A small guitar, even in those days
1887 Martin 2
© Frank Ford, 1999; Photos by FF

Like others of its period, this guitar has the date written on the underside of the top. From the mid 1880s until shortly after the turn of the century, it was customary for the shop foreman to initial and date the top as the guitar was being assembled.

This is a fancy model, with genuine ivory binding and bridge, abalone top purfling and Brazilian rosewood back and sides. It was carried through equatorial Africa throughout the 1960s by a missionary, who kept it tuned to pitch with steel strings. The resulting top failure was nearly catastrophic, and reconstruction was quite a challenge.

I documented the work, and composed a detailed photo article which should appear in Acoustic Guitar Magazine before too long. Sometime after that, I'll post a similar article on its reconstruction here on FRETS.COM

Now, the guitar is strong and solid as new, and looking pretty good.

Please click the small image

Please click the small image

Just as a little teaser, here's a picture of the top before I started rebuilding it. My challenge was to rebuild the top without increasing its thickness and without an oversize bridge plate. Click here to see the entire process.

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