Thrift Store find, did I find something worthwhile? MIJ Cimar

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by El Serio, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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    16326651959613739511206702701417.jpg 1632665328947498638119689847218.jpg 16326654638961913552389460442160.jpg I was in a thrift store the other day and came across an interesting dreadnought, the first thing I noticed was a Martin style headstock with no name or logo. One tuner has been replaced. A look in the soundhole showed Cimar No. 750 Made in Japan. Unusual bridge design with large screws at either end of the saddle, bridge is also coming off. When I flipped it over the wood on the back caught my attention, nice looking matched wood. So I gave the store the $20 they wanted for it and brought it home.

    A little further research indicates that Cimar was an Ibanez sister brand from 1976-1982. Looking through the catalogs on Ibanez's website, the only year I see with that bridge design was 1976, I couldn't find No. 750 in any of the Cimar catalogs, but a No. 400 from 1976 looked almost exactly like it. In the Ibanez brand catalog there was a 750 that was close, but the wood looked different. The Cimar 400 was rosewood, the Ibanez 750 jacaranda IIRC.

    Anyone know anything more about this particular model, or able to identify the wood type? Until I can re-glue the bridge I won't be able to play it, but may I have found something worthwhile?
     
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  2. guitar_paul1

    guitar_paul1 Tele-Holic

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    Definitely worthwhile. Sure is pretty wood.
     
  3. StoneH

    StoneH Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I have no idea if you have found a diamond in the rough, but you may have something very worthwhile. If the intonation is good (or can be improved when you have the bridge reset), and if the action is decent . . . that may be a fun guitar. The fact that the workmanship on the back looks phenomenal would give me hope. As for tone, even a hideous sounding Backpacker can sound decent played through a little amp with effects (if you wanted to install a pickup). Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.
     
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  4. Lucius Paisley

    Lucius Paisley Tele-Afflicted

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    I can only go by the photos, but I think the only worth it will have is whatever you're willing to put in/pay for.

    I don't recall ever seeing an acoustic bridge screwed in like that.
     
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  5. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    Nice guitars, definitely worth re-gluing the bridge, it looks like somebody used toffee ...
     
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  6. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    It's an adjustable saddle.
     
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  7. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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    It obviously doesn't have full tension, so I'm not sure about the action yet, though it is low enough as it sits. The saddle doesn't appear to be compensated, so it may need replacing. No sharp fret ends either. It also has a bound fretboard.
     
  8. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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    Weird huh?
     
  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    As always, the important things to look for on a used acoustic guitar, pretty much in order
    - structural issues. That will include the bridge and we will come back to that.
    - neck angle. This is the biggie. If its bad you won't be able to get the action playable. It also concerns the bridge which we will come back to
    - frets. Old guitars need fret work. Hard to tell from yours
    - normally I mention hydration, most old guitars are dehydrated but that usually is not as significant as a newer guitar.
    - action, setup, yadda yadda. Straight forward as long as the above stuff is good

    OK, the bridge. There are two things going on there. First, the bridge has started to separate from the top, which is the most common failure I see on old acoustic guitars. That should be a straight forward repair, take the adjustable saddle out, remove the bridge completely using a heat blanket and pallet knife. Clean off every bit of old glue so you have good wood to wood contact, glue it back on with AR or hot hide glue and some good clamps and cauls. You have at least one bolt thru the bridge (the pearl dot behind the pins) - there might be others. Look around inside with a mirror.

    Unfortunately yours won't be quite that simple. Someone has already "fixed" using what looks like polyurethane which is going to be almost impossible to get apart. Try it, if it doesn't work leave it alone.

    The second part of that style bridge is that they appeared on some acoustic guitars during the 60's and 79's - the idea is that the action can easily be adjusted by turning the little screws. Many people feel that the design is a tone killer and I have been asked to convert several to fixed bone saddles like most acoustics. You can decide whether to do this or not once you've fixed the bridge and measured the neck angle.

    I did a little write up about evaluating used acoustic guitars. It might help

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/evaluating-a-used-martin-or-any-other-guitar.1074640/
     
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  10. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Afflicted

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    Some of those 1970's Japanese guitar can be pretty decent. The bridges and tuner can be the weak link, but that can be easily remedied. i played a used "Ventura" brand 000 copy that sounded and played great at a local music store. They wanted $200.00 for it but I already have plenty of acoustics. I sort of kick myself now for not buying it, but that's life. It didn't last there long.
     
