PDA

View Full Version : Martin 5-15T repair help.



ericchico
07-31-2014, 06:33 AM
A guy at work brought me this today and asked for help. His old 1950's Martin needs some love and first thing I thought of was UU. I asked him if he took it to a luthier for repair and he said he could not find one and the local shops wont touch it. I said I would do the best I could but not making any promises, if I cant do it I wont touch it. To me this looks like and easy fix but I like to research and do what I feel comfortable with thats where I could use some advice from real Luthiers. The problem he wants me to work on is obvious. Nice crack on the edge from a drop. Enough of my ramble her are the picks. Oh he also says he plans on selling it someday I do not have any cash to offer or it would be mine, this thing is a huge tenor in my opinion.
69562
69563
69564
and these tuner knobs are gone
69565
69566

Thanks

ProfChris
07-31-2014, 11:43 AM
The most important thing is not to make matters worse. So for me, that means some form of hide glue. Later on a luthier can undo your glueing and redo it better. All other glues make later repairs hard or, for cracks, near impossible to do neatly.

So go to frets.com and read all that Frank Ford has to say about hide glue, including using household gelatin.

If I were doing this I'd

1. Make cauls and practice clamping dry until I could get the crack closed. You'll need to shape parts to clamp on.

2. Look at the glue in the separated seam - hide or something else? If something else, carefully and slowly scrape away the old glue.

3. Clean the crack if necessary - a tiny dribble of distilled water, dab dry immediately, repeat.

4. Warm the area with a hair drier to hand warm (not hand hot). Apply glue and clamp, warming from time to time. Don't glue the cauls to the uke (waxed paper, plastic wrap in between).

5. As it cools the glue will gel. Gently remove as much as possible with a piece of wood (popsicle stick ma be).

6. Next day clean off glue residue with warm *damp* rag/cotton bud. Go slow, you don't want to dissolve the glue in the joint.

7. Finally, glue a scrap of wood inside near the end of the crack, to stop it extending. This is a cleat. You have to work out some way if getting it into place (bent stick, small child, ...).

Don't know about the tuner buttons - I'd guess Stewmac will sell something appropriate.

ericchico
07-31-2014, 12:13 PM
OK thanks that's great info. I read about cleats and will go to frets.com. This old Uke could really use a full restore but he just wants the crack somewhat fixed so it will not continue. Im noticing a small crack down the middle from the tail to the bridge and on from the pickguard to the bridge which I guess is common with these old Martins. So yeah more research and we will see.

aaronckeim
08-01-2014, 04:15 AM
By the way. 5-15T is a tenor guitar, not an ukulele. You can mount new knobs on those old tuners, not that hard. Do some googling. I am a big tenor guitar fan, if he wants to sell it before the work gets done, I might be interested. info@thebeansprout.com

ericchico
08-01-2014, 12:58 PM
By the way. 5-15T is a tenor guitar, not an ukulele. You can mount new knobs on those old tuners, not that hard. Do some googling. I am a big tenor guitar fan, if he wants to sell it before the work gets done, I might be interested. info@thebeansprout.com

Good deal. I have been doing a lot of reading on this and I will talk to my co-worker on Monday and message you. Thanks

ProfChris
08-02-2014, 01:37 AM
Yes, if he wants to sell then don't do home repairs. They'd have to be undone to fix it up properly, as Aaron would, and so reduce rather than adding to its value.

OTOH, if he's determined to keep it but can't pay for a quality repair, what I suggested above would (I hope, and if you do it fairly well) stop things getting worse and keep it playable.