Question for any/all builders here.

Do any of you have a hard time utilizing old antiques and rare items in your builds, and I don't mean and old key for a saddle, I mean anything you have to alter to use, from embellishments to boxes to whatever is being used?

I've been wanting to build a canjo(for the contest) and just have a couple gits representing days gone by, but some of the items I've collected for various builds are 75 plus years old. Now most of them have little to not much value on the market, but damm, I'm having a struggle with altering anything, drilling holes, cutting slots etc with some items. I even couldn't bring myself to buy this 100yr old cigar box I wanted on eBay, because I knew I wanted to use it as a git. Granted, someone else may do the same or use it for firewood, and I would have at least preserved some form of it's originality to be seen and now heard. I like collecting things for display purposes, and am battling my inner urge to create vs preserve.

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Richard, that's a very tough call. On the one hand, using an antique item in a build produces something very unique. On the other hand, altering the item means that it is, essentially, gone from it's original form and purpose and can't be replaced.

More than a decade ago, I published a book on antique American clocks. The Repair-Restore-Preserve debate was always present in each clock project. Ultimately, it came down to a case of actual rarity of the object. If it had a unique, special history, the preservation was recommended. If it was an example of the type, but not the only example (i.e. there were more examples around), then restoration, using period correct methods was acceptable.

Modifying a cigar box and using it for a guitar part is not the same thing, but in the end, the call is yours.

Hey....Mopar guy, I also had a few(quite a a few) Chargers. Sold this one approx 3 yrs ago(72)....and regret it! Had a 71, 66

that's a Daisy dukes car right? she pulled out the yellow one every so often...its was cooler than the General lee!

nope, she drove a Satellite/roadrunner

I know what you mean. I have had several cbg related parts that were agonized over. Some ended up modified, others still sit. Sometimes you can alter the design to preserve the piece too. For example, I built a couple license plate guitars and couldn't bring myself to cutting a pickup hole in the plate, then I saw someone here who simply (and ingeniously) made a spot for the pickup just outside of the plate.

antiques roadshow syndrome, LOLOLOL

One of the items in question that made me start this thread is, a square dowel yardstick. My wife and I went out for Lunch in Marietta Ohio with her parents, afterwards we went to a few Christmas and antique shops, My wife saw a couple old looking yardsticks and thought of me and my CBG builds, and thought the one would make a great canjo stick. My problem started when she presented them to me as she had no idea how old they were, The square one has an automobile insurance co. advertised on it, and after talking to the co which is still in business, has it's founding fathers name on it as the general manager. The company started in 1921, and the head advertising agent I talked to said they don't even have one in their archives, and approx dated it as early as the late 1920's to 30's, maybe as late as the 40's. So it's anywhere from 96yrs to 77 yrs old.

I've actually been brainstorming and may have a way to use it, and never deface it, I'll post pics of it now, and afterwards if I go forward with it in a build. But...I sent the agent pics of it...depending on if they develop an interest in owning it, I may just donate it them.

enjoy the pics

Just got a reply back from the Company, puts it approx 87 years old, and this is a direct email quote;


We actually have one of those yardsticks in our archives! We stopped using "Ohio's largest insurer of automobiles" in the early `30s. Robert Pein was general manager well into the 1940s. We suspect that yardstick's from the late 1920s/early 1930s.
Enjoy your find.

That's cool.

On a side note, your in-laws are in the Marietta, OH, area? My father-in-law is from Vienna, WV.

No, they live in New Albany, over by Columbus, they just met us there for lunch. Originally, I'm from Cleveland, and the Wife's family is from Hocking County.

Oh, and she bought me 2 yardsticks at the time, and the other one may date to approx 1916, flat style approx 2" wide, with a 2 digit phone number, auto part store advertisement from Moundsville WV.

I know what you mean. I have several boxes I just can’t cut because they are too beautiful even though they are not old. No way could I cut up an 80+ year old box or yardstick.



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