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Repairing the Finish on a Martin HD-28


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I bought a Martin HD-28 about 8 years ago from Musician's Friend. It's one of my favorite guitars and sits out on a stand because I play it almost every day. Last winter it was extremely dry and I had (for the first time ever)developed a crack in the spruce top from the bridge down to the binding. I had it repaired by some semi-hack autorized Martin repair guy who I am convinced gave me very bad service because I didn't buy the guitar from him. He's the only Martin guy around to be able to use my lifetime warrantee. I'm left with a good sound repair but the color and shine is way off and very noticable. I'm ready to try and fix the finish myself. Any ideas? :cool:
I used to know everything.
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don't do it

matching a finish is very difficult and refinishing can change the sound of a good acoustic.

The reality is that they shouldn't have fixed your guitar under warranty because that crack was your fault. If something must be done though, I'd tell the repair person you're unhappy and if he can't or won't make things right, call Martin and complain to them. At that point they may want you to send the guitar back to Nazareth but they would do great work and their service is wonderful albiet a bit slow due to the backlog. Anyone I have known who has sent their guitar back to Nazareth was thrilled with the work.

The second piece of advice is NEVER leave a good acoustic out in an area with central heating. You're asking for serious problems with your guitar. Keep it in the case with a case humidifier and also humidify the room it is in.



"once it stops bein' a mystery it stops bein' true"

David Mowaljarlai - Ngarinyin Aboriginal Elder

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This winter, keep the guitar in it's acse with a humidifier. I don't buy anything fancy... I just use a film can with holes drilled in the top, and a piece off sponge inside. I have three of them in my Santa Cruz case, and one or two in all my other guitar cases. Check the sponge for moisture about once a week.


If the finish was not matched at the time of repair, you would need to take it to someone who does finish matching. I would never consider trying to do it myself.


Martin used to do three coats of finish and hand buff, now they only do one, and use an auto body polisher. (I took the factory tour...)



"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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Thanks for your replies folks.

However, I have already been through that and have a way to prevent cracking in the future. I am pretty handy and have built several guitars and amplifiers. I am also an artist and have an airbrush. I also worked on guitars as a hobby. I just have never tried to repair the finish on a spruce top guitar. As I said, I'm ready to give it a try. Anybody out there ever done this and can help me with any pointers? :cool:

I used to know everything.
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