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  11. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the link to your how to evaluate thread. The top has plenty of crown. The real question is the neck angle, a straight edge hits .060" below the top of the bridge. In your evaluation thread you showed a couple of Martin's that hit below the top, that you said were marginal, would this be in the marginal range or too much?

    That adjustable bridge doesn't inspire much confidence, only contacts with the top at the 2 screw locations. There was just the one screw through the bridge. 16326846591564282364968892458383.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
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  12. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Afflicted

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    Can't offer any help with ID'ing the guitar any more than you've already done. But congrats, it's quite a find. Beautiful wood! If it sounds at all good, I would restore it or have it restored to brand new condition and play the heck out of it..
     
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  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is a pretty good indicator that the guitar needs a neck reset, which is not at all surprising. Not knowing what kind of neck joint it has it is hard to tell how difficult that will be - even "easy" resets are invasive and lots of work.

    Before you do anything else put the saddle back in and a couple of strings back on it. Measure the action at the 12th fret with the saddle as low as it will go. Also check the relief while you are at it. My goals are relief no more than 0.010 and 12th fret action between 70 and 100 thousands. More than than is another indicator that you need a reset.

    Even tho its a sloppy mess, your bridge is probably stuck on tightly and shouldn't be a problem. If it starts to separate then go ahead and remove and reglue, but for now I would just ignore it.

    And you are correct, the bridge design doesn't inspire a lot of confidence when you think about how an acoustic guitar bridge transmits energy to the top. I've had several cross my work bench, the last one was missing one of the adjuster screws so the owner just had me go ahead and do the conversion. The bridge was nice and tight, the neck angle was acceptable so all I did was fit a piece of rosewood into the oversized slot and route a 3/32 slot properly compensated for a standard bone saddle.

    IMG_2717.JPG

    IMG_2723.JPG

    IMG_2724.JPG

    IMG_2726.JPG

    Both the owner and I felt like it sounded a lot better

    One other thing I thought of - you can look at the edge of the top at the sound hole to see if the top is solid and look for the same grain pattern on the inside to tell if the back is also. One part of me wants to say the back is Braz but I don't know if I've ever seen that kind of grain,
     
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  14. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool it’s like a copy of a Gibson bridge

    I say it’s worth saving
     
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  15. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    You’re only in it $20.
    I’m going to suggest pursue it a little.
    Depending on the neck angle/action etc…it could for sure be a campfire singalong champion.
     
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  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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  17. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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    Progress report: the bridge seemed pretty fragile so I decided to try removing it. It popped right off. 20210927_185103.jpg
     
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  18. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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  19. El Serio

    El Serio Tele-Meister

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    It looks like the saddle will be fairly low, but I should be able to get the 12th fret action to a reasonable height.

    I'm not sure what kind of glue they used, but it didn't stick to the bridge well at all, it stuck better to the finish on the top, all gone now. I'll use Tite Bond original (red label).

    After dusting out the inside, I don't think that the grain matches the outside, it's probably laminate. Interesting that they took the time to match the halves of the back. I can't convince myself that the top is solid either.

    That jig for routing the bridge slots is pretty cool, did you make that yourself?
     
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  20. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    That bridge clamp is more or less like the classic Sloan clamp. I've never used one, I built something else.

    IMG_1097.JPG

    I typically use two or three or four deep clamps (depending on the configuration of the braces inside. The two outside clamps catch the wings of the bridge that sit over the arms of the X brace. On the inside I made a caul out of UHMW (glue does not stick to it, its very embarrassing to glue your caul to the inside of the guitar.

    Here is the caul ready to go inside. Like the Sloan clamp, I use 3/16 bolts thru the outside pin holes to position the caul and apply some clamping force. The way it is set up I can reach inside and unscrew the bolts - they will get glued into the pin holes.
    IMG_1096.JPG

    Here is a look at how it works inside

    IMG_0477.JPG

    Original Titebond is the correct glue, make sure you have none of the old crap on either piece. Once the bridge is back in place drill the holes to 3/16 and ream them to fit your pins.

    Once you have the bridge back on you can decide wht to do about the saddle - I would start by using the original mechanism and just see where you are. Filling the slot like my pictures does require some special equipment - I did not make that slotting jig, it does allow me to slot a bridge on the guitar.
     
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