Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun May 19, 2019 4:14 pm

Good question, Bob. Actually you need to drill a hole bigger than 1/8" or your heatstick will get stuck. Heat and glue will turn it into a permanent attachment. I've got a 0.145" extra long bit that works well. So yes, that creates a hole so large that it will definitely show up on either side of the fret, once it replaced. What I have done so far is to make small, round inlays of matching wood and plug the hole. Then I cut through the inlay to reestablish the fret slot. It will show but won't be noticeable.

My technique for making the round inlays is to cut a small square piece of matching wood from 1/4" stock and glue that to the end of a short length of wood dowel. Then take that over to the disk sander and spin it around while cutting a tapered plug. Cut the inlay off the end of the dowel and glue it in.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Bob Gramann » Sun May 19, 2019 6:16 pm

9/64” is .140”, a #27 bit is .144”. Do you think 9/64” allows enough room to get the rod out, or should I get the #27 bit for 4 more thousandths (I have a short one, but I’d need to get a longer one). Thank you for the description of the hole fill. I may try turning a little ebony dowel out of some fingerboard scrap for the plugs. And now, back to the restoration?
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun May 19, 2019 7:29 pm

Bob, I was going off of memory which is getting to be a bit sketchy. The bit is .140" and it is 6" long. It is loose enough but the rod still gets stuck sometimes due to the melting glue. I pull the rod out during usage and wipe off the goo. Also, I use an eyedropper to squirt a few drops of water into the hole a few times during the process to aid removal. This slight amount of moisture is insufficient to create steam damage to adjacent finishes.

Your ebony dowel should work and it will fit tighter if you make a slight taper.

Restoration to get back on track tomorrow.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Bob Gramann » Sun May 19, 2019 7:36 pm

Thank you. I will consider 9/64” close enough. I love it when someone solves a problem before I get there.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Sun May 19, 2019 8:29 pm

Glad to help, Bob.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Mon May 20, 2019 12:28 pm

Here I am as Barry's muse - playing air-guitar, because i can't play a real one.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Mon May 20, 2019 12:34 pm

By the way, I never really looked closely at the heat-stick things, and I assumed they were heat pipes.
But I doubt that they are available as small as 1/8" - actually i think they are.
If you are not familiar with this technology it is amazing. Far, FAR, better heat conduction that just a copper wire.
Do a quick image google search and you will see them in use as heat-sinks for CPU's and other applications.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon May 20, 2019 1:36 pm

Those are cool, Chuck. The solid copper rods actually work pretty well though. I believe the limiting factor in using solid copper rods is not the thermal conductivity of the copper though, more likely the thermal conductivity of the wood in the dovetail joint. The heat pipes may overheat the area they are in direct contact with, because the wood might not be able to adsorb the heat and transfer it to other parts of the joint. But I am just guessing here as heat conductivity is not my nerd area. Mine was hydraulic conductivity which is totally different.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Mon May 20, 2019 1:58 pm

Because the copper rod is encased in wood (an insulator) it likely forces the entire rod to quickly come to the same temperature. plus, Proof's-in-the-puddin', right, and its working for you so ... it works.
Your practice of dripping water into the hole seems like a key feature to speeding up the process. Steam is both a good heat transfer media, and it's required by protein glues to "get loose".
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Mon May 20, 2019 2:53 pm

Whenever Barry starts a project like this, I move to the back of the room and stand slack jawed.

That being said, the question of the sides reminded me of an article in GAL journal (#97, p. 48) where damaged sides are lined with veneer. This might allow you to keep the original sides even with replacing previous bad repairs.

I eagerly await the next step in the restoration.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Mon May 20, 2019 4:28 pm

You are too kind, Joshua,

I have considered lining the sides and this would go a long way in strengthening these very thin and fragile mahogany ribs. However, it would not do much for the visual impact of all of the damage, which is actually my largest concern. Once I get the top off and inspect the interior, I will be deciding the fate of the sides.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Tue May 21, 2019 4:59 am

This is becoming an interesting and evolving study in philosophy. It might have been simpler if your customer had bought a box of parts labelled "Martin 00-17, maybe". At the extreme, which seems to be approaching rapidly, you and your customer will end up with an excellent guitar built on an old Martin back and an old Martin neck whose only relation is a common birthplace.

If your customer is willing to foot the bill, he ends up with a very cool guitar and a story to go with it. I think Barry ends up with the better part of the transaction, not because he gets paid but because he gets to coordinate and execute some real challenging work.

Jon Lundberg had 8 Stella 12 strings built (http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Museum/ ... clone.html) because he had 4 tailpieces. Jurassic park comes to mind. I think Barry's project is in a similar vein.

In my mind's eye, at the end of the day (I'm bound and determined to stop using cliches) I see an excellent little guitar, in a good case (unless the "original" case is serviceable) with Waverly machines. In the case is complete documentation of the project. In the guitar is a label from Barry.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue May 21, 2019 11:10 am

We do not have the original case but we do have the original tuning machines that are in working order. I see this restoration as a sort of tribute guitar with a few original parts. I am going to try to make it look very original, if you squint your eyes. I always place a repairman's label near the sound hole that you can read with a mirror (printed in reverse text). Regarding renumeration, I don't really charge a lot because I am retired and get a lot of reward by bringing basket cases back from the grave.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri May 24, 2019 2:07 pm

Taking off the top. This one will not be saved so it is done expeditiously.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri May 24, 2019 2:11 pm

On the inside of the top is a note that it is made from a salvaged piano soundboard. There are five non-book matched pieces of spruce making up the top and the braces are stack laminated. The work isn't bad for the age of the repair (1976) but it is a bit too heavily braced.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri May 24, 2019 2:17 pm

The rims are really in bad shape. Two full length spilts were previously repaired but are partially opened. Also, check out the large side repair near the headblock. I don't know what kind of wood that is. I do believe the sides are not worth saving.

The strange wood was also used to fill in the outside edge of the lower bout on the back. Will have to replace that with genuine mahogany. The two repaired cracks in the back appear to be in sound condition.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Brian Evans » Sat May 25, 2019 7:19 am

Spray gun and dark sunburst fixes all... I was taken aback to see the sunburst sprayed right over the pick-guard. That seems just kind of rude.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat May 25, 2019 10:02 am

Yep, the sunburst appears to be mainly for covering up the repairs using mis-matched wood.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat May 25, 2019 10:34 am

I feel the need to be less critical of the repair work previously done on this guitar. I have to think back to 1976 when this Martin was repaired the first time, which, by the way, is when I built my first guitar. There were only a couple of places in the country to buy guitar wood and one obscure book on the subject. So this gentleman rebuilt the guitar with his available resources, a 75 year old piano soundboard. He did a good job with what he had. I hope that 50 years from now when someone rebuilds one of my guitars they don't cast too many stones my way.
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Postby Bryan Bear » Sat May 25, 2019 10:49 am

That’s a good point!
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