1930's Rex Royal Archtop
It is not often I fall in love with an instrument. This is one special guitar. Unfortunately, 80 years or more of neglect left her in pretty rough shape. The neck had separated from the body and warped, the tuners were inoperable, bridge was missing the base, fret board had 80 years of gunk, frets popping out etc. etc. - And these were the good things.
Now, as you can tell by the picture, there was one amazing part of this guitar, the body. The figuring of top was just beautiful. We three staged buffed and buffed and buffed to bring back the original finish - actually probably better to show off this top. It paid off.
We did a partial neck reset to make her playable, but stay within budget. Re-seated some frets and leveled and crowned them all. Installed a makeshift bridge riser (some vintage pennies - oh yeahhhhh - pretty cool if you ask us). Injected a serious amount of Naptha into the tuner housing to remove the debris and lubed them back up with some nut sauce.
When finished, I seriously contemplated making an offer to owner of this guitar. It is really that special. The tone of this guitar is just something you do not hear - ever. Shut your eyes and you are magically transported to playing onstage in a dim New York City club with Billy Holiday.
Micah would tell you - I almost did not want to tell him she was finished just so I could hold onto her for a little longer. Although, I knew if I had that guitar for one more night I would have started making offers to buy it. The true curse of a luthier - you can't keep them all.