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Projects: 1920s Martin 2M ukulele

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This Martin uke is un-numbered, but dates from some time in the 1920s. It's a model 2M, which means that it has front binding but not rear binding, and has mahogany back and sides rather than koa.

It's in original condition, but has recently acquired a nasty side crack. The tricky part of repairs like this is to get the two edges aligned - mahogany tends to splinter and it can be difficult. Gluing up the crack before the edges are properly aligned is asking for trouble!

I used the tip of a scalpel blade to ease the two sides into place and then clamped them using some side crack clamps. I made my set years ago, but Stewart Macdonald now make a very useful version. A cleat wasn't necessary in this case, so I used a non-stick caul inside. Hide glue was used for the repair. With a very thin coat of shellac the repair is almost invisible - one of the best I've done. Shellac is a good option because it's less glossy than cellulose, and blends in with the original finish very well.

1920s Martin 2M ukulele

1920s Martin 2M ukulele

1920s Martin 2M ukulele

1920s Martin 2M ukulele

Stewmac 6271 side crack clamp