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  #1  
Old 11-11-2019, 10:02 PM
FoolishFrost FoolishFrost is offline
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Talking So, Iím restoring this old travel guitar, and canít find a single makers mark.



Anyone seen one like this before? I had to remove the machines, as they were corroded horribly, but the wood was only showing use wear. Looked like it was played a lot.

The original tuners looked like closed cheapies, nickel-plated copper. Strings were pure tetanus.

Body and neck are one solid length of wood, routed to make the hollow. Faceplate was glued on and has some kind of triangular support struts inside. Bridge is just a thin hunk of hardwood, shaped a bit.

Found it outside of Lexington, Kentucky.

Anybody know about this one?

Iím currently restoring it, and was wondering where it came from.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:09 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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No, I've never seen one just like that. My guess is that it was a one-off by someone with some woodworking experience.

Kentucky has a lot of mountain dulcimer builders, just like my native state of Missouri has. It's entirely possible that a dulcimer builder decided to make a travel guitar for himself or a friend.

I don't think it's a commercial product, though, not with the body having been routed out to create the sound cavity.


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Old 11-12-2019, 01:18 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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So, Iím restoring this old travel guitar, and canít find a single makers mark.

When I'm working on a guitar I like to stop for a nip every now & then myself, so I know just what you mean.

If you're all out of Makers Mark I think Wild Turkey would do just fine.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:38 PM
Veeing Fly Veeing Fly is offline
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Here you go:

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Old 11-12-2019, 07:37 PM
FoolishFrost FoolishFrost is offline
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Well, it's restored now. Still have to oil the fretboard, but got the neck adjusted, new machines installed, frets cleaned, strings tuned, an the bridge lowered a smidge the only way possible with this one: Sanding it down.

Notice two things about it:
1. It plays very well.
2. It's bloody loud for something with a smaller sound box than a mandolin.

It's a crazy little thing.

Just wish I could track down the builder. Sad when you find an orphan guitar.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:48 PM
foxo foxo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoolishFrost View Post
Well, it's restored now. Still have to oil the fretboard, but got the neck adjusted, new machines installed, frets cleaned, strings tuned, an the bridge lowered a smidge the only way possible with this one: Sanding it down.

Notice two things about it:
1. It plays very well.
2. It's bloody loud for something with a smaller sound box than a mandolin.

It's a crazy little thing.

Just wish I could track down the builder. Sad when you find an orphan guitar.
Not too sad when itís now restored and getting some use!

Looks like a fun wee thing and pretty unique approach to a travel guitar.
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:36 AM
zeeway zeeway is offline
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Yep, some woodworking-guitar player needed a travel guitar and made a one off. I made a travel guitar two years ago, but I did not like the sound, so I released it to the wild at a Goodwill store. Hopefully some kid has it and is now playing it while scratching his head trying to figure out where it came from.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:31 AM
Mobile1 Mobile1 is offline
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If the restoration had not gone well it could always be used as a canoe paddle.

Wait, maybe that's why the tuners were in such bad shape.
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Old 11-13-2019, 04:30 PM
FoolishFrost FoolishFrost is offline
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Well, today was a day out to go by some shops and experts in lexington.

So, final call: It's a professionally created guitar by someone who knew guitars.

Not just anyone could have put it together. The fret board was hand made, it seems, at least for the fretwire. The build made sure the action was nearly perfect, and the fact the neck and body are a single length of wood takes it out of the hands of any mass production design.

So, next up will be to travel down to richmond and berea to see if any of the pros down there have seen it's like.

Main issue will be that due to it being a travel guitar, it's doubtful it will have been used in major venues, meaning it can't be backtracked that way. But I'm hoping that someone will recognize the style of the creator.

Sadly, backtracking from the pawn shop will be worthless. Whoever had it before had no idea what it was.

Worse, I doubt it was taken in for a full setup: The bridge was placed off center for long enough that it left a pale shadow. Means it was probably had no recent maintenance.

Wish I could tell how old it was.

Anyway, will keep poking around to see if anyone has ever seen it before.

Has two offers to buy. Didn't ask how much. Mine now.
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:50 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoolishFrost View Post
Iím restoring this old travel guitar, and canít find a single makers mark.
Put your own on/in it.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:22 PM
Marshall Marshall is offline
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Don't forget the firestripe pickguard.
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:24 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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It looks really fun.

Travel guitars should be funky. For mine, I got an old Alamo Fiesta electric, made in San Antonio in the 60ís. Found one while working there. Itís itty bitty an quiet for a hotel room.

https://reverb.com/item/26754858-ala..._source=google
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Old 11-13-2019, 07:40 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Scott View Post
Put your own on/in it.
The 'Frosty Nomad' travel guitar.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:57 PM
fmbstrummer fmbstrummer is offline
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Welcome to the forum Foolish. You will find a knowledgeable group here.

Were you able to see the folks at Wilcutt for ideas?

If you're going to Berea, I'd suggest the mountain dulcimer maker, Warren May. He may have some ideas for you.

I am sure you are curious as to it's origins. But enjoy playing it.

FMB
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:08 PM
fmbstrummer fmbstrummer is offline
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Foolish.

If in Louisville, try to see Speilberg Strings. The owner is an experienced luthier and may have some ideas for you. They have a good inventory of folk instruments there.

If you have time, stop in at Guitar Emporium, Louisville for a good inventory of guitars.

FMB
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