The 1971 Martin D-12-28 restoration is finally finished. About time, too, because I have a ton of other projects waiting in the wings.
I worked on so many small details that it's a little shocking to see the whole guitar all at once!
I'm still coming to terms with playing it - but it sounds great - it's pretty loud and has a super clear, chimey, detailed tone.
It's pretty battle-scarred, but it has tons of mojo. I fixed two long cracks below the bridge. There are also a lot of dings - I filled a handful of them, but I left most of them alone. When I polished it, the nicks picked up a lot of polish. I tried to clean the residue up with naptha, but some remains. You can see those white marks here and there - they'll fade over time.
I put on a Tortoloid pickguard and I think it looks really cool. With the natural ambering/yellowing of the lacquer, it has a 1940s Martin vibe.
The binding's also yellowed. Looks super cool.
I had cooked up a cocobolo bridge, but in the end I decided to go with rosewood. The cocobolo is beautiful, but it looked a little too over-the-top on this guitar.
Also note the standard Style 28 backstrip.
The strap button is old - I just cleaned it up and put it back on.
Dag, there's a lot of tuners! They cleaned up very nicely.
The guitar's actually super light - but it's neck-heavy due to the mass of the tuners. I'm still keeping my eye out for some modern replacements but I haven't found anything I like yet. These work perfectly well in the meantime.
The Complete Martin Guitar Restoration Saga
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
Installing carbon fiber rod
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
Fitting bridge pins
Making bone saddle
Making a buffalo horn nut
Restoration completed (This page)