First kit build - Martin dred

Take us through building your guitar step by step. Post pictures and tell us what you're doing.
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rcplanefan
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:36 pm

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by rcplanefan »

OK, ski trip is over so I'm back at it. I've been working on the neck/fingerboard/headstock. The kit came with mother-of-pearl inlays for the fingerboard and I glued them in with Duco cement. They stand a little proud, so I have a 16" radius sanding block on order to fix that.

After laminating the rosewood headstock cover plate onto the headstock, I hand drilled from the back (already had drilled the tuner holes for the headstock) and they finished up nice and clean. And it's a beautiful piece of rosewood, too. I need to work on a logo that I can make a gold leaf decal from - plenty of time to worry about it, but I'll get started on it.

For the photos, I just laid the bridge on the top of the guitar. Next up, shaping the nut and measuring and locating the bridge.

Image

Image
Last edited by rcplanefan on Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
rcplanefan
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:36 pm

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by rcplanefan »

A couple more photos:

Image

Image
Kevin Sjostrand
Posts: 3680
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Location: Visalia, CA

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

Looking really good. Nice clean work!!
rcplanefan
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:36 pm

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by rcplanefan »

Question for the experts. Should I fret the guitar before finishing? I assume since I’ll be masking off the fingerboard anyway, I might as well.

Also, I have read that I should finish the neck and body separately and then glue the neck on. Any reason not to do this?

Thank you!
Kevin Sjostrand
Posts: 3680
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Location: Visalia, CA

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

I always install frets before spraying.
If that's a dovetail neck I'd glue it in and do your finish
MaineGeezer
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by MaineGeezer »

I'd finish the neck and body separately. It will make it easier take the neck off in 20 years when it needs a neck reset. It also eliminates the problem of getting the finish even in the corners where the neck joins the body, if you finish after assembly.
Don't believe everything you know.
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When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion
Stray Feathers
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Location: Ladysmith, BC

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by Stray Feathers »

I've done all mine with the necks attached - I like the look of the finish running uninterrupted through the corner at the joint. I would consider trying finishing them separately, for reasons many have given here on the forum, but I have one question: How do you get the finish smooth and even on the edges of the heel (i.e no drips etc.) so that when you put the neck on, the seam is as tight as when it was fitted dry, and shows no gap? And if you do have to do some sanding on the heel to get it right, how do you hide the sanding marks? I'm using lacquer. Bruce W.
phavriluk
Posts: 544
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by phavriluk »

MaineGeezer wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 8:55 am I'd finish the neck and body separately. It will make it easier take the neck off in 20 years when it needs a neck reset. It also eliminates the problem of getting the finish even in the corners where the neck joins the body, if you finish after assembly.
I concur. The ones I made have all had their necks and bodies separately finished before assembly. I found it was so much easier to get a good level finish on the separate elements before assembly.
peter havriluk
rcplanefan
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:36 pm

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by rcplanefan »

Thanks for all the replies. I will finish the neck and body separately and then join them. I think I'll hold off on fretting the fingerboard until everything is assembled.

Currently locating the bridge. I'm about to start reading about finishing guitars which is a whole other subject.
phavriluk
Posts: 544
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:49 pm

Re: First kit build - Martin dred

Post by phavriluk »

I install the bridge as the last assembly step, after all the finishing. Same reason as the sequence of body finishing, then assembling them: no finish buildup on inside corners.
Last edited by phavriluk on Tue Feb 13, 2024 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
peter havriluk
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