Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

IconProjects, musings about guitar builds, guitar repairs, vintage tube amplifiers, old radios, travel, home renovation, and other stuff.

Final Fitting of the Spruce Top Patch on Martin Guitar

It's amazing what you can do when you have the right tools.

Now that I am armed (!) with some nice chisels, I can do some fine cutting on wood, instead of hacking.

I'm still learning, but I was able to make some fine hunks of spruce and level the patch with the rest of the soundboard.

(Better be careful with those technical terms - someone might confuse me with a luthier.)

You can see the thickness of the finish on the top of the guitar.  I didn't measure it, but it's close to a 64th of an inch thick.  There is definitely a clear bump down to the bare wood.  I matched the height of the patch to the bare wood 'wings' where the sides of the bridge will go.

Scrapers have become my new best friends.  After I took some material off with the chisel, I used a scraper to level the top of the patch.

Then I sanded it with 180 grit paper.  I also did some initial scraping of the 'wing' areas.  This whole bridge area will need to be level and clean when I glue up the new bridge.

It's interesting comparing the three different surfaces - the very white new spruce, the brownish 40-plus year old spruce, and the now-yellowed, ambered clear lacquer that Martin finished the guitar with.

Hard to tell in this picture, but there is virtually no seam between the patch and the top.  The edges are perfectly level.

If I had a new bridge ready to go, I could glue it right on.  But I'm not quite there yet.

In all the steaming, drilling and reaching inside the body dozens of times, a couple pieces from the edge of the soundhole broke off.  I need to reglue them.

The two outermost layers of purfling will be covered by the fingerboard extension - in fact, they didn't quite come together in the first place.

But the smallest, innermost ring will be visible.  I lost about half of the length of purfling that should go over the area you see.  But I freed up this small piece and should be able to create a new piece to match the missing section fairly closely.

The purfling is five layers: thin black, white, thicker black center, white, and thin black.  It's made up of individual layers of plastic material and 'glued' together with acetone.  The acetone melts the plastic so it sticks together.

I have some binding material I'll use to attempt to create a matching piece with.

The Complete Martin Guitar Restoration Saga
Restoration begins
Repairing heel break
DIY chisel for bridge plate removal
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.1
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.2
Steam removal of bridge plate
Bridge plate removed
Tongue brace removal
Crack repair and brace scallop
New bridge plate Pt. 1
New bridge plate Pt. 2
Patching hole in top
Final fitting of top patch (This page)
Installing carbon fiber rod
Fret removal
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 1
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 2
DIY fret bender tool
Refretting Pt. 1
Refretting Pt. 2
Tuner shaft repair
Neck reset - dovetail fitting
Measuring neck set with DIY jig
Gluing the neck with hide glue
Tortoloid Pickguard
Fitting bridge pins
Brace reglue
Making bone saddle
Making a buffalo horn nut
Restoration completed


Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • Unknown said...
    October 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM
    Great! You tune up the chisels yourself?
  • Yr Fthfl Blggr said...
    October 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM
    Yes, I sharpened them with a Japanese water stone.

Post a Comment