Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Next project - Reproduce a 1931 Martin tenor guitar

About the Martin Tenor Guitar project.

Model# 5-17T
Serial # 46088

How to date this Martin guitar? - Visit this link

(Flashback) After taking an 'ukulele building class at the Hana Lima 'Ia School in Honolulu, HI, a buddy of mine asked if I could reproduce his fathers Martin Tenor Guitar. He said it played like a dream and thought, "hey, can you build me one?"

As a novice builder stoked to try anything I said, "Yeah sure, I can do that, no problem."

Having limited knowledge about materials, tools, time, or intricacies of building instruments, I took some measurements and started my journey...

That was 4 years ago (2010) and I am now in the midst of attempting to reproduce one of the most legendary brands in the history of guitar making with the skills I've picked up after building 8 'ukuleles. Sound, look and feel are subjective, so I'll document this process to better understand my progression in this craft of Luthiere. 

As noted above, the model number is 5-17T

5 - represents the body style 
17 - represents that it is an all Mahogany instrument.
T - represents that it is a tenor guitar

For reference, click here

Not going for an exact replica, but this repro is all Philippine Mahogany (not true Mohog, but sampling for this demo); top, back, sides, and neck. Second Tenor G, will be made with African Mahogany. Fretboard and bridge will be made of Granadillo and the second TG will be made with  Honduran Rosewood, and the nut and saddle will be made of bone with buffalo bridge pins.

Scalloped "Golden Era" forward shifted X-bracing (braces were split from an old growth Redwood 2x4) and Gotoh friction tuners. Rosette is a five layered string inlay of black and white Maple from Luthiers Merchantile International, Inc.
Here are some pics and will post more as I continue the build........ 
Step 1 - Design
Choose and resaw my stock.
Join and rough cut shape for top and back...

 Start the rosette with a circle cutting jig, 1/8" chisel, and some patience =)

Split the braces.....

Match up the bracing to the pattern, shape, then glue with a Go Deck and Go Bars.

 Starting the sides and neck ....... Interlude........


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