Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

  1. #1

    Default Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    This mandolin has a fairly nasty looking break at the tailpiece and other issues. I imagine some kind of end block augmentation may fix it but I am not a luthier. I would imagine looking at the tuners which look to be Grover that it is circa late 30s to 1940. The case would appear to be older as it is branded as a Bulls Head. Of course, the mandolin may be older than 1940 -I am using the tuners to date it.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Mar...cAAOSwewJeF8~A

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,018

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    You might want to review this current thread in the Builders & Repair forum regarding a couple of Martin 2-15's with collapsed or collapsing tops. Some good info there, but also a discouraging tone about what's needed to effect repairs.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  3. #3

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Perhaps, this one in the eBay auction is less of a labour of love as the damage is less extensive but that is not to minimise the scope of the repair- and that other something or other on the top. What would be prohibitively expensive might be a challenge to someone with the skills to buy and repair this instrument. Clearly, this sort of problem is not untypical with this family of mandolins.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Man, that sure is a sweetie -- except for the offending area! What a shame.

    I suppose a clever person could remove a 2-inch section of the rim near the tailblock to gain access without removing the top or back, then installing an oversized block to accept the tailpiece screws and give something for the top to adhere to. The repair would show, but be on the end and not as noticeable and avoiding the need to remove the top or back and mess with the bindiing/finish. The top cracks would show once repaired, but would anyway, regardless of how the repair was approached.

    Of course, all depending on what it ends up selling for. NFI.

  5. #5
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Looks to me like a candidate for a new top. Any problems with the blocks can be addressed in the process of replacing the top.

    It might be possible to patch it back together, but . . . by the time you go to the trouble of opening the instrument and repairing the damage, you're half way to expending the same amount of time it would take to replace it, and the repair will be more reliable.

    And . . . Martin never did learn how to build f-hole instruments very well. If it came to me, I would convert it to an oval hole.

  6. #6
    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Whitefish,MT
    Posts
    1,379

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    “If it came to me, I would convert it to an oval hole.”

    Man, that sounds like a great idea! With a carved top, right? Does a Martin oval-hole like that exist?

  7. #7
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Yes. Martin made carved top oval hole mandolins in styles 15 and 20. The ones I have played were pretty good instruments.
    The 20's come up for sale fairly often. Bernunzio has a couple of them right now. I've only seen a couple of 15's.

    Bill Bolick of the Blue Sky Boys played an oval hole 20 throughout his very long life.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Here is one- I believe it is a carved top.

    https://www.gbase.com/gear/martin-style-20-1929-blonde

  9. #9
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,544
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    If I still had my 1929 Style 20, I would put in a bid just for the case . . .

  10. #10

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    I would think this is fatal for the top. Not repairable in any normal sense of the word. I imagine that the bids are for the case, and to a lesser extent, parts.
    BradKlein
    Senior Producer, Twangbox
    Twangbox Videos

  11. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    I would think this is fatal for the top. Not repairable in any normal sense of the word. I imagine that the bids are for the case, and to a lesser extent, parts.
    A few luthiers chimed in on this subject on the current thread that Allen mentioned.

    Everything is repairable, of course. However, I do agree with you that by the time this was restored it would not be worth the effort to make this playable. This is the fatal flaw of these 2-15, 2-20, and 2-30 Martins. I had a 1940s 2-15 and it was playable and then started developing a crack at the tailpiece. In its playable shape it was not particularly outstanding as an instrument and only the fact that it was made with the fine workmanship of Martin makes it worth what it is on the market. Ironically, the earlier non 2-prefixed Martins were better instruments. I could be wrong but I also believe thast they did not have this tailpiece block problem.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  12. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  13. #12
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,544
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    This is the fatal flaw of these 2-15, 2-20, and 2-30 Martins . . . developing a crack at the tailpiece.
    My first Style 20 had a hairline crack, but it was easily repairable - my second Style 20 was flawless . . . so I guess I got lucky. I never asked Bill Bolick about whether or not his developed the crack as well . . . but of course by the time he and I became friends, he hadn't taken it out of the closet in almost 25 years.

  14. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    I wonder if the extreme neck set was the problem. I recall mine having a rather tall bridge with the neck set back.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  15. #14
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor/Austin
    Posts
    5,236

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    A tragic problem, particularly given that Martin had developed a means to try to prevent this kind of failure at the other end of their bowlbacks.

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
    ______________________

    '05 Cuisinart Toaster
    '93 Chuck Taylor lowtops
    '12 Stetson Open Road
    '06 Bialetti expresso maker
    '14 Irish Linen Ramon Puig

  16. #15

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    might be nice re topped with an oval sound hole. my local lutheir could do that. hmmm, but i shouldn't

  17. #16

    Default Re: Damaged Martin 2-20 ( I think)

    Sold for $518 plus shipping. NFI.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •