martin 51 repair project:


march 3rd 2017

after making an inside out patch and rebending it, i decided to start fresh. i still had the other half of the orphaned side i was using and it only take a few minutes to bend into shape. i did apply a few things i learned on the first attempt. like before i traced out the outline rubbing on the outline with a pencil. this time i cut it out the pattern and spend a bit of time getting it closer fitting it to the guitar. when ready i taped the pattern to the side of the side and cut close with a band saw.

it did take a combination of a plane for the top and back edges, chalk, chisels, files and sanding sticks to fit the inlay

. i spend a few moments to decide how to clamp it, after a trial run i decided on the belt clamp. i used fish glue to give me a bit more time to fuss around. yes i do work bare foot and in my pajamas, retirement is great!

march 4th 2017

i will play with the color a bit more. maybe a little bit of yellow, or less red. this with done with red mahogany, tobacco brown and a touch of black.

here is what i had before the stain (just some naptha)

march 5th 2017

i sanded off all of what i put on yesterday and sanded into the original finish a bit more. i remixed the dye with less red a and a bit more amber. it is not perfect, but looks ok unless looking right at it. the repair is very solid. the guitar has a clean drum like tap sound.

march 5th 2017

i really should let the finish cure for another week or so, but i am not the most patient guy. here is the 51 all strung up. it is a real instrument again.


april 10th 2017

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the happy owner playing it. still sounds like an old martin



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