1960 Mosrite – Hand made by Semie Moseley


I recently finished restoring this Mosrite guitar made in 1960 by Semie Moseley. It appeared on the Antiques Roadshow a while back with a replacement head plate, pickguard, and had the back of the headstock painted black to hide several breaks and repairs.


After removing the head plate and the black paint from the headstock it revealed that a fair amount of wood had been removed and filler added to disguise the break. While it was holding adequately there was a more movement to the headstock than I was comfortable with. I decided to add a backstop to the headstock extending down into the neck. A layer of wood was removed and replaced with 3 separate layers steam bent to the angle of the neck. The grain of the replacement layers is continuous making it very strong compared to the original wood which is cut across the grain. This greatly improved the strength of the headstock and covers most of the previous repairs. I used a little pigment to disguise where I added wood across the previous breaks.

Luckily the original head plate and pickguard were saved and I was able to copy them.

The original electronics were saved as well and I was able reinstall them. The lower pot of the stacked pots was broken but I managed to replace the conductive material inside with that from a modern pot. I had to guess about the original control arrangement.

To finish up I made a set of knobs for the stacked pot using 60’s Standel knobs as a model.

This guitar has many similarities to instruments made for Joe Maphis and Rose Lee.  These were built by Semie Moseley in a shed outside his home in Mission Hills, CA a few years before he opened the Bakersfield factory.  I have seen one other guitar that resembles this one. If anyone has more information or knows of other similar instruments I would like to hear about them.

A special thanks to Rick Yancey at Custom Shop Guitars for the high quality photos!