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  #1  
Old 01-04-2017, 02:42 PM
guitarman2201 guitarman2201 is offline
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Default Fender acoustic repair

Hi guys,

I'm looking for some advice here. Back in 1996 we bought our son a Fender DG18S-B for his 18th birthday. Now he lives in London and after living in several different apartments he found that the guitar had been damaged during one of the relocations. The damage is on the top of the lower bout. Given that this was not an expensive guitar he thinks it's not worth fixing....as an oldie (63) who values such things I disagree. I'd appreciate your thoughts on whether it's worth saving and how I should go about it. The guitar appears to have aged well and it sounds really mellow, even though it desperately needs re-stringing. As the dad who provided the cash to buy this piece of family history I really want to repair it, but will it cost a lot if I find a good local luthier?

Alternatively, I could repair this, although I've not attempted any such restoration work before, I am very practical and build all sorts of things out of wood - but is this idea even a starter or will I make it worse? You will understand that I can't quite reach inside the guitar to push out the piece that is damaged until it is level with the body again. Maybe I should remove it completely and work to replace it from the outside of the body after installing some internal support in the hole underneath? Perhaps you could advise how I might tackle the job and point out any specifics to be aware of?

You can view some pictures here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/z361cx855...aEopX_laa?dl=0

Thanks for your input.

Howard
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2017, 04:01 PM
Frank Ford Frank Ford is offline
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I'd say it's clear that the damage far exceeds any reasonable estimate of the value of that guitar.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:06 PM
wade63 wade63 is offline
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I do agree a complete pro repair would be more than the guitar is valued but I can appreciate your desire not to just toss it. Perhaps a repair shop would be willing to push it back from the inside and brace it for not too much, worth a check. This damage should not effect the playability, just cosmetics. One could also cut out the damaged area in a square and patch it with perhaps a parts guitar. Tricky but doable. Course it would look like a patch but at least smooth and its not in a noticeable spot.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:45 PM
Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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It doesn't look that bad to me, but I'm not qualified to disagree with Mr. Ford, so I'm going to assume he means a professional repair that is virtually undetectable. It shouldn't be too expensive to get the broken piece glued into place with a little reinforcement on the inside, but it will always be obvious that it was repaired. Even that may cost more than the guitar is worth, it was never a very expensive instrument.

I'd say it's worth a try if you're any good at woodwork. You would need to get the piece back in place, working through the soundhole. Since you can't reach it, you would need to fabricate a tool to use, which could be as simple as a foot of 3/8" dowel. Once you're satisfied that it's as good as you can get it, wick in a little CA (superglue) all around the seam. Don't worry about reinforcing the inside, that takes a little experience working through the soundhole.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:58 PM
Jay Lowe Jay Lowe is offline
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Howard - I agree with Frank's opinion (I can't remember a time when I didn't) but sometimes instruments can command a sentimental value that is much greater than their monetary value. What you haven't told us is specifically what type of repair you want to do....? Do you simply want to stabilize/reinforce it or do you want to return it to new(ish) condition? If the latter, then yes, finish repairs can be very difficult and it is much easier to make it worse than to make it better. Before you decide that, I would encourage you to check closely (or have it checked) for any other related damage to bracing, kerfed lining, etc. since it obviously sustained a heck of a blow in that area and it may well have more damage elsewhere. Maybe whoever you get to examine it can give you an idea what it may cost to stabilize it. Good luck.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:17 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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We all have strengths and weakness's in this field, be we Repairers, or Builders.

I feel one of the strengths I have is crack repairing and refinishing, this is a bit of a speciality of mine.

I can see the sides are laminate, I would be of the opinion the owner wants minimal money spent, taking this into consideration means we are not replacing the sides.

As far as putting it back together, this is IMO an easy fix. Maybe an hrs work with some follow up paint.

Steve
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Last edited by mirwa; 01-04-2017 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:21 PM
wade63 wade63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger Knox View Post
It doesn't look that bad to me, but I'm not qualified to disagree with Mr. Ford, so I'm going to assume he means a professional repair that is virtually undetectable. It shouldn't be too expensive to get the broken piece glued into place with a little reinforcement on the inside, but it will always be obvious that it was repaired. Even that may cost more than the guitar is worth, it was never a very expensive instrument.

