guitar with broken peg head

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Blog entry by Skip Mathews posted 07-10-2014 04:28 AM 1398 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a short post about a guitar repair I finished recently.

I have a friend who traded a couch for a Martin guitar. What a deal!
She brought it home and had not yet played it when it fell off the stand and broke it’s neck.
That was three years ago and it was still in the case in the closet still broken.

My friend overheard me talking to someone else about a guitar and told me about her misfortune.
So I told her I would try to fix it.

It was a fairly clean break and I have repaired much worse. I was able to just epoxy it back together. Sometimes with these angled breaks the pieces tend to slip when you tighten the clamps. With this one however the wood grain was all there and meshed together so good it didn’t try to slip in a test clamp. If it wants to slip I can insert a couple of small pins or drill bits to hold in place. I really wish I had taken pictures of the process.

I got it glued and clamped and then cleaned up the joint. Even with this perfect a fit I have yet to have one that doesn’t need clean up at the glue joint, which means finishing problems. After clean up I filled and sealed the surface. Mahogany has huge open cells that have to be filled. I used a mahogany stain and played with the tinting a little then used a brush on lacquer to finish. To even out the sheen I used micro mesh paper to take the gloss off the entire neck and then brought it back up by sanding with successively smoother grits until it looked right. Then applied paste wax. You can still just see the repair but it looks pretty good. To get it any better I would have had to sand down the entire neck and start over.

After the repair I cleaned and oiled the fret board and the tuners and wiped down the entire body and vacuumed the dust out of the interior. Then I put on new strings and did a standard set up. I checked string height at the nut, adjusted the neck relief, and sanded the saddle to lower the action.

I thought the repair turned out pretty good and my friend was very happy to be able to play her guitar.
I was reluctant to give it up though because it plays better than any of my guitars.
It is the first Martin Guitar I have ever played.

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

2 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3285 days

#1 posted 07-10-2014 03:35 PM

Martin’s too nice of a guitar not to fix. Looks like you did good.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

120 posts in 2650 days

#2 posted 07-11-2014 06:33 PM

I always wondered what all the fuss was about.
I have a pretty good quality 20-yr old Ibanez that I think sounds great but there was something really nice about how this Martin sounded.
I guess just better wood selection and build methods.

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

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