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top bracing on martin jumbo
Author
Post
cody-bo

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 2
Howdy everyone , I feel like the new kid in class. I took the plunge and bought a kit. Now reality sets in. I've made my mold and a nice jig for my router with interchangeable radius runners to make my radius dishes, however I'm having a hard time finding out just what radius's my martin jumbo will need for the top and back. After reading a lot of the post on here I guess I'm not the only one that starts out like this.
Another quandary I'm wondering about are the bracing for the top of my martin jumbo. They appear to be flat without any contour whatsoever. Is that normal? I assume that once I decide on the top radius and make a dish , that I need to contour the top bracing so that the top will conform to my radius dish upon glue-up. I thought about just buying a set of bracing from Martin, but with my luck they to would be flat.
Any suggestions or pointing me in the direction to find some of these answers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Cody-bo

Jan 24, 10 | 7:20 pm
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Most Martins are 15-16 foot radius for the back and 25-28 for the top - I would assume that a jumbo is also. Yes, the top braces should have that radius sanded into them. I am assuming that you got some sort of plans with your guitar - that should show the profile of all of the braces - you can check the radius from there.

Jan 25, 10 | 5:38 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Call the factory, 1- 800 759-2837 x279 and ask your question ----- Martin higher end model top contours are -- 52' that is why your braces seem to be flat. Some low end models tops are indeed actually flat.

The 25'-28' radius mentioned by freeman is the boutique builder's evolved dimension not the factory standard --- I suggest that you get Bill Cory's book for guidance and also take some time to take a look at my website. Its a very good idea to understand this issue and the direction you take, as it relates to the overall playability and prevents problems with the all important neck set/fit issue.

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Jan 25, 10 | 7:27 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
The Jumbo and Dred uses a 20 foot on the back. Martin uses a prestressed top. The braces are higher radiused than the disk used. I was told by the engineer that this helps in glue up so the ends will be secured to the top. Martin uses vacuum tables to brace the tops now. Martin top bracing is about 42 foot and I was told the disk is 28 foot.
The sides are set up with disks at the factory the molds are set to bottom out and this assures proper geometry. Tops are done the same way. The sanding disks are spun .They establish the geometry at rough shaping , and when they are bent the blocks are applied. Once that is done the kerfing is glued in and the sides are trued in the mold and sanding machine as described. .At one time the back had a radius and the top was sanded to a 1 1/2 degree angle. Now they do incorporate a radius on both top and back. This helps with the assembly jigs through the production cycle. If you call martin 3 times you will get 3 different stories . While Martin is pretty open , they don't tell everybody everything.
It is good to note that what back radius you use isn't so important as that you use one and true the braces to that. On the top , you want to match the top radius to your neck angle. This video should help explain in detail what you are trying to do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYHPCeVRUA4

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center

Jan 27, 10 | 11:37 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Second 42 -- this guy explains it the very same as Dick Boak does on both factory tour videos

rim sanded -- "Flat for the top and slightly arched for the back"

http://www.premierguitar.com/Video/20080630/216/Martin_Guitar_Factory_Tour_Part_II.aspx

Funny its what I saw every time was there too? Guess it depends on the source of the information?

Ken

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978


Jan 27, 10 | 1:53 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
The newer production guitars are radiused. You can see it when they come off the disk machine at the factory. You need to look very close. I was there last week . As a repair guy I get more info than non authorized people. I don't know when they changed . There was a time it was a flat 1 1/2 degree.

Jan 27, 10 | 3:55 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
It's just strange to me that Martin doesn't do one or the other of these:

1) Share the same story every time so that they don't look like they're from the White House

or

2) Just say they don't share these technical details with anyone.

All they do is muddy the waters, the way they are handling this kind of information.

Just my opinion.

