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skinnybloke

Renovating an old favourite.

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This has been a long time coming, so please excuse me if I waffle on a bit.

I'm really enjoying doing this, I hope you do too.

This thread is photo intensive....you may need to click a link to get the pic.

Maton C50 repair and refurbishment...

A bit of history.

Maton is the leading guitar manufacturer in Australia, and has been for 60 years.

This guitar was made in April 1972, cost $500 at the time (= to 10 weeks wages).

Back and sides....Brazilian Rosewood

Top...............Cedar

Neck..............Mahogany

Fingerboard.......African ebony

Bridge............Brazilian Rosewood

Finish............Nitrocellulose laquer

Number made.......703, from 1964 - 1990

On Sep 2nd 1979 I put the guitar on the roof of my car whilst I loaded up our wedding presents....and forgot to put it back in the car.

It was in a case, but that didn't save it. Broke the peghead clean off.

We continued on our honeymoon, but I was in mourning. A couple of months later I decided I could fix it, I bought a tube of Araldite and glued the peghead back together, then I hacksawed the straight bits from a metal pot plant stand and screwed them onto the peghead as reinforcement.

Looks ugly, but has held for thirty years.

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Sometime in 2003 I cleaned the guitar with a product that was guaranteed to be suitable for nitrocellulose finishes, with this being the end result..

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Never trust the label.

Of late the top has bulged upwards behind the bridge, and the the bridge itself has started to lift of the body. Those pics are too out of focus to use.

I have just noticed a crack in the fingerboard.

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I've been putting it off for ages, but it needs fixing!

The "To do" list:

Check top bracing....Repair/replace as required

Check bridge plate...Repair/replace as required

Repair/ Replace bridge...it has a huge curve in it

Repair broken peghead

Fix cracks and dents

Remove "all" laquer and respray/finish

I'm sure this list will get bigger as I go along :)

First thing is to look at the bracing and bridge plate, see if anything has let go, causing the top to bulge,..

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I'm a bit intrigued about those little upside down pyramids in the bridge plate?

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I've tapped and rapped, theres no vibration. The photos also indicate that the bracing is sound, but has curved with the top.

The bulge is just caused by string tension over 37 years...wish I had bulged that little in the same amount of time.

This is all good, as I don't have to work inside the body....yet!

I may add a stiffening stringer or, I might use a Bridge Doctor, need to think about it longer.

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Next:

Remove the bridge...I know the glue used was "hide glue", which softens when heated, so I used a hairdryer and razorblade dipped in hot water to heat, slice and break down the glue under the bridge.

This took 2 hours.

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If you look closely you will see that:

A/ The bridge came off cleanly.

B/ It has a huge curve in it.

C/ There are two little spikes in it (I'm now assuming they are locating pins for glueing the bridge), they are also what caused the "upside down pyramids" in the bridge plate pic.

If I reuse the same bridge those little spikes will be very handy :)

Next:

Sanding the old finish away.

I decided not to use any strippers at all, just to safeguard bindings, and purfling....not so sure that was a good idea.

The top took 1.5 hours.

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It's come up really well. You can see wherre the bridge had lifted and where the Rosette had disintegrated.

The back: took 3 hours! It's not difficult,but... it's boring and relentless. ANd I hate sanding!

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The Sides: Hmmmmmm.

Bo Diddely had the right idea.....make guitars like a box. The curved sides took over 4 hours to sand.

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The neck: I thought it would be a good idea to leave the finish on the main part of the neck until I was ready to do the respray, this way I can handle the guitar without gunking it up with swweat, body oil, etc.

So I just sanded the lower part of the neck, what a PITA....the grain goes 85 different ways!

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This is scraping out the last of the old finish.

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That's the main sanding done.

I used 180 grit paper to sand...Heavy enough to remove old finish, but light enough to leave the wood as thick as possible.

High density foam sanding block for the top and sides, so the paper would follow the contours.

Dead flat wood sanding block for the back, i want it perfect

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Next:

Fix the crack in the back of the peghead.

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I just opened the crack up, filled it with superglue and clamped it tight.

Next:

Removing the peghead veneer.

I didn't want to use heat and water to remove the veneer, incase I weakened my original glueup.

As is often the case....3 hours of thinking and 10 minutes work, solves the problem.

I realised that if I reset my clamping cauls for the pegehead crack glueup, to exactly the right height i could use my router/trimmer to shave off the veneer.

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It worked a treat.

After sanding the peghead..

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Sanding the peghead slots..

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The curve in the bridge..

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Skinnys patented curved bridge, curve removing jig..

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It required a lot of left/right sanding, but i got the bottom of the bridge dead flat.

I'm stopping here until I get some material from Maton, hopefully this week.

My intention is to...

A/ Router a slot thru the middle of the peghead, and splice in a 6mm wide peice of mahogany, to reinforce the old glue joint.

