Restoration of a Martin 000-15

Here is a repair on a guitar I bought from eBay. The guy selling it said his cat pushed it down the stairs.
I’m blogging this not so much to outline how this guitar can be saved but also to show you how Martin guitars are really stuck in the past with there construction and are they really worth the price tag.




You can see the ribs have been cracked beyond repair. My aim is to completely replace the ribs.

Remove ribs up to the blocks and kurfings.


Now we can see the bracing. This is the original 000 construction and is copied by many guitar makers. The struts are squarely cut and blocky. They are not finished smoothly as you would expect from a guitar that costs over £1100. (But I guess you are paying for American labour cost)



When I am making a steel strung guitar I use a strutting construction that allows more movement across the front. Still using ‘X’ bracing but not joined. Also using other techniques to excite the bass, middle and treble transfer. All internal areas are finished to a fine 1200 grade paper.


The guitar is put into a mould.


AAA grade mahogany ribs are selected and cut down to the thickness of the original ribs.



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The ribs are bent to the mould.



Then the old ribs are completely removed.



Then new ribs fitted from the heel and clamped on.





Finally the ribs are finished.





On the 18 August 2012 I had another amazing show on my balcony. It was a beautiful, very hot and almost all the people of Nunhead were very happy. I booked John McClean and the Clan to play and they did 3 fantastic sets in the 30 degree heat. I’ve got to thank all the local business for there support, food and drink. Also thanks to the many other musicians that played that day. Image

If anyone has any photo or videos of this event please could you send them to me.

J E Dallas

Every now and then I get to own some outstanding instruments. Born in 1856 John E. Dallas started to make banjos with J E. Brewster in a small workshop in London’s Oxford Street in 1873 and two years later set up as a publisher and banjo maker at 415 Strand.

I swapped an acoustic guitars I made for this outstanding example of a Dallas banjo. The immaculate carving on the heal in the birds eye maple is flawless.Also notice the engraving on the rim. 

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I didn’t have this for very long before it was bought by a local musician.

My Flyer/Business card

Lewis Bush Photographer

Lewis came to me to take more photos of the workshop and also some shots of me workimg for a project he was working on. This one below is from his first visit.

This slideshow is from his second visit. I really appreciate these photos. Thanks Lewis

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If you would like get in contact with Lewis here are his details.

LKB Photography
Lewis Bush


Ive started making more ukuleles than guitars at the moment. I really don’t know why there are so many ukulele bands around? Anyway I made this one for Anna in the Dulwich ukulele club. They are one of the better ukulele bands I’ve seen.

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The workshop

I have been very lucky in the amount of interest in my shop. With the recording studio downstairs and my show room it is a very comfortable place to hang out. All are welcome, in the bar, in the shop or even just to play some instruments. My brother David Procter is a photographer, as you have seen in earlier blogs and has taken some lovely photos and videos of my work and the shop. These photos are for another photographer who’s company is called, in the right light.

This is a view of the front of the workshop/studio from the green opposite.

A picture of the workshop looking out to the green.

A veiw of part of the showroom.

This photo of the recording studio was taken by David.


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