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 Post subject: 1954 Martin D-28
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 1:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1305
This came directly to me for inspection, after the owner bought it. It needed a neck reset and some crack work. It will also get a new nut, saddle, and pins.

As you can see, the reset was quick and easy. You can easily read the model and serial number, written in pencil, on the bottom of the dovetail, written when the guitar was built.

There is a crack along the right side of the top, starting at the waist, and traveling up toward the pickguard. Inspecting in the box, I found questionable repairs.

The crack that concerns me appears to have been addressed by gluing a piece of wood, roughly the size of wood binding, approx. 1 1/4" long. I call that overkill. I also found a curious repair, to say the least. Someone glued a piece of wood, which stretches from the right upper waist side of the guitar, along the x-brace, to the center of the guitar. It's about 3/4" wide and 1/8" tall. I have no idea what in the world the thought was behind this "repair". Perhaps reinforcement for the pickguard, or crack prevention? Who knows.

I'll see if I can pop off some of the smaller piece, and sand it down. The other long chunk is a different kettle of fish. I can't get it out without heat and/or moisture, and that's assuming they used proper glue and not something else. This thing sits within 1/8" of the x-brace. So, I've decided to leave it in, otherwise I take a chance of ungluing braces that I don't want to touch.

So, I will be sanding my heart out. I want to make this thing very thin. I also found some yellow stuff that looks like some sort of over spray, on the corner of the left upper bout. I'll clean up the finish the best that I can. Someone put a different finish over the original nitro on the top. So far, using 1200g sandpaper and wet sanding, I've exposed most of the original finish. I'm cleaning up the build-up from around the bridge, fretboard, and pickguard. I'll polish the pickguard with Novus.

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 Post subject: Re: 1954 Martin D-28
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1305
I was going to make the new saddle today, when I ran into this problem with the bridge. Instead of resetting the neck in a timely fashion, a prior owner took the bridge down so low, that the strings had eaten into the ebony holes, cutting into the saddle a lot and old saddle.

This is an original bridge, so I decided to repair it. I removed the bridge, by careful chiseling. You can see the extent of the damage. Surprisingly, the bridge plate is in excellent condition.

I inserted several layers of virgin Teflon, to act as a dam, to keep the saddle slot open and clean of glue. Using CA glue and ebony dust, I built up and filled the string ramps and slots.

After everything was set, I removed the Teflon, then sanded down the ebony/glue.combo. I sanded to 800g, then dyed the bridge black, as it originally was. When it was dry, I sanded it to 2000g and polished it.

I drilled the holes, to clean debris and to round them. I used a chamfer bit to set the pin skirts. Then I dyed it black, as it was before repairs.

I've glued it into place. I'll leave it clamped until tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: 1954 Martin D-28
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1305
There was a weak area beside the pickguard, along the purfling. It was ~1/2" in diameter. I glued a piece of spruce under the area. I made the piece larger, ~ 1 1/2 long x 1" wide. It was a good thing I did, because the damaged area extended much further than I thought.

I was going to repair this area, which turned into a hole in the top, because the spruce was falling apart. However, when I used my inlay tool, to rout out the area, i found a much larger weak area. The top was no more than a 1/2mm thick, perhaps 3/4 mm. There was no structural integrity. This area extended ~ 2 1/2" x 1", along the side of the guitar at the waist.

I Made a patch out of new sitka, with a similar grain, although I had no wood to match the tight grain. The patch is quite thick, ~ 3mm. I beveled the bottom of the patch, creating a bit of a wedge, to fit down into the problem area, but leaving an ovethang, to glue directly to the top. This way I was able to sand the patch level with the top.

I had the challenge of matching new sitka to 63 year old sitka. Magnesium permanganate, my goto chemical for "aging " wood, simply didn't do the job. I ended up mixing 2 dyes I had mixed for other guitar repairs, plus I diluted them. I'm happy with the color match. The next challenge is finishing.

While making this repair, I found that the finish is not original on the top. It was thick polyurethane, so I stripped it. I'll French polish the entire top, and replace the pickguard. The new pickguard will cover some of this repair.

The guitar owner is happy with the repair, which is a relief. This is my first top patch. The cracks you see have been repaired.


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