Classical Guitars: New top for a Requitno

This Requitno Guitar
needs a complete top replacement. This is how the guitar was presented to me. Top clearly smashed along with some of the top bracing. A new top in in order. The bridge and the tone bars will be salvaged

The first step was to measure and mark the position of the bridge. Placement on the new top must be exact. A new saddle will need to be made to adjust for any small amount of height change in the new top.

The tuning machines were missing. During it's life this guitar has had several sets of tuning machines. There are cracks in the neck that need to be fixed and screw holes to be filled. The peghead must be made stable again.




The bridge was heated for removal for the old top. It will also need to be stripped of its finish and refinished .

The fretboard has been heated to soften the glue and removed. Note the heating tool in the back of the photo on the bench. Exact placement of the fret board at the time it is glued is critical. Measure before the board is removed!

The binding is cut away along with the top trim. This allows for a clean removal of the top. The remaining top joint is heated and the top removed. New matching binding will need to be made to replace the old.

The old top is placed back together so that a pattern can be made of the bracing. This pattern is then used to make the new top.

The two cross tone bars from the original top were not damaged. These parts are left on the guitar to hold the shape of the back, sides and neck. At this point a complete inspection is dome to insure that all damaged areas are repaired. I found two side cracks and one back crack that needed repair. These were not visible from the out side of the guitar.

The new top is under construction. The fan bracing is being glued on the top. Placement of the sound hole and all of the bracing needs to be exactly as the old top. The rosette has already been made and put into the top.

The new top is complete and ready to glue on to the guitar. The top lining has been cleaned off as has the heal of the neck. This is a Spanish heal guitar so the neck is not removed. There are two internal braces that will need to be put on the top once it is glued to the sides.

The new top is clamped to the guitar with tape and weights over the cross tone bar braces. Once the glue is set the top will be trimmed along the edges. The new bindings will be made and hand bent to shape. Matching the wood is critical for a good job.

The new top is on the guitar now and the binding has been glued in and flushed to the top and sides. The fretboard is glued back in place. The notes taken at the early stages of the process tell the exact position.

The completed guitar. The finish was a great challenge. I had no way of knowing what was on there. A combination of French Polish and l hand applied Lacquer was the final solution.


The Requitno guitar is tuned up to A on the low string. The rest of the strings are a standard tuning from that A. It is like having a capo at the 5th fret. The high tension and small body make for a powerful high tuning tone.

Contact Jim Holler for Inquiries

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