4/08/2018

1920s Regal-made Sterling 0-Size Flattop Guitar




The headstock brand says Sterling, but this guitar was undoubtedly made by Regal as it has many of their usual design features on the inside of the box -- including transverse ladder bracing (with the main brace set at an angle). It's almost identical to an entry-level Washburn-branded Lyon & Healy guitar from the time save that the fretboard is ebonized maple rather than actual ebony.

The top is solid spruce while the back and sides are solid mahogany. The neck is Spanish cedar and the original bridge is ebony. It's had a rough headstock break (and rough repair) in the past, but is otherwise fairly clean except for some finish alligatoring on the back and usual wear-and-tear marks. I'm pretty sure this was used exclusively as a Hawaiian-style guitar for many years as there's the usual wear-line from an extender nut on the fretboard and there's no endpin.

My work on this included a neck reset, fret level/dress, fill/recut of both the saddle slot and pinholes at the bridge, a new bone saddle, minor crack cleating repairs, and a good setup. It's strung with 46w-10 which is as heavy as I'd go on this. It has a warmer, mellower tone than usual but still mostly suits fingerpicking rather than flatpicking.

Specs are: 24 3/8" scale, 1 3/4" nut width, 1 1/2" string spacing at the nut, 2 11/32" spacing at the bridge, 13" lower bout, 9" upper bout, 3 5/8" depth at the endblock, and a medium-sized, V-shaped profile on the back of the neck. The fretboard is flat. Action is 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret.






The original bridge had a straight saddle that was both in the wrong place and uncompensated. As a result I needed to move it back which meant also moving the pinholes to the rear, too. I added a new compensated bone saddle and ebony bridge pins as well.








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