Unlike older Harmony guitars built similar to the Sovereign line, H1233 have slightly domed tops built in from the factory. Below you can see the top after braces removed. Of interest, when the braces are popped out, zero top spruce is stuck to the braces and no brace wood is stuck to the top. That old early type PVA glue was on the way to catastrophic failure. Hide glue does not fail like this if the top and brace mating surfaces are properly prepared. The Harmony assembly line worker may not have had time to do that at the factory.
So this guitar was much in need of a major rebuild, which is just what we are going to do.
And here are the braces. Only two braces caused any problem at all on removal. Probably could have reached in the sound hole and pulled these out. We may scrape a little to remove glue residue, but no top wood will be removed. We will also convert this to a 100 percent flat top using steam and clamping.
Note the fuzzy wood around the peg holes. When we drill the new peg holes, we will exactly match the original holes. We use the remainder of the original bridge as a drilling jig. Also, when we drill the peg holes, we clamp a backing block inside the guitar against the reinforcing plate. This results in clean fuzz-free peg holes. Neat!
No patching required on this excellent top.