I would probably replace the fretboard with a nice slab of actual ebony to help the guitar last even longer.

Cool little guitar that isn't too common to see floating around, especially not the Roy Smeck version

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