11/30/2012

c.1968 Guild F-20 0-size Guitar


This Hoboken, New Jersey-made Guild dates to 1968 from its serial number and is essentially a Guild version of the small-body Martin 0-18 models. It's roughly 0-size with a 14-fret neck and has a Gibson-flavored 24 5/8" scale as compared to some of these that had the longer 25+" scale later on in the model's history. The combination of a small body and 14-fret neck with x-bracing makes for a tone reminiscent of Nick Drake's "Black-Eyed Dog" song's instrumentation when used in conjunction with open tunings... sort of spidery but rich and sustained and focused.

Work included a fret level/dress, saddle re-shaping and bridge pin-hole adjustments, regluing of all the back binding, and some cleaning and setup. This guitar had been amateurishly repaired all over in the past: there are slipped seams on the front and back and various small hairline repairs & cleats to the front, but overall the work was "workmanly" and the instrument itself is in good playing condition. Meaning -- it plays beautifully.


I like the look of the small old Guild pickguards on this instrument. It's a bit smaller than a typical Martin 0-18 would have and the "compensated" size fits nicely with the guitar.


Good, simple rosewood bridge with a bone saddle. The pins are new plastic ones from my parts bin.


Spruce top, mahogany back and sides.


When I got the guitar, the headstock appeared to have had its veneer sanded out to 200 grit. I polished it up and then rubbed in a few coats of Gel varnish to pop the rosewood out and seal it up. Looks great, now.

And as an aside -- why is it that so few makers use metal truss rod covers like on this Guild? They're so much more practical than those darn plastic ones that chip and break all the time.


Rosewood board, radiused, with pearl dots. The neck shape and feel of this is very much similar to a 1960s 0-18 merged with a Gibson B-25 or somesuch. It feels a little narrower side-to-side but has a comfortable depth front-to-back.



This chunk of binding actually slightly overhangs the top edge and stubbornly refused to go back into place. There are a few areas of similar binding issues -- most notably on the back edge. It's simply not worth it in time to remove it all and re-rout the edge to reinstall it, though.






Another "slipped seam" area. Totally not a structural issue, but it is a cosmetic one. Still -- when people are watching you and you're playing it -- who would notice?



This has that typical Guild "red-stained" mahogany coloration to the hog back and sides.



The original tuners work just fine but I did replace the stripped-out old mounting screws.





This is the most dramatic "slipped seam" area on the lower bout rear. Fortunately, this ugly is kept on the rear and isn't as noticeable except when you're taking a macro shot, like this one...!

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