I'd say it's worth a try if you're any good at woodwork. You would need to get the piece back in place, working through the soundhole. Since you can't reach it, you would need to fabricate a tool to use, which could be as simple as a foot of 3/8" dowel. Once you're satisfied that it's as good as you can get it, wick in a little CA (superglue) all around the seam. Don't worry about reinforcing the inside, that takes a little experience working through the soundhole.
This sounds good for a quick fix with a "push rod"
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:51 PM
tahoeguitar tahoeguitar is offline
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The advice on how to fox the hole in the side is about how I'd approach it. I do these on cheap guitars all the time with no attempt at cosmetic restoration and charge $ 50-80 depending on difficulty. The guitar looks perfectly playable as is. To throw it away would be like driving a car off a cliff because of a dent in the door. The only reason you have to fix this is to keep it form getting worse or maybe catching on somebody's nice sweater. I did not see any damage on the back... is there any?
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Last edited by tahoeguitar; 01-04-2017 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:07 PM
Jay Lowe Jay Lowe is offline
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The dowel rod (or other pusher sticks) is one that I've done also. In lieu of that, never underestimate the usefulness of the average tall, skinny neighborhood teenager. I've used that method also.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:40 PM
LSemmens LSemmens is offline
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What about taking the broken bit out altogether, ensuring that any bracing in the vicinity of the damage is ok and just clean up the hole and call it a "sound hole"
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  #11  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:01 AM
guitarman2201 guitarman2201 is offline
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Thanks to everyone who commented. I understand the value of this guitar is not worth the cost of a professional repair, indeed I'm not really lookingto achieve that. However as already stated, it's the sentimental value. In fact my son is not usually the sentimental type. The very fact that that he has kept this guitar, despite the damage, while swapping or selling several much more desirable instruments over the years, tells me this is perhaps an exception to how he usually thinks! The guitar is playable and sounds good even though it didn't cost a lot. There is no other damage to the back or internally, I looked with a mirror. I guess I will try the dowel method as suggested and then clean it up. Where do I buy new lacquer to finish off the repair and what exactly do I need to restore the finish?

Thanks again everyone.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2017, 09:18 AM
tahoeguitar tahoeguitar is offline
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If you get a really really good match when pressing the hole back into the sides then you might be close enough to worry about finish repair. If not, it's gonna look like you gobbed some vaseline on there so why worry... To get good finish repair results the two areas must be at lest optically level or even. Existing finish here is most likely polyurethane or other catalysed resin which does not burn in well. If you do end up sprayng, Stewmac has lacquer in rattle cans.

Here's how I'd handle this whole repair.

1) Make sure you do a dry run on everything you do, meaning try it dry before you glue.
2) Find a small rectangular piece of wood big enough to overlap the hole about 3/4" all around and flexible enough to conform to the bent sides.

3) cut another piece of the same stuff slightly smaller to use as a caul

4) Tape the caul to the patch using just enough double stick tape to hold it long enough to get it in place, leave a long twisted tail (6" or more) on the double stick that you can use to pull the caul and tape off later. Tape the caul and patch to a dowel. Dry fit to ensure you can get it into place quickly without smearing glue all over the guitar. Remove any small bits of the existing hole or edges that fight re-alignment too much.

5) Plan to either sit and hold this while the epoxy sets up or rig some sytsem to clamp it by wedging the dowel against the inside braces or something. the hard thing about this last is the patch will be slippery once you glue it and will want to slip sideways, easily counteracted by hand but not so much if you have a fixed clamping arrangement. If you descide to hold it put your favorite program on the TV or some music on the CD player. 5 minutes is forever when you got nothin to think about.

Wet some rags with solvent alcohol for cleanup, keep them handy.

Mix up some 5 minute epoxy and brush it evenly on the patch, shove the patch in place and hold it til it sets up and then a few more minutes for good measure. Wipe up any exterior squeeze out with the alcohol rags. Let it set up a few hours before you pull the caul or tape.

6) Once it's all set up, if you have voids on the outside mix a little more epoxy, fill the voids,and carefully wipe them flush with your finger and then clean up with alcohol. I would not bother with finish for the reasons listed above.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2017, 03:49 AM
guitarman2201 guitarman2201 is offline
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Wow! Thanks Larry for taking the time and effort to post such a comprehensive description of how to tackle this job. I'm constantly amazed by the helpful nature of many of the AGF members. I'll follow your directions and when the repair is complete I will post some pictures.

Best regards, Howard
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