Longest you’ve kept a guitar and not really used it (1937 Martin D-18 and photog tips)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mike Eskimo, Nov 7, 2019 at 11:32 AM.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    90494FCE-8980-4AA8-8AD7-90539B2C84EC.jpeg EE088314-3157-49ED-8EA3-FBFFC356CD04.jpeg I don’t remember if I ever posted this guitar when I found it in 2010 or or 11. Around here every other block had a dumpster in front of a foreclosed or abandoned house during that post-crash period. I routinely checked literally every one I came across.

    This was in one, in an old case that stunk so bad it was eventually burned. In front of a brick tudor in a very nice neighborhood by the way.

    I knew what it was, I knew it was old and I also knew I wasn’t going to be the guy to do anything with it once I checked the serial number.

    When I showed it to two older, very experience guitar buddies, I said “yeah I know , it’s like finding a ‘53 Tele and one of the guys said “oh no - it’s way beyond that”.

    The only other guitar I have hung onto that long and not done anything to is a Chicago-made early 50s Orpheum arch top. That I still have. I’ve had that one almost 30 years, been a wall-hanger the entire time.

    Now that I am going to be selling it, have any of you found an easy system for photographing braces on the underside of a flat top?

    Some kind of a mirror or series of mirrors that you’re shoving through the sound hole with a light and then shooting with your Camera/Phone app?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019 at 11:37 AM
  2. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Here's a few photos i've taken, just with an iPhone 5, strings off, shoved (gently) into the sound hole, using the reverse mode of photo taking. Don't know if that technique will suit your purposes, but it was useful enough for me. Doesn't cost you anything (well, maybe a few extra electrons) to shoot until you get what you want.

    bass side bridge plate lead for pup.jpg
    treble end bridge plate.jpg applephone aug2014 166.JPG
     
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  3. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    You can buy a lens on a flexible extension that plugs into a phone. And wow!
    I had one of those too. I practically gave it away over 30 years ago. I regret it now.
     
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  4. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    and here's a few more - I think what I was trying to show here was a Yamaha flattop that some had assumed had a plywood top - from the inside, it sure looks like plain old spruce to me...

    Aplfoto April 2013 030.JPG
    Aplfoto April 2013 036.JPG
     
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  5. Torren61

    Torren61 Friend of Leo's

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    Wouldn't you want to send that Martin to the factory for restoration and, if you're gonna sell it, sell it then?
     
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  6. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The way the vintage flat top world works, more specifically, the prewar flat top market, is that it’s only original once (“every step away from new”).

    Everybody wants to be the one who bought it from the original owner, or who found it, or whose dad or uncle passed it onto them.

    And more importantly, for a guitar of this caliber, there is a very short list of luthiers whose work is respected/accepted by those with deep pockets/serious collections.

    Crazy enough, Martin is not among those names.

    Somebody along the line has done a little crack repair on this thing but that’s about it as far as I can tell.

    And like I said, since I knew I wasn’t going to keep it, I decided to do nothing with it except for recently stringing it up and putting the set of 30s vintage Grovers that I had on it. That’s as far as I was willing to go.

    And thanks for the photo tips guys, though I think I’ll have to use my wife’s phone as I bought the Gigantor the last time we got new iPhones !:lol:
     
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  7. sean79

    sean79 Poster Extraordinaire

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    No photo tips for you, but DANG! Great guitar. And you found it in a dumpster... crazy.
     
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  8. orangeblossom

    orangeblossom Friend of Leo's

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    That is a holy grail for sure.
     
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  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I had a beautiful “darkburst” 1999 Gibson R9.
    It was the prettiest, lightest and best sounding one I could find.
    I guess, like a lot of “us” Southern Rock wannabe’s, I had to have a guitar that looked like Duane Allman’s/Billy Gibbons’/Joe Perry’s guitar.
    I had it for about 8 years.
    I gigged with it maybe 3 times.
    I no longer keep stuff I don’t play.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019 at 5:27 PM
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  10. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    One of my buddies said that there are probably 20 times or more of Modern day D-18 1937 Authentics out there there than there are real 1937 D-18’s . I laughed and I told him they only made 400 some D 18’s that year, I think maybe 428 ? and how many of those are in one piece? Half? He then revised his ratio :lol:
     
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  11. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    In 2011 I put some guitars in storage and moved overseas. Left behind a 1950 Gibson J-45, 1930 Gibson L-1, and ‘66 Telecaster.

    Didn’t go back until I visited for a couple weeks last year.
     
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  12. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    ^^^We’re all in suspense now - did you grab ‘em and bring them with you or leave ‘em or ..?
     
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  13. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Meister

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    :eek:
     
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  14. stormsedge

    stormsedge TDPRI Member

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    My Telecaster Nashville D sounded pretty bad a couple of days ago when I got it down to play...got it in 2012 and the strings I bought for it were still in the case...like I said, just now getting into electrics. And, my 5 string banjo hasn't been played since 1988. Sea duty overtook that one. And there's the Hondo II Cutlass copy that I've had since 1978...
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019 at 4:46 PM
  15. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Martin made 426 D-18s in 1937, quite a lot by their standards as they only made 258 in '36 and 133 in '35.

    My concern with that guitar would be how structurally sound it is - which is obviously why you want photos of the bracing. That one looks like it's been through some tough times but it's clearly quite valuable.

    Good luck with it.
     
  16. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    36379EB3-06E5-4331-BCD8-AED18299F904.jpeg




    My wife brought the J-45 back when she flew business class a couple years ago. I brought the L-1 back last year.

    I’m headed back out in two weeks.

    The matching ‘66 Deluxe Reverb is out there too.
     
  17. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Strat that I bought in 1976, played daily as I taught guitar for about 6 years, then I tucked it away in its case - unplayed for about 30 years. I've played it a few times in the last six years or so, but very little actually - as I have a number of other guitars (Teles, semi-hollows, and hollows) that I seem to prefer playing. It's a very nice blonde Strat, though.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. stealyerface

    stealyerface Tele-Afflicted

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    I had one very similar to that one, and because my parents didn’t want to hear me practice, I used to hide it out in a dumpster in front of our old, brick Tudor house... Hey, wait a minute...

    She’s a beauty!!
    ~syf
     
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  19. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Holic

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    Exactly back in 2006 after my first summer job I bought a brand new 57 reissue gold top Les Paul
    It was so beautiful I had to wash my hands every time before touching it
    I played it maybe a handful of times in the first couple months then through circumstances had to put it into storage for close to 10 years now that I have it back I’ve promised myself not to abuse it but not baby it either
    It’s a great musical tool and now I play it all the time and try not to let guitars play me
    If I’m not going to play it I won’t buy it
     
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  20. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    Back in the 90’s a friend bought a pre war 00-28 Martin.
    He sent it to Martin to do a restoration, which in this case was binding repair and refinishing.
    They nearly ruined the guitar. The binding was ok, but far from professional and the refinishing was horrible.
    You could tell it was a refinish from across the room in the dark.
    He argued with them for over a year about it and finally took it to a local guy who completed the job very nicely.
    All it took was some sanding and polishing to make it look very nice. They had way too much clear on it and some very rough sanding..they may be fine now, but I wouldn’t risk it. If I had a vintage Martin that needed refinishing, I’d find someone local that had a good rep and go with them.
    There’s no premium for having it done by Martin.
     
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