Knutsen Hawaiian Guitar

Owner and musician Michael Guthrie (http://www.moorafa.com) tells me:

"I found this guitar in Old Town Pasadena, California in 1981 at the Salvation Army thrift store. It was is extremely poor condition, covered in dried mud, coming unglued, the finish was nearly rotted away, the bridge was stuck inside with old rusty strings still attached to some of the tuners, and a broken piece of the top was also inside. Everyone thought I was nuts to try fixing it except a nice old fellow o had a antique furniture repair business next door to the sign shop I worked at. Turns out he used to work for the Louvre Art Museum in France and repaired instruments for them! He helped show me how to do repairs and sprayed a satin clear lacquer finish on it for me. I have been playing it ever since, people love it. Everyone asks me what kind of wood it is - I still don't know, many guys have offered their opinions on what it is."

I don't either! Note: The top, back and sides are all the same wood.

3/22/05: Guitar aficionado Jonathon Kellerman (who is very good at wood guesses) writes: "Has anyone suggested Myrtle?  It's used quite a bit up in the Pacific Northwest, mostly for smaller objects such as bowls, etc. Just logged onto Woodworker's Source and the Oregon myrtle wood sample shown looks a whole lot like the guitar.  They say the tree can grow to 100 feet, so I'm sure you can get boards wide enough for a guitar.  I'm curious about the acoustic properties.  From my time up in Seattle I recall it as being a very light wood.  My money's on myrtle for this one."

hw29full.jpg (50843 bytes)

hw29side.jpg (38954 bytes) hw29sh.jpg (44109 bytes) hw29headback.jpg (32330 bytes) hw29back.jpg (47547 bytes)

Click on a picture to enlarge
(images copyright Michael Guthrie)

 Knutsen Archives Inventory Number

HW29

                 Category

Hollow Neck Hawaiian Guitars

                 Body Style

"Weissenborn-shaped"

                 Current or last known owner

Michael Guthrie

                 Year (approx)

1914-1920s

                 Label

full "New Hawaiian Family", white
                 Label Code LA1

                 Courses / Strings

6 strings

                 Frets

inlaid wood

                 Scale length 24-3/4"
                 Neck Joint hollow, square, taper begins between second and third fret

Woods

Top

myrtle?

Back & Sides

myrtle?

Neck

cedar

Fingerboard

mahogany

Bridge

koa

Headstock veneer

none

Binding, trim

Top

rope

Back

none

Fingerboard

none

Headstock(s)

none

Soundhole

rope

                 Inlay

celluloid dot fret markers

                 Pickguard

none

Dimensions Upper Bout 10-3/8"
Lower Bout 15-1/16"
Body at endpin 3-1/2"

                 Comments

 

 

To Hawaiian Guitars

Home

To Next Instrument

[Biographical] [Instruments] [Historical Photos]
[
Credits] [FAQ] [Bibliography] [Updates] [Links] [Contact]
[
Home (Knutsen Archives)] [Home (Harpguitars.net)

All Site Contents Copyright  Gregg Miner, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,2006. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright and Fair Use of material and use of images: See Copyright and Fair Use policy.