The Acoustic Guitar Forum  

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10-10-2010, 05:21 PM
16lauren 16lauren is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: state of WV
Posts: 5
Question Trying to Date an Old Kraftsman acoustic

Got this guitar a few years ago, trying to figure out the year, model, or ANYTHING about it besides that it was an Old Kraftsman for Spiegel. Similar to pics I've seen of 1930's guitars, except for the headstock. Also, the F holes are not cut all the way (see picture), and there is an unusual inlay on the back (I can see the difference in wood grain). As for the last picture, I've seen a few pictures of other guitars with the three shields on the body like that, but any idea what they are or why? (some earlier owner stuck the silver stickers on overtop)
And yes, I'm missing a pick guard



The engraving is so shallow you can't see it in the photo, but the shield has a "K" and the the banner says "Old Kraftsman"






Last edited by 16lauren; 10-15-2010 at 02:47 PM. Reason: better pictures
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-10-2010, 05:31 PM
Dr. Spivey Dr. Spivey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: N.E. Wisconsin
Posts: 1,947
Default

I don't know anything about them, but the very first guitar I ever played was identical. My friend Bobby's dad picked it up in a pawnshop in Chicago. $10 for the guitar, another $1.50 for a cardboard case. That was in 1969. Cool sounding old guitar, as I recall.
__________________
All the years combine, they melt into a dream
A broken angel sings from a guitar

2005 Gibson J-45
1985 Guild D17
1999 Guild D40
1997 Guild Bluesbird
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-10-2010, 06:22 PM
Jimmie Jimmie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 68
Default

It's made by Kay. That shield and K logo (often with a banner above, and often duplicated on the guitar's interior) was used extensively in the mid- to late 30s.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-11-2010, 07:43 AM
vintageparlors's Avatar
vintageparlors vintageparlors is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chester, Vermont
Posts: 1,450
Default

+1 on Jimmie's note. The ribbon binding is another tell tale sign.

Don't you hate it when the guitar keeps moving while you're trying to take its picture!
__________________
Steve C at www.vintageparlorguitars.com
Specializing in the repair, restoration and sale of vintage parlor and 12-fret acoustics guitars. INVENTORY UPDATED
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-11-2010, 08:53 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,928
Default

Only a guess but I do not think the guitar was made by Kay. The checkerboard binding, pointed dome headstock, the three letters on the body, and a few other things indicate a Gibson-made Old Kraftsman which were offered by Spiegel around 1936/1937.
__________________
"I play so rough - I stomp 'em"
Bukka White on playing his National
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-11-2010, 12:35 PM
16lauren 16lauren is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: state of WV
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageparlors View Post
+1 on Jimmie's note. The ribbon binding is another tell tale sign.

Don't you hate it when the guitar keeps moving while you're trying to take its picture!
LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
Only a guess but I do not think the guitar was made by Kay. The checkerboard binding, pointed dome headstock, the three letters on the body, and a few other things indicate a Gibson-made Old Kraftsman which were offered by Spiegel around 1936/1937.
Is there anywhere I can get info on the Gibson-made ones?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-11-2010, 12:54 PM
Bingoccc Bingoccc is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 5,622
Default

http://kingofkays.com/history.aspx


http://books.google.com/books?id=sge...gibson&f=false

Page309 in this text references the Gibsons.

Last edited by Bingoccc; 10-11-2010 at 01:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-11-2010, 02:25 PM
arie arie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,460
Default

here's what I was able to dig up:

"8708 Old Kraftsman Arch-top Guitar – 1937

Similar to Recording King M-5
Body size 16 ¼” x 20 ¼” by 4 ½” deep
Curly maple back & sides, Carved spruce top
RW fingerboard with large “diamond” MOP inlays
RW adjustable bridge w/ MOP “diamond” inlays on sides
5-ply maple 14-fret neck
“Pointed dome” peghead shape with engraved MOP crown & RK logo with large diamond
“Checkered” or multi-ply binding top, single bound back, fingerboard & elevated pickguard
Hinged nickel tailpiece & individual Grover tuners"

source:
http://www.fox-guitars.com/Gibson-Made_Brands.html

I'm not saying that this is your guitar but it would appear to have some common features and it's the only mention I could find regarding the checkered binding. What bugs me is that the f holes are broken up similar to Kay's Sherwood Deluxe....

does your guitar have these dimensions?
are there any numbers inside at all? directly under the f holes?
can you get some better pix?

anyway, it sure is an odd one. time for antiques roadshow?

good luck
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-11-2010, 02:41 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,928
Default

The 8708 looks like pretty darn close, right down to the three letters on the body.