B/ Glue a 2.5mm thick rosewood veneer to the front of the peghead, cosmetic and, to reinforce the old glue joint.

C/ Glue a 2.5mm thich mahogany Veneer to the back of the peghead, cosmetic and, to reinforce the old glue joint.

D/ Glue 2.5mm thich mahogany Veneers to the sides of the peghead, cosmetic and, to reinforce the old glue joint.

AT this stage it is my firm belief that a repair luthier requires 4 items to succeed..

1/ Glue

2/ Clamps (a million is good)

3/ Sandpaper (buy it by the kilometer, it's got to be cheaper)

4/ A brain! The little things are the ones that stump you.

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very entertaining to watch someone else's hard work :)

LOL Matt...I would have to agree.

A bit of a frustrating day, Maton can supply me with the veneers I want....but the very helpful "Repairs Coordinator" I have been talking to, is on leave till Tuesday.

Unless I get very inventive, there's nothing I can do on the guitar this weekend.

It looks like I'll be spending the weekend mowing lawns.... Spring has sprung!:reallymad:

Thanks all, your comments are appreciated!

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The material arrived yesterday :) So I spent today in the shed.

The rosewood veneer..

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The Mahogony veneer..

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Not a lot happened today, but I spent all day doing it.

I decided to check in, the piece of mahogony from the back and not go all the way thru the headstock.

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Sanded the back flat, and marked how long I wanted the rebate to be..

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This is a jig I use for routering door catches, it worked..

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After routering the slot I squared of the ends..

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The mahogony for the splice. Remind me, what were those lines for???..

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Cutting it to oversize on my poor mans bandsaw..

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More sanding..

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Nearly fits..

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I really hate sanding..

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PLaning it down to height, I left it just a little bit proud of the headstock and will sand it flush after glueing..

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It's a very snug fit, I'm not pushing it all the way in here, cos I'll never get it out.

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I'll glue it in tomorrow, but might have to leave the veneers till next weekend.

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AT this stage it is my firm belief that a repair luthier requires 4 items to succeed..

1/ Glue

2/ Clamps (a million is good)

3/ Sandpaper (buy it by the kilometer, it's got to be cheaper)

4/ A brain! The little things are the ones that stump you.

You forgot an important one - you must :wow: the guitar (all guitars if you are a luthier).

Do you have a 'before' recording for the 'after' comparison?.

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Do you have a 'before' recording for the 'after' comparison?.

Geez Carol, I'm not sure if I do. I made sure I got the before and after pics, I didn't even think about a sound sample....Doofus!

(Edit: I've got a few tracks in Reaper that will be suitable for a sound comparison.)

Carey & 6string want me to do all this work, then send them a half each......Canadians:guitardude: !!!!

Welcome Frankie, and thanks.

I glued the splice in yesterday...

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Will sand it flush tomorrow, and hopefully glue the front, back and side veneers on the weekend.

My next problem is the finish...I cannot find Nitrocellulose in a spray can, anywhere in Australia. If any Aussies know of a source, could you please let me know.

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G'day Skinny,

If you can't get the spray gear yourself, and you don't want anyone else spraying it for you, you may have to consider a wiped on finish, like the way they do furniture.

Love your project, by the way.

Rgds

karcey

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Thanks Karcey, and you may be right re the wipe on finish :helpsmili .

Question...should I reduce the size of the pics??

Sanded the splice flush...I was pretty happy with the fit.

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Glued the veneers to sides of the headstock. These are the leftover bits from the front and back, so one sides rosewood and the others mahogany :).

The wedges are to keep pressure out towards the middle of the slots, at the last second I remembered to wrap the clamping packers in cling wrap.

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Clamps removed....

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Filing the veneers level...

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Roughing in the feather..

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After some more sanding and drilled the pilot holes for the tuners...

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Front and back veneers tomorrow eek!

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awesome job Skinny,thoroughly enjoying watching the progress.

in regards to the finish I'm guessing you've already checked out luthier and woodwork forums for an answer, their seems to be some good ones out there?

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in regards to the finish I'm guessing you've already checked out luthier and woodwork forums for an answer, their seems to be some good ones out there?

Yea I have Kid, but it looks like I'm going to have to get the Reranch Nitro from the US...... Which'll bring me to a grinding halt.

Glued the back veneer...

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Roughed out the slots...

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The new Bic sander

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Shaping the veneer and roughing the feather...

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The fronts glued up at moment, but I'll skip the pics as it's just a repeat of the back.

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The last set of pics for a while.

The repairs all finished and it's probably going to be a while till I get the lacquer.

Shaping the ends of the slots..

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All that's left to do is a final sand before spraying it..

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Getting the shape on the top of the headstock was really finnicky...

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I'll play with some stains over the next couple of weeks, see if I can blend the back veneer into the neck a bit better.

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