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Martin Owners

For those who own one or more Martin guitars, those who want to own a Martin, or those who just like talking about Martins

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Comment by Steve Frank on June 10, 2013 at 8:32pm

I like that Martin Madolin too! See the cut...very the Epiphone and would love to have one. My mother had one she had worked for 2 years cutting lawns and baby sitting, saving up to buy before she was married....I guess 15 or 16 in this photo...had to be between 1940 and 43, but not sure of the year. She and my father married in 1945..father was a bad gambler, and the guitar, which cost around $100 was sold for $25 to cover a debt. 

Comment by Edward Sparks on June 10, 2013 at 2:19pm

FG, pretty cool!  I don't have a Martin mandolin...


Not long after I cut my fretting hand on the table saw we had a house concert and it was our first of that kind of show and I didn't want to miss it!  I think I willed my hand to heal in time for it.  However, there was a red scar on it that night!  See pic...BTW, that is an original vintage 1948 Epiphone Zenith archtop I am playing...

Comment by FloridaGull on June 10, 2013 at 1:58pm

A Martin Mandolin on Goodwill:

Currently $99 - 5 days left - $25 shipping...

went from $20 to $99 in last half hour...

Large Picture


Comment by Steve Frank on June 10, 2013 at 7:38am

Very cool and beautiful guitar!! I assume you play it if it received the scratches. The eagle reminds me of something you could see on a Native American blanket. Has that look. Love the way the fingerboard extends too. Obviously a labor of love!! I remember reading somewhere that using ivory from piano keys was a problem, which I found hard to believe...this was if shipping a guitar that had Ivory, and could be confiscated. But I guess there is no way to tell where the ivory came from. How much of the design was set from the start, and how much was decided as you moved wowl! this looks great.....if I added such and such, it would look even better!! Just curious about the mental much of the finished product did you see from the onset v. ideas while building it. I appreciate the warning too, and I don't have the woodworking tools. Napkins and cardboard cutouts would be about it for me!! (I did get an education on using scissors in my earliest school days!! <s>) I know exactly what you mean about using the woodworking tools. I think complacency is the key...avoid it!! My uncle almost lost his thumb using a table saw when rushing.....always pushed the piece through with a stick or at least kept his hands away in case the board had a knot...sure enough, he rushed and the piece jumped, and he was rushed to the hospital holding onto his thumb, which took forever to heal. Recently, a FB friend posted a pic of his thumb after suffering the same injury, while building a guitar. Really chews up the thumb or finger. I think I saved the photo in the ER he posted.....and remember thinking that photo should hang above every table saw in every shop in the country as a reminder to be careful. I appreciate your encouragement, and hope to find the time to follow through, and in the meantime, will enjoy photos of your designs. Hope to see more.....

Comment by Edward Sparks on June 10, 2013 at 4:23am

Hey Steve,

I live only a few minutes from Annapolis and I met Paul Reed Smith in 1978 when he had a little shop downtown and was THE go to guy for repair and setups and only handbuilt a few guitars a year.  This was pre-fame factory and fame and anything like he is now.  I still see him from time to time. Anyway, people used to bring him all kinds of ideas to have him build, or at least consider building for them.  One guys used to bring him half finished guitars made of driftwood and would ask him to complete them to make them playable! I am talking real washed up on the beach odd shapes and sizes driftwood!  Of course no one does that now, but at the time it was paid work for Paul!  So you never know!  I have had several instruments of my own design built and had a hand in each, like the inlay work, for myself and family. It is so cool to start something with a drawing on a napkin and end up, albeit two years later, sitting on my lap and making music! SO go for it, you never know...two words of caution, 1. if you do the woodworking yourself, be careful with power tools!  I had a argument with a table saw once and it won...darn near lost a finger on my fretting hand!  I still have a little scar to remind me every time I use that saw to respect it! and 2. this can be addictive, since 1978 I have created 4 or 5 instruments! 

Comment by Edward Sparks on June 10, 2013 at 4:22am

Here is my 8 string tenor guitar, one of my early ideas that actually ended up a playable instrument I still use today!  

Model#: Eagle Custom 8-String Tenor style
Year: 1980
Description: I designed and built this instrument myself. It is the second instrument I ever built. It is a one-off experimental piece, highly inlaid with mother-of-pearl, abalone, and ivory, and various wood veneers. The inlayed doves adorning the fingerboard and head are made of ivory culled from the tops of old piano keys from a piano that no longer needed them. The Eagle on the pickguard, which was added later to cover top scratches, is made up of mother-of-pearl (the head and tail), abalone (neck and upper tail feathers), and a mid section and wings of mahogany veneer. He is about to land on a branch made of walnut. The entire scene is inlaid into African ebony. The ebony bridge is framed in binding and topped with a bone nut cut for correct intonation. The tailpiece is also made of ebony with binding to match the bridge. The tuning keys are from the Saga company and are styled after my favorite Klusons.

It has four double-courses of strings (tuned D,G,B,E) each pair tuned in unison. The fingerboard is a standard Martin scale, as it was ordered directly from the Martin Company. The instrument remains in excellent condition.

Comment by Steve Frank on June 9, 2013 at 10:35pm

You're right tech guy also builds guitars, and I may run some ideas past him to see if feasible. He's well known in the NY/NJ area, and lives just a few minutes away, and although he's pretty busy doing repairs and set ups for a lot of well known players, he still keeps his foot in the door on making new guitars....and I'm not worried about keeping any kind of patent or anything, but rather being looked at like I had two heads by an engineer for trying to build a bridge that couldn't hold it's own weight, if you know what I mean. The deal with this guitar would be comfort.....the body would be reversed with the upper bout wider than the lower, and the neck actually coming in at an angle....and off center.....get a picture of that, and don't expect to see it in the Martin catalog anytime

Comment by Edward Sparks on June 9, 2013 at 8:04pm it, write them what have you got to lose...


Comment by Steve Frank on June 9, 2013 at 6:27pm

Nice!! Love the sound of a 12 string...and the older the sweeter. I just wish I didn't have this damn arthritis in my fretting index finger knuckle....makes playing a chore for most guitars anymore, but 12 strings, definitely. The size and shape is something I'm very aware of with the finger thing. Prefer short scale, and 00 to 000 for if I could only get a short scale 00 to respond like 00, and sound like a dreadnought, I'd be the happiest guy on the planet!! I wish I could build these things....have several design changes in mind that would make the instrument much more playable for about 10% of the population who can't play now or have great difficulty because of poor supination, but don't even know if the design is structurally possible....and it would look really ugly to the eyes!!!! LOL.....would definitely like to try one day, and thought of writing the large manufacturers who are missing some of that market. You have some great looking guitars!!!

Comment by michael schwartz on June 8, 2013 at 5:15am

@FG: just done purchasing!!

@Steve: J12-40;J12-15;D12-1932. rosewood/spruce;mahogany,quitled mahogany laminated(Shenandoah)/spruce . All different as you know the body shape also as a different tone too. I do prefer the Jumbo body style, tho I do LOVE all 3!!


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