I have the pleasure of being the technician in charge of a Martin 2 manual in a venue known for presenting this kind of music. I know very little to nothing about the instrument. I did get a lesson in how to replace a wire and a plectra, and there are some spare jacks under the jack rail waiting for some repairs. The problem I am having is removing the broken plectra from the jacks. Stubborn.
Spare Martin Jacks anyone?
To get the broken quil stub out it needs to be pushed back out of the plectrum slot. If there is a lot of stub on either side of the plectrum you can see if you can grab it with either needle nose pliers or end cutters and push it back through if the stub is on the playing side or leverage it out from the back. (Think the motion to remove knuckles from hammer shanks.) If it bends when pushed from the front or is flush with the plectrum, take a small jewelers screw driver smaller then the slot, support the plectrum on something where the back of the slot is not covered and tap the quill out. I carry a small block of wood to do this and to support the quill when voicing. Sometimes it works best to cut the quill flush with the plectrum to get a good surface to tap. Most of the time you will find that once you get the quill started it will come out easy because of the taper of the quill. It is like removing a wedge.
If the Martin H'chord has standard type plectra arrangement, I adapted a piano centre-pin removal pliers by filing down the pushing pin to the diameter of a plectra then simply pushed it out of the back. Use centre pin cutting pliers to cut off any excess at the front and even to gently grasp the broken plectra to pull it out from the back. Michael UK
Hi everyone. Thanks for the replies and the help. As it turns out, this past Sunday was a performance and of course a plectra need to be replaced. That one came out nicely. Unfortunately the spares are not cooperating - yet. Michael, I like your idea for the tool to use.
Is there a place one can go to learn more about this instrument - a 2 or 3 day course, so to speak? Seeing how there's only 2 of us in the area doing this type of work, and the one other than me not wanting to do service work anymore, there's a need. If not, I would need to convince 1st: the hall to leave it set up someplace - it gets stored in its own Anvil case when not in use and 2nd: arrange for someone to come to sunny Florida to do some training..
You could start by getting a copy of The Harpsichord Owner's Guide by Edward Kottick.
I would expect the Martin was beautifully set up and regulated in the shop, and would be very careful about changing things until you are very clear about what's going on.
You might be able to persuade Anne Acker to give you a bit of time - she's up in Savannah, not all that far. Some harpsichord makers travel around, usually servicing instruments they built for the people they sold them to (Richard Kingston does that), so if you could find out about that, you could probably arrange to observe and be given some training.
If you look in the archives and library of the Harpsichord community, you'll find a good bit. Here is a class I did a few years ago, powerpoint slides turned to pdf, with handout. Here is another, specifically on voicing.