Restoration and hollow neck conversion of 1929 National Style 1 squareneck tricone resonator guitar

"[...] Priced at $125, style 1 was the best-selling German Silver Instrument. Certainly most tricone guitars seen today are this model. [...] The entire German silver series of tricone instruments was priced for professional players, and until late 1929 Style 1 was the least expensive National guitar model available. [...] There are certain Art Deco afficionados who contend that only the plain Style 1 Nationals are true examples of pure Art Deco design, and that the engraving on the higher models looks old-fashioned in compatision to bodies. [...]"

Main restoration contidions:
• absolutely no irreversible modifications
• as many original parts as possible without the sound quality loss
• as little modern parts and fillers as possible, thus exposing original wear and long-time usage of the instrument

The instrument was purchased on Ebay in spring 2013 for $ 820, making it one of the cheapest prewar metalbody Nationals ever sold through Internet, and probably the cheapest National Tricone on Ebay ever...

But the condition explains much: body splitting all around, dents, broken fretboard, tuners, tailpiece and t-bar missing. Happily: we've got the original cones!

another shot of the fretboard and body injury

Some previous "inventors" and "repairmen" have put a couple of layers of various stuff like felt, paper, resin, silicone etc. to get rid of the cone buzz. Hard to imagine, but cleaning in off took a whole afternoon.

Original nut is here! Found lying loose in the case. How it survived - is a miracle, guitar had no strings on for decases...

With the guitar in parts lying on the workbench, the decision is made: hollowneck conversion. An extra reinforcement plate is soldered in under fretboard, with no cuts, holes or other changes to the body.

More of the soldering job

The headstock-side wedge is the only wedge to stay inside the neck, as it's necessary to hold the headstock. The body-side wedge and the block from under the fretboard are remowed. Nevertheless, all of these parts can be reinstalled in the future.

Fretboard instalaltion

Cone well after cleaning, rust removed

Final effect: