Dave’s Harmony H82G Rebel

This is special restoration project for a friend of mine to reunite this guitar with it’s original owner (you can see his posting below with the whole story of the guitar, Thanks Dave!). It’s going to have a fair amount of mods to make it more playable and an original themed avocado burst paint job to bring some of the original flavor back.








I started by removing all the original hardware and packing it up just in case Dave ever decides to return it to stock. Then I stripped off the layers of varnish and sanded everything smooth.







The list of mods include:

– Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90 pick ups

– Bigsby B-11 Trem

– Bigsby Sorkin Bowtie / Gretsch Space Control hybrid bridge

– Gotoh Locking Vintage Oval Knob 6-In-Line Tuners

– A new stainless steel truss rod

– parchment pearloid 3 ply pick guard and truss cover

– CTS rotary pots w/ NOS .033mf tone caps and a 3 position rotary switch

– Vintage black Dakaware bakelight knobs

– Nitrocellulose avocado burst paint

The top was in pretty rough shape and the original trem had torn all the screws out. I am installing a Bigsby B-11 and the original hole for the trem spring was right in the “window” of the Bigsby


I reinforced the underside with a piece of 1/8″ thick maple to give myself some backing and a 1″ dia x 1/8″ thick round plug was cut to fill the hole for the original trem.



After the holes were filled I enlarged the pick up hole larger to accommodate the Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90’s we selected for this guitar.




I filled in all the holes and covered the entire top with a thin layer of fiberglass resin. This will make the top stronger and perfectly smooth for paint.




The original “stick shifter” sliding pots were is kind of rough shape and the bridge volume pot is DOA so I made a new pick guard out of parchment pearloid 3 ply material in a shape that better followed the contours of the body and I’ll install a 3 way rotary switch and 250K CTS rotary pots


I Finished the pickguard, beveled the edges, created the wiring harness and mounted everything in the pickguard. It’s ready to drop in.




The body and neck are completely smoothed, I am in the process of sourcing the paint. Once I figure out the direction i’ll go it’s ready for primer and paint.

I shot it with a few coats of a green tinted primer today. The bodywork looks pretty good and you cant even tell where the holes have been filled in. This is just a primer/base coat to help with the final color. I should start with the top coats in the next day or so.








Check back for more…

3 thoughts on “Dave’s Harmony H82G Rebel”

  1. Hey Frank. It’s already starting to make me drool, just looking at the preliminary pics. A little background in case anyone is interested…

    I got the guitar back in the late 60’s. It was beautiful. Original finish was the avocado sunburst. I still remember the feeling I had when my dad took me over to Biasco to buy it. That first guitar. Beautiful. I thought that anything was possible.

    A couple years later (around ’71) I got the bright idea to strip off the original finish and stain/varnish it. As you can see, it looked pretty crappy. I left it in Illinois at my parents house when I moved to Colorado in 79.

    In 2009 my mom passed away, and when we were cleaning out the house I found that the bridge had ripped away from the body (as you can see in the photo). I was heartbroken over the loss of my mom at the time. Losing the old guitar didn’t help my mood. I put it into a pile for the junk man to take. I was really downhearted.

    My cousin Liz came over to the house shortly before the junk man arrived. I asked her if she thought that her brother Jerry would want it. Jerry is somewhat of a collector of guitars and an accomplished player. She brought it over to his house and I kind of forgot about it in the years that passed.

    Then one day while on the phone with Frank who was talking me through a repair on an oven in my pizzeria, we got on the subject of music. I’d known Frank only has a pizza oven guy over the last 15 years (Q-Matic ovens – the best pizza oven I’ve ever come across) and he had bailed me out many times when I needed old parts or instruction. We had never talked about music before, but during this conversation it came up.

    He told me that he enjoyed fixing up old guitars – especially Harmony guitars. I told him that I used to have a Harmony but got rid of it a few years ago. I later called Jerry who had saved the broken guitar from the trash pile and had been hanging on to it for all these years. He still had it! I couldn’t believe it. He and Frank got together and exchanged the guitar a couple of weeks ago and Frank began working his magic…

  2. I remember this guitar! The original and the varnished version, which seemed kind of cool at the time…but also kind of sad. I’m so glad Lizzie rescued this, brother. I don’t even remember seeing it at the time. Lovely pix and stories, and I can’t wait to hear the new version.

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