I absolutely love these small body Martins.  I have owned several 17's from around the same time period, but never an 18.  My plan is to eventually make a few with very similar specs/dimensions.  In fact, I even took a little time to trace out a template off of this one while I had it!  The work done on this guitar was pretty straight forward, and for the most part, what I would expect for a Martin of this age.  The usual stuff: Neck reset, bridge removal/replaced with one made to the correct specs, new frets, new saddle, setup, and some minor finish touch-up.  Or at least I thought it was going to be minor finish touch-up!  Once I received the guitar (it was shipped to me), I quickly realized that the finish on top was over-sprayed, and done very poorly. It was pretty common years back, when the finish on an old guitar started to look really crappy, to just spray more finish right over the top of the old finish.  That's what happened here.  Several things going on here:  First, the old finish was not cleaned properly and scuffed (lightly sanded to help give the new finish something to adhere to).  Second, they sprayed right up to the old bridge, fingerboard extension, and pick guard, leaving a "lip" of finish up to each piece glued on top.  I realized right away that the top was going to be a problem.  Someone in the past had given it a "sateen" look by running steel wool over the entire surface, except where they couldn't get to in areas where there was the lip, leaving a nice shiny halo around the bridge, fingerboard extension, and pick guard.  So, once I removed the old pick guard, bridge, and FE, I started to try and level the lip down.  I made the mistake of putting some very light tack (all I use) tape down to protect some other areas.  When I removed it, it pulled the over-spray right off the top of the old finish.  Can of worms.  So then, I had to level everything down, and re "sateen" the whole top.  Needless to say, it ended up being a touch more work than I had originally expected.  Fortunately, the customer is an Ace, and understood what I was dealing with.  I kind of wish we could have just sanded it all off and started clean, but that wasn't an option here.  Vintage.  After that, it got back to being pretty straight forward.  By the way, this guitar sounded fantastic!  Check out the pics below...

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