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 Post subject: Heel Cap Replacement
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:56 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:24 am
Posts: 225
Location: United States
Hello. I have a Martin J-40 and the heel cap has fallen off and gone missing. I have a replacement blank coming and need to fashion a new one. I am looking for some guidance on the process. When the guitar was being built, Martin glued the heel cap on the heel and sanded it down for a custom fit. I can't do that now. I have in mind to trace a template and then cut the material to size. Not sure what is best to cut the material and then how to get a super smooth finish. I would then spray the outside with lacquer and then glue it down. Those are my thoughts, but wanted to hear from others. Thanks! Doug

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 Post subject: Re: Heel Cap Replacement
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:15 pm
Posts: 1041
First name: Gil
Last Name: Draper
City: Knoxville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Here is how I would do it. Take the new heel cap material and hold it in place on the heel end and trace around it with a sharp pencil. Make sure there is a tight fit on the end of the heel where the body meets, so might need to sand a little bit of the edge of the heel cap material. Cut out the new heel cap on the small bandsaw with fine teeth and sand it close to the final shape on the vertical belt sander but just slightly oversize. Glue in place. Carefully trim to final shape with a sharp chisel and sandpaper until almost flush with the heel, then carefully sand flush with a fine grit while sanding the heel as necessary but dont sand through the finish and stain. Tape off and spray 3-4 coats of lacquer over the new heel cap and where sanded on the heel, let finish cure, final wet sand and buff.

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