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Martin D-28 in progress

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Project by Texasgaloot posted 2271 days ago 1710 views 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, not exactly a Martin, but…
I decided that it was about time to try my hand at making an acoustic steel-string guitar, and being a bluegrasser from way back, I immediately thought, “Martin.” I called the factory and found out they offered “kits,” which are really packages of wood, binding, and fretwire, not to much more that you can get out of a luthier’s supply catalog, so I ordered one. Except, my “kit” isn’t one of their “kits.” It contains certain upgrades, such as the abalone inlay purfling and rosettes. As one might expect, the body literally flew together, and then come the details… each length of abalone needs to be mitered by hand (file and sandpaper) to the next length. Making the tight corners is the real chore, where a single length needs to be mitered several times to make the radius. Right now I’m working up the nerve to do some peghead inlay work, but I’m not really sure what it is I want up there.
I did get Martin to pre-bend the sides for me, but in retrospect I wish I would have bit the bullet and come up with some sort of bending iron to do the job. It would have saved me money. Incidentally, the top is Sitka Spuce, the back, sides, and peghead veneer are Indian Rosewood, and the neck mahogany. All hand tools except for the binding and rosette routing, which was done with a Dremel. Any suggestions for the peghead inlay?

-- There's no tool like an old tool...





17 comments so far

View TomK 's profile

TomK

504 posts in 2458 days


#1 posted 2271 days ago

The fretboard inlay looks great! Just go for it. This is something I want to tackle soon. An acoustic for myself and a Les Paul clone for my daughter.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View ChicoWoodnut's profile

ChicoWoodnut

904 posts in 2399 days


#2 posted 2271 days ago

That’s sweet! Is the fretboard ebony? I’ve been contemplating shell inlay on a greene piece. Been doing some research.

-- Scott - Chico California http://chicowoodnut.home.comcast.net

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2458 days


#3 posted 2270 days ago

Looking good so far.

View motthunter's profile

motthunter

2141 posts in 2383 days


#4 posted 2270 days ago

how cool. looks good

-- making sawdust....

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2406 days


#5 posted 2270 days ago

This looks pretty good. My musical abilities are in tune with my artistic ones- both being non-existent but I do appreciate the woodworking efforts.

This is a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2523 days


#6 posted 2270 days ago

Nice work. I admire the detail that goes into a project like this. Very impressive.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View alanealane's profile

alanealane

365 posts in 2474 days


#7 posted 2270 days ago

Nice job!! I’m not bold enough to try acoustic instruments yet…
One day I’ll tackle an acoustic double bass, but I’m sticking to solid body instruments for now.
As for the headstock maybe try using the Dremel to inlay your initials or something like that. That’s a classy way to make someone wonder “wow, who made THAT ??”

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View Duckarrowtypes's profile

Duckarrowtypes

67 posts in 2488 days


#8 posted 2270 days ago

Awesome! I JUST bought Guitarmaking: Tradition and Technology by Cumpiano/Natelson and I’m really enjoying it so far. I told myself that I’d read that book and then decide if I wanted to drop the coin on a kit from Luthier’s Mercantile or not.

I’ve only been playing guitar for a few months now and I enjoy it very much. As soon as I discovered that it was possible to make my guitar sing I decided that I wanted to build one. I doubt that I’ll be able to build a prettier one than mine though; it’s solid quilted mahogany! DROOOOOL.

Your D-28 is looking great! Keep us updated!

-- Custom Daguerreotypes from your images and more: www.shinyphotos.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15623 posts in 2802 days


#9 posted 2270 days ago

Looks great so far! This is definitely on my “one day” list.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2464 days


#10 posted 2270 days ago

a fine looking flat top . ive looked thru martins kits on several occasions but never had the courage to take it on . you did a great job

View Hersh's profile

Hersh

106 posts in 2299 days


#11 posted 2270 days ago

Wow! Great job on this D. I have a D size under construction as well. But right now I’m very heavily buried in building a new shop, so will not be working on the next guitar for awhile. Keep up the great work and let us know how it’s going.

-- Hersh from Port Angeles, WA - Gotta Complete That Project!

View bilsborough's profile

bilsborough

44 posts in 2279 days


#12 posted 2265 days ago

Awesome guitar, inspiring, I need to take on inlay work.

-- What do you learn from being right?

View tat2grl's profile

tat2grl

61 posts in 2385 days


#13 posted 2263 days ago

Fantastic job on the inlays! I’m in the processing of getting the book by Cumpiano/Natelson and am really looking forward to learning all about this art.

-- "Creativity is...seeing something that doesn't exist already. You need to find out how you can bring it into being and that way be a playmate with God."

View Chardt's profile

Chardt

169 posts in 2185 days


#14 posted 2176 days ago

Looks terrific. Once I get my shop finished, I’ll finally get to finish the guitars I’m working on.

I really need to learn inlay work as well.

-- When my wife ask's what I have to show for my wood working hobby, I just show her the splinters.

View Bothus's profile

Bothus

428 posts in 1760 days


#15 posted 1738 days ago

Wow. That looks great so far. I didn’t know Martin sold kits.

I have toyed with the idea of making a guitar but it looks like to takes talent and time. I’m low on both.

I can’t wait to see yours when you get done. Keep us updated.

Thanks for posting that.

Bothus

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

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