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Top building, Martin re-top

One could ask, "what is this mess?" While they may look messy, these items are the components  of the worlds oldest clamping system, which is known informally as "sticks, rope and wedges". This system dates to the Romans and for the purpose of gluing the two thin halves of the top together it is the best!   The reason it works so well is that as tension is appli…  » read more

12/09/2011  | comments (0)

The Martin re-top continues

The next phase of the Martin re-topping project is to select a top. Here I have picked out a nice "AAA" Sitka spruce top. The original top would be considered low quality by today's standards, rating only a  "B'" at best. A word or two about tone-wood grading: every species has its own characteristics that are taken into account by the grader and a letter system grade …  » read more

12/08/2011  | comments (0)

C. F. Martin acknowledges Dusty Strings Repair Shop

Well, this falls in the category of "tooting my own horn" but on November 29th the Dusty Strings repair shop received a visit from the new C. F. Martin Customer Service Manager, Tracey Cortez . The reason for her visit was that she was traveling to the top five Martin warranty centers in the nation and Dusty Strings was number 4 . Being number 4 may not seem like much, but it is an ackno…  » read more

12/01/2011  | comments (0)

Martin re-top

       The first step in re-topping this Martin is to remove the neck. This is accomplished by pulling the 15th fret and drilling a small (3/32”) hole in the fret slot; this allows access to the dovetail “pocket”. A heat blanket is used to soften the glue, so that the fingerboard “tongue ” can be loosened. Now comes the steam! I use a modified esp…  » read more

11/17/2011  | comments (0)

Frankenstein Martin

  Ah, the 70's the era of exploding Ford Pintos, Disco Fever and dubious guitar repair. This 1956 Martin 00-18 recently came in for repair. A receipt in the owners case dates the worst of these repairs to 1976. It’s obviously been through a lot but what is the most egregious is the Gibson adjustable, reverse belly bridge. These bridges were quite common on the Gibson LG series and are…  » read more

11/15/2011  | comments (0)