Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Since this guitar came in with a replacement top, I searched far and wide to find a bracing layout. This drawing is the only one I could find for a 00 size 12-fret Martin. It is not very clear but it seems to be accurate. The outline of the plan fit my body outline almost perfectly.
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Chuck Tweedy
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

looking good!
I have the Carruth scraper as well - mine needs sharpening :-(
its great when it is sharp (and it stays sharp a LONG time)
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Bob Francis
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Bob Francis »

Chuck Tweedy wrote:looking good!
I have the Carruth scraper as well - mine needs sharpening :-(
its great when it is sharp (and it stays sharp a LONG time)
Thanks! I had seen these and didn't realize Mr.
C was the creator.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Gluing in the end blocks.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Marking the sides to establish the contours on my radius dish. First I placed a block under the bottom block to get it level with the head block and then put a wedge under one side to level the rims side to side. Then I glued a small block to a pencil and traced a line following the radius dish.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Then adding the fabric side reinforcements with HHG. And on top of that goes the spanish cedar kerfing.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

On to bracing the back. First up is the back graft made from cross grain strips off a spruce top that are 3/4" wide. The joints of the strips are located at intersections of the braces which will be cut away. I made a 3-1/2" diameter sanding caul out of a piece of plastic duct to meet the Martin spec for the back graft.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Now the braces get attached with HHG and a forest of go-bars.
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Gordon Bellerose
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Barry Daniels wrote:Yes, the scraper is great. I have the square one also. However, you need to have a fine grinding wheel in order to sharpen them.
I also use both of those scrapers. I agree that they are quite good.

If you can find someone who sharpens hockey skates, they will have the "hollow ground" stone needed to sharpen these.
I don't know, but perhaps a skate blade was part of the inspiration for Mr. Carruth.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Carved and sanded the braces. And then applied The Brand.
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Gordon Bellerose
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Wow Barry! Where did you get that brand?
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Aaron Helt
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Aaron Helt »

Maybe he shouldn’t tell us, we’ll all start building Martins.:)

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

There are folks on Etsy that make custom brands really cheap. This one cost me $20 plus shipping. I got a photo off Google Images of the brand, sized and cropped it and sent it to them. Took about 3 weeks. Quality was impressive. I doubt that I will ever use it again but this unusual project was deserving of the slight cost and extra trouble. If anyone ever has a similar legitimate need for this brand, I would be happy to pass it on.

I am thinking of getting one made for my own name. Sort of a label that will never get separated from the guitar.
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Aaron Helt
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Aaron Helt »

I think that’s a great idea. Got me thinking.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

My process of attaching the back starts with "Driving the Bus" with my motorized dish. Then I locate the back onto the rims and mark the locations of the back braces for notching the kerfing. This time I did something different and used small pieces of masking tape stuck onto the kerfing with the edges of the tape just touching the sides of the braces. When I lifted the back off, the tape gave me a very accurate guide for making razor saw cuts. This seemed to work well, but it won't work when attaching the top because the box will be closed.

To mark the back braces where they are to be cut I have a little piece of a pencil glued to a popsicle stick to trace the face of the sides. Then I make a calculation of how far to cut inside this line.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

I cut the end of the braces off and carefully cleaned up the glue residue. (Since there will be no binding on this guitar I am attempting to get a perfect joint on the plate to rim joints.) Glued the back on with the assembly sitting in the radius dish and with some 5/16" diameter, shortened, fiberglass go-bars. I have used this method quite a few times in the past but I did not get the perfect joint this time. A very slight gap in a few places. Not bad enough to attempt a re-do, but it did appear to be enough for me to reevaluate my tools. I am going to build a bunch (50) of special sized cam clamps to do future plate attachments.

Cleaned up the boat and will be starting on the top next.
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Chris Reed
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Chris Reed »

Barry Daniels wrote:... (Since there will be no binding on this guitar I am attempting to get a perfect joint on the plate to rim joints.) Glued the back on with the assembly sitting in the radius dish and with some 5/16" diameter, shortened, fiberglass go-bars. I have used this method quite a few times in the past but I did not get the perfect joint this time. A very slight gap in a few places. Not bad enough to attempt a re-do, but it did appear to be enough for me to reevaluate my tools. I am going to build a bunch (50) of special sized cam clamps to do future plate attachments.
If you use HHG you can deal with each imperfection in the joint separately - I just brush in a little hot water and a touch more glue, clamp that spot, and then heat with a heat gun until the back is hand-hot. Then tighten the clamp until I get squeeze out.

To be honest, I use this method because I can't get decent back or top joints any other way :oops: But it does take the pressure off when glueing up, knowing that final adjustments are possible later.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Chris, I used fish glue on the back so I don't think that approach would work. Gluing backs and tops on is the one step I have not yet done with HHG. I know Mario P. and others (now including you) that do this and that has me thinking about attempting it one day. To be honest, the slight glue line that I have is very tiny and should disappear under the stain and finish. But thank you for your explanation. That was very useful.
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Barry Daniels
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by Barry Daniels »

Actually, I have nothing to lose trying to close up the fish glue joints. I will give it a try today and report back.
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David King
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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

Post by David King »

Barry,
Have you considered compressed air clamping via firehose. It requires a fairly elaborate frame to hold the pressure but you can get equal, accurate, and nearly instantaneous pressure around the entire seam via a Schrader valve stem. The ski industry has been using these systems for generations.

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