Bill

Jan 28, 10 | 5:09 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
Martin does this from time to time . I know they upgraded the production molds that last few years and changed from the old wooden molds to machined aluminum . I also saw upgrades to the production jigging . Martin doesn't tell you everything and often the info is conflicting.
A prime example is look at the size chart and then measure one of their guitars. The 000/ OM is not 15 wide but actually wider . I have been lucky in my relationship with Martin . I have learned much in the last few years . I have a few body rims that I purchased from GMC that were set up from the new sander and I will try and get some pictures to show the new top radius.
If you think Martin is bad try calling Taylor or Gibson.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center


Jan 28, 10 | 5:44 am
cody-bo

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 2
Thanks everyone for the great information and links to the different websites, especially Bill for setting up such a neat forum. The knowledge about kit guitar building is awesome. I did get to view the video from Blues Creek Guitars and it really helped me to understand how to true up the sides and start to set the geometry. I hope to glue in the neck and tail blocks tonight and on to the kerfing this weekend.
Thanks also for the input on the radius's , I decided to go with the 20' for the back and 28' for the top. The top bracing upon closer inspection was definitely flat so I'll have to radius them. Would I be safe in assuming that I need to sand them on my radius dish at approximately the same place that they will be laid on the top for gluing. The reason I ask is I saw that neat radius sanding jig on Kenneth Michael Guitar web site and wondered if I needed to get something like that or for now just use my sanding disk?
Thanks again, your input has made this first build not so intimidating. Cody-bo

Jan 28, 10 | 2:09 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
This is a follow up and I will also post else where with more detail, I just want to stress that over a period of about 35 years I have been communicating with employees from the Martin factory including conversations Dick Boak. I found that every bit of information I received panned out to be absolutely factual. They certainly did not share copies of drawings, but even at that, because it has happened before, Martin knows a team of engineers with the aid of a Computerize Measuring Device (which we have in our shop) can “reverse engineer” something as simple as a “vintage or new model” guitar in a day or two ---- so there really are no secrets.

Again I suggest that you contact the Manufacturer, Martin, Gibson, Fender, Laravee, and Taylor etc. or go to their web sites to get information “first”. The forums are fun but the information is often skewed by what the hobby and Boutique building community has come to believe. Which is perfectly fine – but don’t be surprised when the Internet answers you get don’t jibe with the authorative factory information --- it happens all the time!

Below is my exchange with the Martin factory regarding the sanding of the top of the guitar rim; it is verification that the process is the same as it has been for as long as I can remember. Even Don Teeter the master repairperson alludes to the process in one of his books written in the 1970’s


From: Ken Cierpilowski <kencierp@yahoo.com>
Subject: rim sanding
To: cthomas@martinguitar.com
Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010, 1:57 PM

Mr. Thomas,

My name is Ken Cierpilowski, I am the owner operator of Kenneth Michael Guitars here in Michigan. Since a portion of our activity is supplying tools and fixtures to hobby builder's. Many of our customers are constructing or thinking about constructing kits purchased from the GMC --- so I am called on regularly to provide clarification regarding what tools and fixtures are needed and how they should proceed with the various assembly processes.

I am assuming that you are the Chris Thomas that provided the tour direction for Primer Guitars in the You Tube video. You are obviously very knowledgeable of the Martin production system. My question is regarding the sanding process for the top edge of the rim. You clearly indicate that the top edge is sanded flat and the back of the rim is sanded to a slight contour. In reviewing Dick Boak's videos he also clearly states flat on the top edge with a slope from the waist to the neck block. And, that is what I personally observed while visiting the factory. Some of the boutique builders actually sand the top of the rim with a contoured disk as well --- roomer has it that Martin has adopted this process and now puts a bevel on the top edge. It would be appreciated if you could verify or debunk this roomer, or direct me to someone who could shed some light on the subject.

Thank you in advance,

Mark,
Can you help us out on this question?
Regards,
Mr. Carmen A Cortez
CFM Customer Service Manager
-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Thomas
Sent: Monday, February 01, 2010 4:40 PM
To: Carmen Cortez
Subject: FW: rim sanding
Importance: High
Carmen,

Please respond to this customer. I do not know the correct answer.

Hi Ken,
My name is Mark Bickert and I have some clarification on the rimsanding of the guitar sides. For most of our guitars, we sand the back using a radius wheel. The top is sanded using a flat wheel. The top is sanded flat all the way from the rear block to the top edge of the soundhole. Then an angle is sanded from the top edge of the soundhole to the front block. This angle compliments the neck angle and gives us proper bridge height and fingerboard drop.
Sincerely,
Mark





Feb 04, 10 | 5:04 am



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