Martin D-28 repair

Grant contacted me about some damage that had occurred to the back of his Martin D-28 and when he brought it in, it obviously wasn’t going to be a simple touch-up of the finish as I originally thought might have been possible…

The cause of the injury is of no consequence- the entire back will have to be refinished.

Because the finish is nitrocellulose, the back can’t be stripped by simply sanding off the old finish because nitro has a low melting point and sand paper or discs just clog instantly. The best result- albeit a slow one- is to scrape the old finish from the Indian rosewood back. With the nitro gone, then it can be sanded to remove any trace of the nitro and also to even out the colour of the rosewood where the damage had occurred.

With the back now fine sanded…

…it is ready to respray.

After a number of coats of sanding sealer and much rubbing back, the pores are filled and the top coats are applied and then left to harden for several days.

This morning, I rubbed back and polished the final coat, removed all the paper that I had used to prevent overspray and removed the edge between the old finish and the new one…

…and reassembled the guitar and fitted a new set of D’Addario acoustic strings.

Back to being as good as new.

But just as an addendum- I notice that the guitar has done some flying…

There are stickers telling all and sundry just how fragile this item is and there’s stickers from Qantas, Singapore Airlines another “fragile” sticker that had no identification and one from United Airlines in the US and we know about them don’t we…

In fact I have a lovely Gibson 335 hanging in my workshop awaiting a new paint job because it suffered at the hands of the airlines not just once, but twice!

One can only imagine what might have happened if those stickers hadn’t been so well displayed….