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Thread: C F Martin mandolin

  1. #26
    Registered User Doug Brock's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by fflmike View Post
    Looks pretty good clean, LOL

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    I winced when I saw what appears to be Scotch tape holding the bridge to to the top. In my early days of flatpicking I did some damage to one of my Martins when I used scotch tape to briefly hold a new pick guard in place. Apparently the tape didn't cause you a problem, but be cautious about ever using that kind of tape on wooden instruments. Low tack tape is generally the choice, if you have to use tape.
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  2. #27
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Thanks. The scotch take is barely sticking with Old English applied and buffed off. I'll change it to blue tape though.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Instead of tape I lightly mark a line on each side of the bridge and top with a pencil. Don't push hard to dent the top, and the pencil will wipe off easily with your finger. When I say mark a line, I mean a small 1/16" line at the very end of each side of the bridge. The same place on the top so you can line up the two lines will position your bridge in the exact spot. I leave it there as it is hard to see even when you are looking for it.
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  4. #29
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    There is actually a permanent mark from the bridge. I just put it on there to keep track of it. I'll probably just pull it off. Thanks

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  6. #30
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by fflmike View Post
    I did get a case with it, but it does not say Martin. It says "G and S Co. Utility". The case is not as nice as the mandolin, LOL.
    In the grand scheme of things to do with vintage instruments instrument manufacturers offering cases they made is relatively new. Maybe the last 40 to 50 years. When this was made the case was most likely an add-on with a true hard shell case and a chipboard case as an option. Be thankful you have a case that fits, assuming it does. The biggest issue I see with these Martin Style and Style B mandolins is being able to get a case that fits it. Modern cases and cases made for Gibson products are much larger than these Martin's were. That may have been the original case or even if purchased later the only case it ever had.

    I just looked at it again and the case is larger than the mandolin. Again, Martin wasn't making cases when this mandolin was built. It would have been a case built by one of the major case manufacturers that would have been offered as an option.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  7. #31
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    It actually fits as good as any other probably would. Nostalgic case anyway. Could possibly put some foam in it. We'll see. Can't wait to play it.

  8. #32
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    If it was the hard case made for it you would see if fitting much better but they are few and far between. Don't use foam. It might react with the finish. Use a towel or something.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  9. #33
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Thanks, the neck and tuners keep it pretty firm where it is. I will put a couple of cloth diapers in with it though. I am a gunsmith and I keep them on hand and they really do come in real handy from time to time, LOL.

  10. #34
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by fflmike View Post
    Thanks, the neck and tuners keep it pretty firm where it is. I will put a couple of cloth diapers in with it though. I am a gunsmith and I keep them on hand and they really do come in real handy from time to time, LOL.
    Good choice!
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  11. #35
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    The picture of the back of the instrument seems to show a line on the back of the neck, running from the treble side near the body, across the neck up toward the tuners on the bass side. I hope it's nothing, but it gave me pause.

  12. #36
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    I saw it too. Just grain in the wood. Thanks though.

  13. #37
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Oh, I just looked at the picture. That is a broken string laying across it, LOL.
    Last edited by fflmike; Mar-09-2020 at 8:16pm.

  14. #38
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    My Dad bought my 1956, my birth year, from my first and only teacher when I was 6. Definately will need to pryed from these dead cramped hands. The skinny neck always caused me grief, but love overcomes.

  15. #39
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Lovely mandolin. It is indeed a Style B, stamped on March 4, 1926. No other information on finish or ship dates was available.

    It's a bit late now, but you should avoid using furniture polish, as it may have silicones and other things that can contaminate the finish and wood. Naphtha is safe in the even you need something stronger than a damp (not wet) rage. If it were mine, I'd go over it with naphtha to remove as much of the leftover furniture polish as possible.

