I have a new Martin "factory second" body and neck. I am looking for a guide on setting this up. I have found a lot of guides for "resetting" necks but not for setting up a neck properly for the first time. I am new to guitars but have a lot of experience working with wood.

I am hoping someone can point me to an online reference, here or elsewhere, that goes over this initial set up in detail.

The guitar is a 00015 with a mortise and tenon set up. The body is complete but the neck, frets, fretboard, bridge are not installed.

I found this site:

after a lot of searching, and it looks useful but I am concerned that with a Martin it might be a little different.

Also, there does not appear to be different sections or areas on this forum, which makes the searching a little more confusing. There must be a good reason for having it set up this way, or perhaps I am missing something.

Thank you very much,


Tags: guitar, installation, neck, newbie, question, set, up

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Everything you'll need to know is contained in the attached instructions. 


Thanks so much Paul, that looks like exactly what I was looking for. I really appreciate it.

Phillip here is some more material for you:  Fitting A Stinkin Neck....

Also I would suggest that you check out some of the other stuff in my Luthier info section or more specifically this one:  Flattening The Upper Bout

What the Upper Bout article is about is a method to avoid the dreaded body-joint-hump that invariably happens to newer builders (some not-so-new-builders too...) where the complex angles of the radiused body and the fretboard extension won't seem to mate up well.  The method that I use as described is also very similar to what Martin does as well.

And another also... the Martin 15 series has a glued mortice and tenon joint where the sole purpose of the single bolt is to hold things in place as the glue dries.  This design has inherent flaws in my humble opinion in so much as the glue joint is in perpetual sheer and if you guessed that it will come loose in time you are correct sir.  When this happens many shops will simply crank down the bolt again or add glue, crank the bolt, and wait for the glue joint in sheer again to fail in 5 more years.

A better solution also IMHO is to convert the thing to a double bolt system not unlike the standard bolt-on neck.  If the body is not built yet, or, even if it is, this is a good opportunity to do this conversion as you assemble the instrument.  The benefit to you is that you will not be relying on a glued mortice and tenon in perpetual sheer and have to one day deal with what results...

Hope something here helps!

Thanks Hesh!

Well, I think with all this info I am well on my way to at least starting to understand. I think I will forgo adding a second bolt, although with more experience I will keep that in mind. I had wondered about that; it seemed a little tenuous, that one bolt.

About a bout: It was already flattened when I got it so I just sanded it.

Anyway I am grateful for the help I have found here.




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