Rescuing a 3/4 Guitar: New Life for Purpleheart :-)

My SO and I visit a local flea market frequently and a few months (July 2023) back I saw this beautiful but beat up little 3/4 guitar. I’d be talking about re-learning how to play (I used to when I was a teen) and this one spoke to me.

She was unplayable as is. Her bridge glue must have died, so someone ran a few screws through the bridge to reattach it, and when that inevitably failed they’d screwed something else in of which there is nothing left but more holes, and when that failed had attached a surface bridge…that was now also broken. There were so many holes, and chips, and her head pins were coming out, and, and, and :frowning:

It was less that she spoke to me, and more that she cried out in pain!

Many many sandings, and experiments with woods to make a bridge (zebra wood though gorgeous is too soft), and failures in gluing…

(click to see WAY more pictures)

This is when I figured out both that the zebrawood couldn’t handle the strain, nor could the 3M glue so after tearing out everything…

She is now repaired, and proved to have a beautiful singing voice!

I chose to leave her finish both matte, and a little (visually) rough (to the touch she’s smooth as butter), in homage to the life she lived. The layered yang is mahogany. The bridge and eye (which holds a pick) is purpleheart. The saddle is bone. All the wood is 1/16". The yang is 2 layers, and the bridge is 4. Did I mention so much sanding?

Next I need to revisit my guitar hangar post and come up with a design for her!

Her voice:


need to hear her sing!


Working on it :slight_smile:

*Link added at the bottom of the post


Wow! I’m very impressed with your work on this!


Pretty to the eye and ear.


You did a great job on this! Love that you gave the poor thing a second life! Looking at all the pics, it truly is a work of art. Thanks for sharing this with us.


Wow! What a great rescue!


What an amazing restoration job! It’s really beautiful, doesn’t look like the same guitar.

Best of luck rediscovering your guitar playing skills—you’ll have a blast.


This is just fabulous!


So cool!!