    You should also avoid foam padding. Flexible foam is often vinyl based and that will destroy the lacquer finish - literally dissolve it. Soft cotton cloths are fine, preferably white or light colored. Personally, I would invest in a better case. The existing case is interesting and should be retained, but it's not very protective. This is a nice instrument that deserves a nice case.
    Todd Yates

  16. #40
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    I used Rotten Stone (a form of pumice) on the wood to remove waxes and polish on wood to bring out the grain. It is used on fine gunstocks and fine wood furniture. I strung it and all of you were right. The sound is as good as I have heard. I will definitely enjoy playing this one. More pics:

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    Last edited by fflmike; Mar-10-2020 at 5:19pm.

  17. #41
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Rottenstone is good stuff, and is always a good choice on very old finishes.

  18. #42
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    It definitely has gorgeous sound. It is not quite as easy to play for long periods and my Washburn or Ovation, but I do love it. Might be needing to get used to the light strings. It looks like I might need to sand a bit off the bottom of the bridge. Action is a tad high. Maybe when I change strings.

  19. #43
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Your thread got me to get out my 1930 Martin C Style, much like yours with a bit more ornamentation. The vintage little frets make it a joy to play. There is a ringing tone that is very enjoyable. I really enjoy playing English folk and Celtic on this beauty. It can play most anything well, although lacks any bark for bluegrass.
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  20. #44
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Cool! I have been playing this one pretty regularly. Great little mandolin.

  21. #45
    Registered User fflmike's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    The action was just too high to enjoy playing it for over a few minutes. I worked on getting the bridge down to where it is a lot more playable. Now it feels as good as it sounds and looks. It really has a lot of volume. I am still amazed at the sound this little mandolin has.

  22. #46
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by fflmike View Post
    The action was just too high to enjoy playing it for over a few minutes. I worked on getting the bridge down to where it is a lot more playable. Now it feels as good as it sounds and looks. It really has a lot of volume. I am still amazed at the sound this little mandolin has.
    Good news!

    Spruce top and rosewood back is the Holy Grail on these mandolins.
    To my ear, noticeably more responsive, clear toned and projectile than the mahogany backed Martins....which are sweet and very pretty sounding in their own right.
    Don't get me wrong on that.

    From my experience, Martin Bs are very nice mandolins. A pity they didn't make more!

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  23. #47
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    I do like playing it and that made it more enjoyable to play, but my Ovation MM68AX5 actually is the most enjoyable to play. I can play it for hours, but then again it is basically electric. I definitely doesn't have the quality sound or volume when played as an acoustic.

  24. #48
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by brunello97 View Post
    ...From my experience, Martin Bs are very nice mandolins. A pity they didn't make more!...
    And a pity that they didn't resume building them, even if they had to go to Mexico, as they did with ukuleles a few years ago. I'm sure they looked at the potential market for a short-scale, canted-top, flat-back mandolin that wasn't that good for bluegrass (the currently dominant mandolin genre), and said, "won't sell enough to make the investment pay off for us." Compare the vintage market price for a mid-1920's Martin vs. a Gibson A-model of similar age, and you see that fashions and trends in mandolin design have shunted the Martin style off center-stage.

    Still, I love to play Celtic or old-time tunes on my century-old Style A. Impeccable Martin work-person-ship, sweet sound, and loads of "vintage vibe."
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  25. #49
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    Rottenstone is N O T pumice...

    Rotten stone, sometimes spelled as rottenstone, also known as tripoli, is fine powdered porous rock used as a polishing abrasive for metalsmithing and in woodworking. It is usually weathered limestone mixed with diatomaceous, amorphous, or crystalline silica. ... It is also used to polish jewelry and in toothpastes.

  26. #50
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    Default Re: C F Martin mandolin

    No, rottenstone and tripoli are two different things.

    Rottenstone is gray in color and cleans and polishes more than it cuts. It is the traditional material used to bring varnish finishes to their highest state of polish.
    Tripoli is pinkish white and cuts quite a bit more aggressively.
    Pumice is white and cuts more than tripoli.

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