#1
I found this on Craigslist for $50 (Canadian); a Fender CD-100 12-String Dreadnought. It was in hard, hard, shape. There was no evident damage to it but it was just filthy. The ancient set of strings had so much dirt, so much gunk, on them that the crud was actually thicker than the strings. And the strings were loosened so there was no real tension; loosened to the point of almost falling off. Plus there was some sort of sticky resin-like matter all over the entire guitar. I don't know what it was. It was as if someone had taken a spray bottle full of toxic slime and attacked the entire instrument. Granted, it was in a smoker's home. A heavy smoker; the guy's place had a thick tobacco/weed haze.

And the "tattoo". Yes, the scorpion tattoo. It was some combination of pencil/stencil and removing that was job number one. And, lemmetellya, it took some serious effort. What really concerned me was that, even if it was only done entirely in pencil, the "lead" is actually ground graphite mixed with clay. I was afraid that if I successfully removed the surface microparticles, there might still be a stain on the body. Thankfully, that didn't happen; now there is no hint that Mister Scorpion was ever there.

How to remove pencil from finished wood? I didn't quite know so I considered who might ever have to do such a thing and decided that carpenters were good candidates. So I went to a couple of carpenter's forums to read up on how they remove markings from wood. Start gently with an eraser, a good one made of real rubber as opposed to the dollar store who-knows-what cheapies, then apply diluted rubbing alcohol gently to the affected surface, removing as quickly as it is applied. It's a slow laborious process but it worked like a charm.

So after about 18-hours of very meticulous work, it now looks brand new! And it sounds like a dream. New set of Martin M190 80/20 Bronze Lights.

Now I can spend the rest of my life tuning it :^)

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U-G contains a review of the model: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/acoustic_guitars/fender/cd-100-12
“High fly ball into right field. She is… gone!" - Vin Scully