A short while ago, I came across an old and battered Ibanez classical guitar on a yard sale. I bought the thing for 15 bucks. It is really a good looking guitar, but I cannot find any information on it. I've seen some forum threads pop up on Google that refer to a model 323, which is estimated to be made in the late 50's. Also, that stupid RG 331 does not help Google to get me the results I want to

I've got some pictures of the guitar, which can be viewed here on Google+.

I'm generally looking for any general info on the guitar, info on when it was built, if possible, what kind of wood was used, if it's supposed to be any good, that sort of stuff. Also, I would like to know what the leather patch is that someone glued (and unfortunately, also hammered) on the neck. I would love to take it off, but I'm afraid that it might be a neck repair and if I remove it, the neck might snap. Any info would help.

I'm thinking of trying to get her up and running again. She has a nice straight neck, a horribly high action that's probably due to a top nut that is huge, and a tiny little hole in the top.

So, any info?
It's an old ibanez classical. It is rosewood back and sides and a spruce top. It should only have nylon strings used on it. The leather is not original and you are probably right to think it's covering a bad repair but the only way to know for sure is to take it off. Because it's nailed on, it might not be worth taking it off because removing the nails could weaken the neck more.

Ibanez acoustic guitars are not thought of as good acoustic guitars. This one is better than modern ones but I don't know how much better. It's certainly worth the $15 and depending on what the leather is covering it could be worth a couple hundred.

Do me a favor and use nylon strings on it. Lots of people find good instruments like this and put steel strings on them and ruin them.
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Thank you for the reply I'm guessing you saw the electric string that was on it xD I bought it that way and haven't gotten around to changing strings yet. Do you think it would be safe to remove the patch and check underneath it? If it would be a bad repair job, is there any chance of the neck just popping off when I remove the patch and restring it (due to the tension and stuff)? Thanks again for the reply!
If it's a couple small tacks holding the leather on then go ahead and pull it off. If it's real nails then you don't want to take the nails out. The leather isn't making anything stronger so you could cut the leather off without removing nails just to see what is under it. If there is no crack then you could probably remove the nails holding the leather and fill the holes with toothpicks and glue. If there is a crack then don't remove the nails or drive them in further, just file them flush with the rest of the wood.

Removing the leather isn't going to hurt anything, but removing the nails might
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Thanks for the info again I've started removing the leather, and it turns out that there most definitely is damage. I've taken off the leather a little bit on both sides of the neck, and there is definitely a crack . The crack is close to the headstock, and the repair looks hideous, which might be the reason that the leather was put on in the first place. So much for the couple of hundred bucks. But, to be honest, I'm not all that interested in selling the guitar, I'd much rather turn it into an enjoyable classical guitar. I love how it has suffered little bits of damage over time, it looks very reliced.

CorduroyEW, I'm hoping you could offer a final bit of advice regarding the leather. As you can see in the pictures, the nails are in the neck at the bottom of the patch, whereas the crack is all the way up to the headstock. Would you still say that it is perfectly safe to remove the leather? Also, should I remove the strings before I take it off (dont know if this would further minimalise risk)?

I'd really love to see what I could make out of it, and I really don't need a top-dollar classical guitar, since I've never given classical guitar that much attention. You know, It'd just be nice to have a go at it
Last edited by Ceesjah at May 7, 2014,
The leather isn't going to be holding anything together, it's just covering the ugly. There is no reason you shouldn't take it off. I would loosen the strings 1st but in all honesty that isn't going to make much of a difference either. Just be careful when you pull it off and you will be fine.
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Thanks again, I've succesfully removed it and my god, is it ugly. There is no way I'm going to be able to fix that neck up myself. A luthier would probably ask top dollar for the job, so not worth it. I am going to try to make it playable by removing all old glue on the neck (except for the crack, of course), and sanding it down, and then using a thinner sort of leather to cover it up again. It will be playable then.