Howdy ; I just took in a Martin 2 1/2 - 17 that is in great condition for it's age but someone has put steel strings on it at some point and the 3 neck sections are starting to come apart. The joints are still together but not tight and the neck angle needs to change to be playable. The guys who did this joinery back in the old days were very skilled and I have rarely seen this type of neck disassembled.
I am looking for a strategy to get this heirloom back in playing condition. Thanks in advance.

Marty Lanham

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I'm certainly not an expert, I'm just speculating.

Is there any play in the joints at all? If so maybe you could warm the parts and work some thin hot hide glue into the joint and clamp it. Or if that is not possible, maybe the joints could be steamed apart, cleaned up and reglued. When you say 3 piece neck I'm assuming a grafted peghead and heel? This guitar would have the standard dovetail neck joint.

Like I said I'm not an expert, nor have I run into this situation, personally. All I can say is, " where there is a will there is a way" ( my dad's favorite saying)

Thanks Jim , I would use this method but the neck angle needs to be changed to get playability.
I'd guess the guitar needs a neck reset along with repairing the other joints. I've reset a couple 1800's Martin's, but never had problems with the grafted headstock or heel.

Marty -

Hey, welcome to the forum! I think the guy to talk to is David LaPlante - he's done a lot of this kind of work on early Martins.
Thank you Frank, I really enjoy your site and I have contacted David about this project.



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