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Framus Rosita - it needs a bit of work

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  • Framus Rosita - it needs a bit of work

    Hi all, new member here from The Netherlands. I found this forum through the website. My friend gifted me this Framus Rosita - at least I think that is what it is (there remains only a very small piece of the label inside the body). I was wondering if anyone knows if Framus guitars from this era (1950s) have a steel reinforcement in the neck. Also, I'm curious to know if anyone has experience with adding a truss rod to this old thing. Not sure if it's possible because of how the end of the fretboard sits above the top plate.

    This old archtop has been a wall hanger since my friend bought it in 1999. The frets are low and done for, they have been crudely leveled but not crowned. File marks all over the fretboard. Some frets aren't properly seated. The tuners are worn and slipping. The bridge is most likely ebonized pearwood (birnenholz) with a plastic insert. It has been sanded in such a way that it leans towards the tailpiece and the treble side is higher than the bass side). It has a zero fret with a matchstick fix. The wooden nut has two broken ends (it seems to be an integral, wood nut that is part of the fretboard--could be wrong though).

    But it's light, sounds okay and resonates. It has parallel bracing, no sound post and is finished in black nitro which now has lovely checking. It has no kerfling but rather a strip of wood. There was a pickguard on it at some point in history as evidenced by two screw holes. The chrome pickguard with Schaller electrics is a period correct addition, I believe.

    No cracks in the top, back and sides. No gaps between them, it's still in one piece. I had it strung up for a week and the neck seems to be stable. My biggest concern was that it needs a neck reset. I showed it to a local luthier who refretted my 1981 Les Paul Custom 4 years ago (and who als builds double basses) to get his opinion. He said the neck does not need to be reset. The bridge does need to be sanded so it sits lower.

    Anyway, this winter I'd like to try my hand at refretting the old thing (and perhaps even install a truss rod). Always wanted to that, this seems like a low-risk candidate. I'll also replace the tuners and bridge with something period correct. There are two pretty cool period 'sliding saddle bridge' designs by Hofner I'd like to try.