Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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

Fitting a New Bridge Plate on the Martin D-12-28 guitar

I cooked up a new, smaller bridge plate from maple.  You can see it's about 2/3 the size of the original.  I actually had made one a touch smaller than this one, but I had second thoughts and made this one.

It was straightforward to do using the original rosewood pad as a template.  I even beveled the edges like a real luthier might do!

 Not only is the new maple plate smaller in dimensions, but it's a lot thinner.  I measured the old one at exactly .200 inches (5.08mm).  The new one is .130 inches (3.30mm).

So it should sap a lot less tone and volume.  In my informal, non-scientific tap-test comparisons, there was definitely a deeper tone from the area behind the bridge with the new plate held in place.

I carefully cut away the ragged area where the torn-up string-through holes were.

This shot was taken before I cleaned up the edges.  I wanted to make the area as close to a rectangle as possible.

Looks like a skylight!

Two of the corners are actually over the X-braces.  Here's a closer shot of one of them.

Here's an idea for a TV series:  Two luthiers are hired by the government for a secret mission to discover mysterious phenomena in old musical instruments.  It would be called the "X-braces."

I took some measurements of the top's thickness in the area around the hole so I'd have something to shoot for when making the new patch.  I got some different measurements, but most were a shade under .090 inches (2.2mm).

Here's a view through the hole into the mirror to show the underside of the top.

If you look carefully, you can see the outline of the old bridge plate.  There were also some rough areas there too - I cleaned them up as best as I could with a small scraper and some 180 grit sandpaper.

Nobody will see them unless they use a mirror, but I wanted to at least tidy them up some.

Hey!  Is that a scalloped tone bar?

Next I'll glue the new plate into place.



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 (This page)
New bridge plate Pt. 2
Patching hole in top
Final fitting of top patch
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

 
 
 
 

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