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Author Topic: 1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?  (Read 4059 times)

Offline kasperhauser

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« on: September 06, 2010, 09:01:27 PM »
Greetings. I have what I believe to be a 1932 Washburn acoustic.
Inside the soundhole it says:

GENUINE
WASHBURN
TONK BROS. CO.
CHICAGO
SOLE DISTRIBUTORS

and on the neck block is stamped:

5201 (in bigger font)
932 (in smaller font)

That's about all I know about it. I will upload a few pictures - hope some of you knowledgeable folks can tell me more about it.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 08:59:30 PM by kasperhauser »
 

Offline kasperhauser

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 09:57:56 PM »
{edited}
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 02:57:17 PM by kasperhauser »
 

Offline kasperhauser

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 10:15:36 PM »
Here's the rest of the info I have. When I got it, it needed some work. The bridge was pulling away, the top had a warp behind the bridge, and there was a nasty puncture wound on the armpit side of the lower bout. On the plus side, the neck was great, and there was some cool vintage case candy inside what appeared to be the original case. I thought about it for awhile, then took it to a local luthier.

During the course of repair, some decisions had to be made; retain vintageness or make the thing as nice a player as it could be? I opted for playability. Some of the work the guy did is obvious from the pics: repair and reinforce the bridge and top, and repair the puncture. Both of these things are now, in his words, stable.

He also replaced the tuners with some nice looking (IMO) modern ones, re-did the nut, re-worked the saddle so it plays in tune (probably better than it ever did, in the luthier's opinion), new bridge pins... some other minor stuff.

Anyway, there it is. I still have the original tuners and bridge pins (ivory, except a hand-carved wooden replacement tuner button). There is also the old leather strap, a harmonica-style pitch pipe, a box of strings, and a songbook titled Fun Songs. All appear to be from when the thing was bought new.

I know purists will probably say I've ruined it, but it plays and sounds fantastic, so I am happy with the choices we made. I'm also indebted to the luthier for his skill - he took a year with this, and I think the results demonstrate his patience and ability.

Appreciate any feedback.
 

Offline spt

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 10:24:12 PM »
Hang around, keef or MarkD will be around with the answer. Although I'm pretty sure if you search the site for Tonk, you'll find they have answered that question previously.
Nice looking guitar (and work), BTW.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 10:26:57 PM by spt »
 

Offline Pike

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 10:43:43 PM »
Welcome to the forum kaspenhauser. Sweet old Washburn!
 

Offline Tio Kimo

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2010, 07:00:59 AM »
I'd love to hear what one of these sounds like.

So was the bridge replaced? It appears to my untrained eye that there are patches for holes that align with the existing strings, almost as though the scale length was shortened.

Regardless, it's an instrument, making music as per it's purpose for existence. In my view that's a good thing.

Cheers, and welcome.
http://www.oldtownschool.org/
'95 Washburn D-55SW Cherokee (Bourgeois)
'04 Larrivée LV-03 w/ Fishman blend
'02 Heritage 535
'12 Heritage 150
'10 Larrivée RS-2
'11 Benford Tele
'12 Kirn Barn Buster
Marshall AS50D
Little Lanilei 3350LT
Champlifier
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Offline Rocket

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2010, 07:26:52 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by Tio Kimo

So was the bridge replaced? It appears to my untrained eye that there are patches for holes that align with the existing strings, almost as though the scale length was shortened.

Looks to me like someone wrote tuning in pencil under the bridge pins: E A D G B (can't see last one... I'll assume e!)

Offline Tio Kimo

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2010, 09:00:21 AM »
good eye. you're it looks like letters.

wow! Seems an odd place to mark up a guitar. You'd think if they felt the need to scribe it, they'd do it on the back of the headstock near the tuning machines or something.

http://www.oldtownschool.org/
'95 Washburn D-55SW Cherokee (Bourgeois)
'04 Larrivée LV-03 w/ Fishman blend
'02 Heritage 535
'12 Heritage 150
'10 Larrivée RS-2
'11 Benford Tele
'12 Kirn Barn Buster
Marshall AS50D
Little Lanilei 3350LT
Champlifier
Boogie DC-2

Offline kasperhauser

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 06:25:29 PM »
Based on forum searches, I'm guessing 5201 refers to the model number (?). Presumably 932 is the serial number, and perhaps it's date coded somehow. Still looking for that info.

Those are indeed the string notes scribed into the top behind the bridge. We thought about getting rid of them, but they kind of add to the cachet.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 09:00:10 PM by kasperhauser »
 

Offline Pike

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 07:28:55 PM »
You could find out for sure in Keef's book. Here's one location to purchase, there are others.

http://www.amazon.com/Washburn-Prewar-Instrument-Styles-Pleijsier/dp/157424227X
 

Offline kasperhauser

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2010, 05:51:38 PM »
Found an answer online. Thanks for the replies.
 

Offline kasperhauser

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1932 Tonk Brothers Washburn?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2010, 07:52:03 PM »
And to correct my earlier error, it's a 5201, not 5701. Sorry. I have edited the above posts to reflect the correct number.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 09:01:05 PM by kasperhauser »