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back joint reinforcement strip problem
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Stuart

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 76
I am in the process of building a Martin custom 000-28 Rosewood Guitar kit I purchased it from a friend of mine who purchased it from Martin. He decided that he didn't want to build from a kit after taking a Luthiers course and wanted to build from scratch. I am in the process of making the guitar right now and have come to the point where you glue on the back joint reinforcement strip. When I took the tape off the bundle of "backparts" (back joint reinforcement and back bracing), I was stunned to see that the back joint reinforcement strip tapered from about 3/4" down to about 1/2" in the center of the strip. I tried break it into sections around the braces but there was no way that I had enough wood to be able to hide the fact that part of the back joint reinforcement was much thinner then the rest. I am appalled by their quality control. Especially for a kit that was the highest grade that you had (custom with gold tuners, etc). Since I am not the original buyer, I doubt that they will replace it but I just wanted all to know that I am VERY unhappy that I will be forced to go out and buy parts to offset the defective ones that they sent with the original kit and that I will be probably over a week behind schedule at a time that I am racing to get to finishing it before the weather changes. Is there anything that I can subsitute for it that is readily available?People who spend that much money on parts, should have quality control even on something like a back joint reinforcement strip ......regretfully........... Stuart Gold

Aug 27, 06 | 12:40 pm
mbbransc

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 71
Sorry to hear of the circumstances Stuart. I don't have any suggestions, but do have a question for you. Are you gluing the strip and two back pieces all together at the same time, or gluing the back pieces together and routing out the center to insert the strip?

thx
Brandon

Aug 27, 06 | 6:03 pm
Stuart

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 76
The two back pieces are already glued. the plan was to glue the strip on and cut away the area for the braces to fit. There just isn't enough wood the same size to do that. When I can get the braces on, I then route the channel for the back purfling.I plan to try to call a couple of local luthiers tomorrow and see if any of them have an extra joint re-inforcemnet strip that they can part with. LMI sells them for $4.20 but it wood take a week for them to get here unless I paid express rates and that would make it about a $25 strip of spruce. Not willing to do that. Anyone know of any luthiers in the Grass Valley California area that might have any?

Aug 27, 06 | 6:14 pm
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
Stuart--

If you have access to a band saw or a table saw you could slice your own fairly easily. LMI gets stuff out here to Michigan in about three days, shouldn't be too bad from Healdsberg to where you live. Good luck with the build, you'll be having fun with it in no time.

--Jim

Aug 27, 06 | 6:57 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Stuart -- I'm sure you've thought of this, but if you haven't yet routed the back, keep in mind that there are many guitars without a back strip. It adds nothing to the sound or stability of the guitar. Just a thought.

Aug 28, 06 | 10:19 am
mbbransc

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 71
Bill - that's kind of where I am right now. I'm beginning to think I just build this one as minimal as possible and see how she turns out. Then I can get fancy with the next one!!

Aug 28, 06 | 10:28 am
Stuart

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 76
You guys are missing it totally. I'm NOT talking about the back strip. What I am talking about is the back joint re-inforcing strip on the INSIDE of the guitar that bisect the back braces.

Aug 28, 06 | 11:35 am
Stuart

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 76
I just thought that would also mention to the group that I called Martin guitar customer service this morning and the woman who I talked to said that even though I bought my kit from a thrid party, for something like a back joint re-inforcing strip, she would send another to me in a bag. I don't know if it will arrive or not but if not, it's going to really cost me as even though the part is only about $4, most places have a minimum $8-$25 shipping fee. Ouch! I also found out that most luthiers cut this strip off the top or bottom of soundboard wood.

Aug 28, 06 | 11:42 am
JimW

Total Topics: 1
Total Posts: 11
"I also found out that most luthiers cut this strip off the top or bottom of soundboard wood."

That's what I do. Actually, I bought a $10 spruce top on Ebay some time ago and cut my strips from that. Cheap! Martin should come through for you if you can stand to wait a few days.

Aug 28, 06 | 11:52 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Stuart -- I misunderstood ... the reinfocing strip on the inside of the guitar can be very easily replaced. It's usually just a piece of spruce cut across the grain so its grain is perpendicular to the back's grain. But it doesn't even have to be spruce. It can be mahogany, cedar, basswood -- whatever you have handy that looks right. Don't spend a lot of money; it's not necessary. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Bill

Aug 29, 06 | 6:37 am
Luthier Suppliers

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 68
Stuart,
Not sure if you received your top in a large rectagle shape or if it came already cut to the outline of your guitar, but if it is in rectangle format, AND you have about 1/2" of your top that the body shape does not cover, you can just cut 1/2" of the top of this. If not, then you could just do as the other person did and order a cheap cedar or spruce top and use it to slice up. The grain needs to be horizontal when placed over the center seam. Good luck, and I do feel your pain. This should have never got past their QA. You could call Martin and complain about it. They may send you one quickly.
Tracy
http://www.luthiersuppliers.com

Aug 31, 06 | 3:28 pm
Stuart

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 76
Actually there is both good ( I hope) and bad (ouch) news. On the bad side, the toop was basically cut out to about 1/4 " over the outline so there is NO room to trim anything. In fact, if I take my rim out of the mold, it won;t even fit the top at all. Obviously, I'll need to glue the top n the mold and then turn it over for the back. Since it's rather tight right now, I may need to take it out of the mold and to glue the back or wait to trim off the excess when I bind it and then take it out.

On the good side, I did call Martin and even though it was a 3rd party Martin kit ( a friend of mine bought it and sold it to me after he decided to build from scratch) the woman that I talked to in customer service said that she would make and exception and send me a new piece of wood. I'm hoping that she follows through or doesn't cahnge her mind. If I don't get it by next week, I'll have to believe that it isn;t coming and order it fromLMI. Unfortunatley, I'll have to pay $4.20 for the wood AND a $8.00 minimum shipping charge. Bummer as well as wait for another week for it to get here in California.

Aug 31, 06 | 5:18 pm
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
Stuart--

LMI is about an hour north of San Fran in Sonoma county -- Healdsburg (or maybe Windsor). :) should be fast delivery for whatever you need.

--Jim

Aug 31, 06 | 6:39 pm
Luthier Suppliers

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 68
Stuart,
I could cut you a piece of cedar any width you need, but you will have to thickness a little and will have to joint/sand one edge flat. But it is a cutoff from an old top had. It will come in multiple pieces, but that shouldn't be a problem. Just stop one of the pieces in front of the brace, and continue on after the brace. Since I'm in Denver, if I put it in the mail priority mail tomorrow you would have it by Tuesday. You just pay the shipping, which shouldn't be more than $5. Let me know.
Tracy
http://www.luthiersuppliers.com

Aug 31, 06 | 8:09 pm
Stuart

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 76
Just thought that I'd tell you that I received a package today from Martin. They actually came through with the back re-enforcement strips. In fact, they sent way more than I needed, probably enough for 2-3 guitars. Who'd have thunk it? The glue is drying as I write this and my faith is restored.

Sep 05, 06 | 6:54 pm
Luthier Suppliers

Total Topics: 2
Total Posts: 68
Great News! Glad they came through for you. Now you're on your way to the next hurdle. Good Luck!
Tracy

Sep 06, 06 | 2:18 pm



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