Washburn Parlor Repair (New Model)

In Process

 Stringed Instruments   October 14, 2021

Washburn Parlor Repair (New Model)

The Guitar

Washburn New model. Serial number 68970 puts the year of manufacture at approximately 1893. The Lyon and Healey company that built this guitar was located in Chicago. This guitar has Brazilian Rosewood back and sides and headstock overlay. A spruce top and an ebony fingerboard. Ladder bracing is used on the top and the bottom. An ebony pyramid bridge includes ebony string pegs. The slotted headstock has ivory tuner buttons as evidenced by the rich grain in the buttons.


The Repairs

The top was polished to eliminate many of the scratches and abrasions that the guitar had picked up over the years. The patina of age still remains just has a really nice look to it now.


 Over time the bridge had started to lift and needed to be reset.



The original maple ridge plate was damaged from all the peg pulling over the years. Rather than replace the plate it was decided to fill the cracks with maple sawdust mixed with wood glue. Tried CA (superglue) but it was too hard to work with especially inside the odey so opted for wood glue. This was used on the top as well after which the fill areas were sanded smooth

Top Repair

Inside repair

A bit of belly sag is not significant and common for ladder braced guitars. Continue to use light tension strings. Might be able to relax with heated metal cawls. This sag is about ⅛”. Forum “experts” have suggested that sag up 3/16 is acceptable.

Low Tension Strings

Ladder braced tops need to use light tension strings

Thomastik-Infeld Plectrum extra lights (AC110 are ~92lbs)

Thomastik Infeld KR-116 steel rope cores (91 lbs tension)

steel Newtone NHS-010 (94 lbs) steel

Classical nylons are 89 to 92 lbs.


“Light” tension but still too high tension for ladder braced tops...

Martin Silk and Steels are 122 lbs

Extra Lights are 130. 


Book on Wasburn parlors



Forum reference on this repair






Belly Sag


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