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I just picked up a Martin in poor shape. There is a hole in the waist on the treble side and it didn't come with the missing mahogany. It did come with a bunch of spakel pasted all over the hole. My thought is that I will make a patch is the shape of a baseball diamond to fill the area. I thought of this because I have the idea that repairs of this sort are better hidden when the patch does not run perpendicular to the wood grain and with the baseball diamond shape all of the lines would be angled. Please see pic #1 to see the poorly drawn shape I am thinking of. Another issue is that a whole lot of finish is completely gone. I do not want to refinish the guitar, but perhaps it is necessary?? There isn't any finish on the back of the neck and it is spotty throughout the body. I do not plan to sell this guitar, so resale is not a concern, but I don't want the guitar looking brand new, any thoughts on what a french polish might do this this guitar?

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Thats quite a Guitar you have there Matt .If it were mine I would first get the two cracks repaird and then I would file the raged edges of the hole and get myself a piece of Mahogany wood to mache . Then I would cut the piece of mahogany the shape of the conture about 1\2 " thick or less then you hold it inside the guitar and trace the out line of the hole on the mahogany piece then carve away the rest of the wood leving the part were the hole was until you have it carved away enoff that the part that you didn't carve will come out throught hole enoff that you can sand it all flush.Then sand the back side of the pach down as thin as you dare and glue it in place.That is the way I fix something like that then I will make the finish a little darker in that erea you will not be abale to see were you fixed it .As for the finish why not spray it with a lacquer satin finish. Just my two cents worth. Good luck . Bill.""""""""
I agree with the previous post, fix the cracks and trace the opening. The ragged chaotic edge will help hide the repair. Sometimes it helps to hot hide glue some vertical strips of culinary cheese cloth (not the whimpy craft store type) or lightweight linen to the inside to reinforce the area but only if needed.

For finishing, I would clean all the dirt off with light, fine sanding and steel wool and then French polish. If you want a satin finish don't buff it out at the end but use 0000 steel wool and wet sand with 600 to knock down the shine. Rub it out with automotive rubbing compound at the most. Any finer a polishing compound and it will take on a shine. The finish will keep the wood from absorbing more oil and dirt. I would also clean the frets and fret board and add a light coat of fretboard oil to keep it from drying out.

It will still look old. I just restored a 1925 Martin and in spite of the fact that it had to have a complete refinish it still looks vintage.

Dave
2 cents worth.....my '55 D28 had a mishap once my bad,A 3/8"x2" hole on the bass side.I was working at a piano shop at the time so I found a piece of rosewood and patched w/ an appropriate rectangular size.I refinished the guitar in clear piano lacquer.I can't even find the fix now unless i search for it.Point...you're lucky.Just find the best matching mahog and refininish sides or whole guitar.Diagonals are good shapes too!
Looks like you will need some support inside.Fix it and forget about it.But you probably did by now!I'd be leaning towards a total refin.French would be awesome if you know how!
If you're up to it, this guitar seems a good candidate for side replacement and refinishing. Satin lacquer would be a good choice. Although French polishing can yield nice results, lacquer is easier for most folks, and it is the original finish.

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