Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My 1966 Harmony Silhouette

I am the proud owner of a 1966 Harmony Silhouette. A guitar that I have actually had in my possession since I was 16 or 17. A very long time ago. It was given to me by a friend because he knew I played guitar. At that time it was in pieces.The body, the neck, and the pick guard with the electronics attached to it.

I had no idea what the make was. I had no idea how to fix it. But I really liked the shape of it and thought it would be cool to do something with it someday. So, I put it in my bedroom closet and promptly forgot about it.

That is until, my Mother decided to clean out her house this past spring, and found the disassembled instrument. She brought it over to my place, saying ' I didn't think I should throw this out' or something to that affect. Needless to say, I was pleased that she had kept it all of these years.

Now that it was no longer the '80s, and we have the internet, there was a great opportunity to find out what this guitar was. I should explain, that when i got the guitar, it had 3 coats of white paint ( and maybe a coat of yellow ), and there were no identifying markings, other than a stamp on the inside of the pick guard saying 'manufactured 1966' or something.

It did take me a few hours research to figure out which guitar it was. Not too long to narrow it down to Harmony, but they had quite a few guitars that were very similar. I thought it was a Bobkat at first, but they had a different tailpiece.

Now that I knew what it was I just had to figure out how to go about fixing it up.

The Parts :

Quite a bit of time and research went into finding the right bridge and tailpiece/tremar bar. I figured out the tremar bar was made by Hagstrom. I found the tremar tailpiece at the Hagstrom spare parts site . But they didn't have the bridge. I found that on Ebay ( actually from a music shop specializing in violins ). I'm convinced it was the only one for sale in the entire world.

Gord from the Kingston Guitar Shop had the tuners. Although he had to modify them slightly to make them fit. He also had to fit in some wooden pieces to hold the posts for the bridge to go on.

The Paint Job :

That's all thanks to my friend Richard Piche. He stripped it, sanded it, and added an nice authentic redburst finish to it. Considering he had never done this kind of paint job, I think he did an awesome job with it.This is a pic of the guitar below :

He was using this picture that I found on the internet as a guide :

Pretty cool if you ask me!


1 comment :

  1. one of my friends has actually loaned me his h-19 as I am learning. He doesn't use it but it does make me a bit nervous, it's such a beautiful guitar I freak that I'm going to drop it or something. They really are a site to behold and congrats on bringing yours back from the edge.

    one thing that truely strikes me is how unique they stand out. the pickups on my friends even have engravings

    The one I'm using has wonderful sustain.