Just on the bench was a 1971 Martin D-35. This dreadnaught guitar was in great overall shape for its age. It needed a neck reset and some attention paid to the lower bout where 12 inches of binding were missing and the back had separated from the sides.
After decades under string tension a steel string guitar's neck pulls forward relative to the body and eventually the neck must be removed, refit at a steeper angle to the body, and glued back on. Having a guitar's neck reset is sort of like having your car's transmission rebuilt; it's a big job and if you own the thing long enough you will have to have it done, and once done it will perform like new again. You don't typically do it to an imported disposable cheapo, but any well-built solid wood guitar is a candidate for this procedure. If your saddle is very low, or flush with the top of the bridge, you should have your guitar evaluated for a neck reset.
For the other part of the job, 2 of the back braces were glued back down, the back was glued to the sides, the missing binding and purfling were carefully replaced with new material, then a tinted finish was sprayed over the white binding to match the aged yellow finish on the rest of the instrument.
This guitar came out looking great and playing like a dream. It's got a nice tall bone saddle and the frets and fingerboard are level and clean - ready for another 40+ years of making music. The best part of the job was getting to play a perfectly setup 43-year-old Brazilian Rosewood Martin!
Posted by willbright at 1:56 PM in
Repair and Restoration