GG156 Carlstedt

An old bad conscience from 2019 was completed and delivered to its owner in the USA in 2023. Among other things, Covid got in the way. This is a very nice Carlstedt made in the USA by the Swedish immigrant. I've had some Carlstedts in the shop before, but in better condition. I have written about the other two here and here.

One thing that stands out about this one is that it had "CF Martin" engraved on the back of the head! An obvious and clumsy attempt at forgery. This is how it looked like when it arrived.

The top was in poor condition with discoloration and cracks. The bridge was missing. The bottom, side and neck were made of red-stained mahogany.

The fretboard was in ebonized wood with the same texture as dry hard bread. The only thing you can do with those is to split it into a thousand pieces with sharp chisels and knives! A new ebony fingerboard was made and the inlays from the original board were moved over. A new bridge was made in the finest rosewood using old photos of other Carlstedt's. The binding around the bottom was also missing and had to be replaced with plastic ABS binding. The tuners were not original and was replaced with Stewmac's Golden Age tuniners. The top had to be cleaned from varnish and colored with a weak yellow-orange stain, the one I make by allowing the color in teak shavings to be drawn out in alcohol. The whole guitar got a coat of spirit varnish, the top a few coats extra.

I had done half of the work before Covid, so it was quite quick to finish it. The finished guitar was really nice to play, a little "bigger" sound than on a regular small parlor. The customer in the USA came to visit Sweden and was able to collect it here and also GG151, a Supertone guitar, which it had also not been able to deliver. Back home in the US, he wrote in an email

“FWIW, the Carlstedt and larger-size airplane Lindbergh remain an absolute REVELATION to me, and I haven't touched any of my other beloved guitars since. You have ruined me as a collector!! They are my holy grail!!”

You can probably say that he is more than happy with the two of them!


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