I'm sorry I'm posting this in Uke Tech Support, but there's no section for mandolins (which is surprising with as many people i've notices say they play). If this thread should be somewhere else, please move it.
I just aquired from my dad my great-uncle's solid top Silvertone mandolin. I guess my grandpa got it when my uncle was killed in '59. My dad loved when my grandpa would play it, so it has a lot of sentimental value for my family and is something everyone would like to see fixed. However, I did some research and I guess these were a Sears catalog brand and were very common. Even now, you can get a vintage Silvertone mandolin from various places for about $200-$400.
To make this mandolin functional again, it'll need some major work. the worst part is the crack on the side. It does look like that can be mended, but is that going to kill the sound? Is it going to be worth the cost? (not even sure how much it will cost to fix) Other things that will need replacing are the geared tuners--they're all rusted. the piece that holds the strings is also rusted, but looks salvageable. It has no bridge or nut. the frets and fretboard look good.
So is it worth it? I can put up pics if anyone is interested.