New Orleans humidity is rough on things. It’s relentless grip on the Gulf South is unforgiving of most man-made objects not designed for swamp life: houses, vehicles, books, anything electrical, and definitely guitars. The combined string tension at standard tuning is about 160 pounds of constant pressure on the soundboard – which means acoustic guitars are inevitably on the losing side of a very slow game of tug-o-war. Now, add New Orleans’ heat and moisture, which can start softening the aliphatic glue or hide glue with which many high-end instruments are assembled. Once the glue starts softening, the guitar is on a rapid downward spiral and will eventually succumb to the pressure and begin caving in on itself, and an acoustic guitar can collapse. That’s exactly what happened to this unfortunate Martin D-45 that landed on my bench. Below is a photo journal of my process of repairing this collapsed acoustic guitar.
Hi, I'm Aaron. I'm a custom guitar builder and stringed instrument repair tech by trade, and a musician and stage tech by night. I write and record original music under the moniker Atomic Tortoise, and I play bass in the New Orleans rock band Them Ol' Ghosts. When my hands aren't on a guitar, I'm probably out riding motorcycles somewhere...
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