Oahu catalogs offered a number of quality, high-end flat tops through the thirties, with the X-braced early '30s 'Jumbo' and 'Jumbo Deluxe' being the most sought by players today. The Oahu Jumbo evolved in essentially two phases, the first being X-braced and 14 1/2" across at the lower bout, and the second phase, beginning in '36, measured 15 1/2" across the lower bout and was usually ladder braced. The subject guitar is of the first phase, factory X-braced with a 4 1/2" body depth. This construction and dimensions explain why the early Oahu Jumbos are often referred to as the 'Nick Lucas' version, since it shares that coveted guitar's dimensions. These x-braced models are consistantly excellent guitars and were not "bargain basement" instruments by any means. The 1937 Oahu catalog lists the Oahu Jumbo as selling for $98.00 and the Oahu Deluxe Jumbo sold for a whopping $158.00! This guitar features an L-00 size top, but a body as deep as a dreadnaught and a long 25.75" scale length.
The restoration involved mainly the neck: Recarving the shape to a slight Vee with a 1-¾" nut width, creating a new radiused fingerboard (originals were flat - for the Hawaiian style of playing) and inlaying the original pearl vine (the original fingerboards were a thin veneer that did not provide much structural support), refretting, new binding and then a sunburst finish true to the original neck (with a little 'relic-ing' for good measure.) The neck angle was also reset so the action is excellent. Also, a carbon rod was added under the fingerboard that will keep the neck arrow straight for years to come.
The guitar is crack-free and all original other than the neck re-carve.
We've got an original Gibson Nick Lucas in the shop with a similar maple body. It's fantastic, but this Oahu has its strong points too... at a far lesser price point. Come in and see which one floats your boat!