I had no concept that these old Buck Owens red-white-and-blue Harmony 000s were so useful! It is even far more humorous to me, also, since the back and sides are birch rather than the mahogany of the H1203 — which is the closest comparable model. It’s, of course, very cool and very “nation” — so I get the popularity. Who wouldn’t want to make an impression whilst toting 1 of these yellowing old gals?
This has languished in my repair racks for practically a year, now, and at some point the sawdust grew thick adequate to clean it off and do the job. This got a neck reset, fret level/dress, giant new ebony saddle to replace the missing adjustable unit, a set of old parts-bin bridge pins, some lube/cleaning of the original tuners, and the installation of a new headstock veneer (much more on that in a bit). It now plays as it should and has a excellent, midsy, folky, thumpy sort-of tone.
I am nearly certain that this never ever wore a pickguard. There’s not considerably to recommend anything was ever on it.
So, the headstock veneer — grr! This was a new item when it came in — a fresh repro in blinding white and blue. I installed it nicely and drilled the tuner holes and decided to shoot it with a coat of “amber” nitro… only to uncover that the blue was sprayed-on rather than printed or molded and the paint proceeded to crackle and funkify. Ugh!
My program was to hit it with the amber coat and then rub it out a bit to lower the yellowing effect and match the discoloration on the back of the headstock. This occurred alternatively — oh nicely! We win some, we lose some. Since it was “antiqued” already, I re-used the original (broken) truss-rod cover, as well, by mounting it on some sticky-backed pickguard material. Neat-o.
In real life, the yellow isn’t an virtually sickly-green-yellow like in the photo, though — so I consider on the whole this might’ve been a bit of a draw as opposed to a loss. It nevertheless beats 46 years of glue residue on the headstock.
There’s lots of height on that saddle. I utilised ebony rather than bone since the slot was incredibly oversized to suit an old (missing) adjustable saddle gizmo. This is less complicated on the eyes than a mammoth hunk of bone and, as a side-advantage, calms down the zingy highs that birch back/sides can bring out.
The strap button was on it when it came in.
The date stamp pins this to 1970.Antebellum Instruments