Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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

Martin O-18T and 5-17T Guitars Nearing Completion

I haven't spent much time in the Dungeon the last week or so.  Really busy at work and then I went to the Uke and Guitar Summit for five days. 

Finished the Martin O-18T - some good pictures are forthcoming.  But I wanted to get a few in-process shots up here first.

The end pin hole had been reamed out to be Quite Large Indeed - a bit over 1/2", maybe 14mm.  Rather than try to fit an endpin, I decided just to put a K&K pickup on it.  This is the view from inside.  This one is the 'Pure Bass' model which is designed for acoustic bass or tenor guitars (seriously).  The pickup heads are a lot larger than their other models.  You can see they're so big I had to glue in a small piece of maple as a platform to mount them on!  Only part of the pickup(s) are on the bridge plate - the plate is so small I needed the little extension platform.

In that shot you can also see a previous, nicely done repair on the center seam where it must have separated.  Also note the scalloped top tone bar brace.

Contrast that repair with the side repair.  It must have been dropped or something, because there is a long split.  Whoever did the subsequent repair did a poor job matching up the crack/split on the outside of the guitar - it's not even across the outside. 

This is the inside seen via a mirror - a sturdy repair but not the tidiest ever.  I'm not sure that so many splints were needed, but there you have it. It's too bad that the splints weren't lined up neatly - they could have used the kerf as a guide to butt up against.

At least it's sturdy.  I did consider taking it all apart and redoing it, but it's probably not worth it.

I took the guitar to a tenor guitar class during the Summit and it got a lot of raves.  A number of folks had nice things to say about the refinish job on the top.  It looks pretty good, all things considered.  And it sounds fantastic - it's quite loud for such a small body.

As for the OTHER tenor I'm working on, the 5-17T, well, it's almost there.  I found that none of the ebony bridge pins I have on hand fit.  All of them are too small!  So after pondering for a couple of days, I came up with a solution.

I took some 'oversize' (yeah, right) ebony pins and coated the business ends with some Titebond.  Do this on waxed paper if you want them to not become glued down, btw.

Then take some ebony sawdust.  Sprinkle the sawdust onto the pins - and then roll it through the sawdust as well.

What you wind up with is sawdust-coated bridge pins!  When it dries, I'll sand them to custom-fit the bridge pin holes.  I did one using CA and it worked a treat. 

They look like little chocolates.  But I don't suggest eating them.


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