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Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:37 am
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:46 pm
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)

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:06 pm
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:21 pm
by Barry Daniels
Gluing in the end blocks.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:25 pm
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:29 pm
by Barry Daniels
Then adding the fabric side reinforcements with HHG. And on top of that goes the spanish cedar kerfing.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:58 pm
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:00 pm
by Barry Daniels
Now the braces get attached with HHG and a forest of go-bars.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:38 pm
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:50 pm
by Barry Daniels
Carved and sanded the braces. And then applied The Brand.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:51 pm
by Gordon Bellerose
Wow Barry! Where did you get that brand?

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:46 pm
by Aaron Helt
Maybe he shouldn’t tell us, we’ll all start building Martins.:)

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:50 pm
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:58 pm
by Aaron Helt
I think that’s a great idea. Got me thinking.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:30 am
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:34 am
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:30 am
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:39 am
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:45 am
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.

Re: Restoration of a 1931 Martin 00-17

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:55 pm
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.