1940 Oahu 66K (Harmony-made) Squareneck Hawaiian Lap Guitar

The Oahu catalogs tend to call this model the 66K (or sometimes the 65M) and so everyone on the net does as well. This particular one, however, is the rarest configuration as it's a Harmony-made version of the guitar rather than the much-more-usual Regal-made version of the '30s. This uses the round-shoulders Harmony mini-jumbo/000-size body shape borrowed from their archtop line. It's a shape that's well-loved by Harmony fans and... ya know... a little sexier than the square-shoulders Regal shape.

It has a Harmony-style 1940 date stamp inside.

I've worked on a number of the Regals (see this one, see this one, and several others un-blogged) but this is the first Harmony version I've had through. It sounds very similar but is maybe a little more buttery and velvety in the upper-mids and a little less up-front with its punch. It's more relaxed-sounding but still has a ton of volume. It's not surprising it would be similar, though -- both manufacturers use solid mahogany throughout and ladder-bracing.

Mind you, now, that this is a squareneck guitar and only suited to raised-strings, face-up-on-the-lap, Hawaiian-style playing.

Bonus features of this instrument include killer checker binding and a beautiful dark sunburst finish over that mahogany. It's classy as all heck and the fretboard is bound, too!

I only had to do a minor amount of work to it and restring it to get it playing/sounding like it should. It's currently tuned to open D with a mixed set of gauges.

Repairs included: bridge reglue, minor cleaning, and setup.

Top wood: solid mahogany

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany

Bracing type: ladder

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret: N/A
String gauges: 56w, 42w, 32w, 24w, 17, 13 for open D tuning

Neck shape: squared

Board radius: flat

Neck relief: straight

Scale length: 25 1/8"

Nut width: 1 7/8"

Body width: 15 3/8"

Body depth: 3 7/8"

Weight: 3 lbs 7 oz

Condition notes: it's nice-looking (minor wear throughout, light scratching on the back) and crack-free save for one, 5" not-quite-through hairline crack on the waist side. I took a pic of it. It's had some sealer put in it and is stable. The tuners are not original but they are period-correct. The bridge is original but the bridge pins are '30s ones from my parts-bins as the ones that came on it were a mixed set. The top does have some belly/doming under the bridge as you'd expect for a ladder-braced guitar strung heavy as a Hawaiian its whole life. It's a non-issue. The bridge plate/strapping brace is also chewed-out under the pins but not a worry structurally.

It comes with: an apparently original hard case in so-so condition but it'll serve for storage and light use.


Mason said…
I’ve got a Supertone branded version of this guitar with F-39 stamp inside awaiting repair. Same checkered binding but an unbound board. Really sweet little box!
Nick R said…
Those tuners are the Oahu "SafeTiString" variety, so I would imagine, they are original to the guitar. Lovely looking instrument.
Jake Wildwood said…
Nick: The owner found these for it -- it had something like Pings on it when it came to him -- but you're right that they're the correct units at least for the Kay and Regal-made ones.
Nick R said…
1940 was when Harmony began using Kluson tuners which had that button crumbling problem, so I suppose it probably originally had those which were swapped out at some time. The funny thing is, it is reckoned that the SafeTiString tuners were made by Kluson- yet their buttons appear to last.