The humidity in New Orleans is harsh. His relentless grip on the Gulf of the South is forgiving of most man-made objects not intended for life in the swamp: houses, vehicles, books, all electric and definitely guitars. The combined string tension in standard tuning is about 160 pounds of constant pressure on the soundboard – meaning acoustic guitars are inevitably on the losing side of a very slow tug of war. Now add in the New Orleans warmth and moisture that can soften the aliphatic glue or hide glue that is used to assemble many high-end instruments. Once the glue starts to soften, the guitar is in a fast downward spiral and will eventually succumb to the pressure and begin to break in on itself and an acoustic guitar can collapse. This is exactly what happened to this unfortunate Martin D-41 who landed on my bench. Below is a photo diary of my process of repairing this broken down acoustic guitar.
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