The mid-1930s is a strange period from Kay. For a couple years, 1934 to 1936 I think, they used the Kay Deluxe moniker which seems to have been a transitional thing between the Kay Kraft and Kay logos. Headstocks were also all over the place (I still play a mid-1930s Kay Deluxe archtop which sports an Oahu headstock).
__________________
"I play so rough - I stomp 'em"
Bukka White on playing his National

Last edited by zombywoof; 10-11-2010 at 02:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-11-2010, 02:51 PM
Jimmie Jimmie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 68
Default

There is some good information at www.fox-guitars.com on Gibson-made instruments for other companies. I suspect this was "upgraded" by someone, as the neck inlays and back inlay are nothing I've seen on any model. The f-holes argue for Kay: can't remember any Gibson-mades with the three-piece f-holes. It looks to be a fine guitar, whoever made it.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-11-2010, 03:41 PM
brian a. brian a. is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wasatch Mountains
Posts: 2,772
Default

Here is some info I have been able to dig up:
Old Kraftsman ca 1930s-1960s, brandname for Spiegel catalog guitars made by Regal, Kay and some by Gibson. Gibson only from fall 1936 through spring 1937.
Gibson made models have an S-prefix number.
The 2154/8707 16" wide, dot inlay, stenciled vase and curlicues on peghead, Old Kaftsman stenciled in block letters across peghead.
The 8708 16" wide, inlay of diamond with 3 horizontal lines on each side to form rectangle and had Old horizontally across peghead and Kraftsman vertically. It is similar to the Recording King M-5 made by Gibson 16" 1936-1938 and 17" 1939-1941 that included checkered top binding.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-11-2010, 05:03 PM
vintageparlors's Avatar
vintageparlors vintageparlors is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chester, Vermont
Posts: 1,450
Default

Lauren
Hats off to your research team. That's what makes this forum #1 on the planet.

While we're on the subject.........I was wondering whether I might use them when you're done, you know...if I get stuck on identifying pedigree on a vintage flat top at some point?
__________________
Steve C at www.vintageparlorguitars.com
Specializing in the repair, restoration and sale of vintage parlor and 12-fret acoustics guitars. INVENTORY UPDATED
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-15-2010, 02:41 PM
16lauren 16lauren is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: state of WV
Posts: 5
Default

First of all, thanks everyone for all the helpful responses. Sorry its taken me a few days to get back. I'm about to post some new/better pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arie View Post
here's what I was able to dig up:

"8708 Old Kraftsman Arch-top Guitar – 1937

Similar to Recording King M-5
Body size 16 ¼” x 20 ¼” by 4 ½” deep
Curly maple back & sides, Carved spruce top
RW fingerboard with large “diamond” MOP inlays
RW adjustable bridge w/ MOP “diamond” inlays on sides
5-ply maple 14-fret neck
“Pointed dome” peghead shape with engraved MOP crown & RK logo with large diamond
“Checkered” or multi-ply binding top, single bound back, fingerboard & elevated pickguard
Hinged nickel tailpiece & individual Grover tuners"

source:
http://www.fox-guitars.com/Gibson-Made_Brands.html

I'm not saying that this is your guitar but it would appear to have some common features and it's the only mention I could find regarding the checkered binding. What bugs me is that the f holes are broken up similar to Kay's Sherwood Deluxe....

does your guitar have these dimensions?
are there any numbers inside at all? directly under the f holes?
can you get some better pix?

anyway, it sure is an odd one. time for antiques roadshow?

good luck
Thanks for the link, I looked through and yeah the 8708 is the closest to my guitar. I know the Grover tuners are on it b/c they were a bit of a surprise for the guy who cleaned it up and restrung it for me. However, I measured the guitar, its 15.5" wide x 20" tall x 4.125" deep. A couple of more differences:
-The bridge does not have MOP inlays
-fingerboard 17 3/4" long
-no markings inside the f holes

I thought that the 8708 was it because I can tell that the last letter on the body is a "G" just like the picture. I'm hesitant to peel of the stickers to look at the other two letters, though. I've emailed Fox Guitars, no definite answer yet, but they don't think its a Gibson because they don't usually do inlays.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageparlors View Post
Lauren
Hats off to your research team. That's what makes this forum #1 on the planet.

While we're on the subject.........I was wondering whether I might use them when you're done, you know...if I get stuck on identifying pedigree on a vintage flat top at some point?
Of course I can share This is a great group of folks. Glad I stumbled on this site.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-15-2010, 05:02 PM
Howard Klepper's Avatar
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Earthly Paradise of Northern California
Posts: 4,755
Default

Everything about this guitar says Kay; nothing about it says Gibson. Probably late 30's to early 40's with that binding.
__________________
"The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils."
--Wm. Shakespeare

www.klepperguitars.com
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-16-2010, 10:07 AM
16lauren 16lauren is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: state of WV
Posts: 5
Default I think we found it!

Thanks to Paul from Fox Guitars, found a Speigel catalog ad for a Kay Old Kraftsman Symphonic. This might be it!

Thanks also to all of you for helping me out.


Last edited by 16lauren; 10-16-2010 at 05:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Loading

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=