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  #1  
Old 03-25-2021, 06:42 PM
Nanosecond Nanosecond is offline
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Default 2018 Collings finish issue

My 2018 Collings OM1A-JL has started showing some separation and flaking on the finish along the fingerboard. Imgur album here: https://imgur.com/a/EP1oNyb

It seems awfully early to be having issues like this. I'm not the original owner, but would it be worth contacting Collings to see if they can do anything about it?
If they can't, any advice on mitigating the issue? I got one recommendation that I could run a razor with a straight edge along the seam where the ebony fingerboard meets the mahogany neck. Then as the finish flakes off, it will break cleanly at the cut and not take off the neck finish. Then lightly sand the break points.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:03 PM
TwangGang TwangGang is offline
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Not sure what is happening there. From your photos it looks like a fingerboard binding is chipping away, but that model is not supposed to have binding on the fingerboard? Anyway DO NOT take a razor blade to it. The Collings warranty is for lifetime to the original owner so I don't think they will repair it for free.

I'd take it to the local luthier and see what they think before doing anything else.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:13 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Mostly, it looks like the finish separating from the edge of the binding likely caused by the exposed fret ends staying where they are as the ebony shrinks. The protruding fret ends push on the lacquer finish causing it to separate from the fingerboard adjacent to the fret end. This is fairly common and one of the reasons that makers use binding or inset the frets and fill the fret ends.

Do you control the humidity of your guitar?

Yes, it is absolutely worth contacting Collings. It might be something specific with their instruments that they know about.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:22 PM
InsertNameHere InsertNameHere is offline
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That looks like wood shrinkage to me, but a luthier should take a look and give a more informed opinion. Regardless of what happens, I'd be keeping razor blades away.
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:49 PM
buddyhu buddyhu is offline
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Contact Collings. They may not fix it for you for free, but they will treat you well, and might have some useful input to share with you.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:28 PM
curiousdave84 curiousdave84 is offline
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I agree with Charles. This happens sometimes on Collings. It is most frequently a humidity issue. Some people call it finish ghosting. Most of the times I have seen it, it only is noticeable right around the fret tangs after they protrude due to shrinkage of the fretboard a little bit due to low humidity. Collings finishes over the neck all the way to the top edge of the fretboard on the side meaning they finish over the side of the Ebony fretboard and the fret tang ends. I believe they offer you an option to send it in to them and they will refinish that edge and it is not crazy expensive. As always, they are easy to talk to and their customer service is great.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:34 PM
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I’ve got the same model Collings and had the exact same issue, but mine started to expand. One day while i was playing it started to spread right before my eyes.
I contacted Collings and I have to say that their customer service is about the best i’ve ever seen. They fixed it for free, emailed me with updates every step of the way, and treated me like gold.
They gave me a new plek job for free. It’s actually due to be delivered back to me tomorrow. When it comes in, i’ll give an update on how it turned out.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:41 PM
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What possible reason is there NOT to contact customer service?? Ive found that high-end companies want their products and owners happy. Warranty or not. Worst that happens, is they quote you a factiry repair price.
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:45 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Man that is unfortunate.

Definitely call Collings first, and if you take it to a tech first I’d make sure it is a Collings authorized tech.

It’s not the end of the world, but I wouldn’t just classify it as “mojo” either. Hope you get it sorted out in good fashion. Those are such fine playing and sounding instruments.
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Old 03-25-2021, 09:31 PM
Martin_F Martin_F is offline
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I had his same issue with one of my classical guitars. It actually happened before I bought it, as it was a 1977 guitar. But, Charles is right. It is caused by a slight wood shrinkage and then the frets push out on the finish and separate it from the wood. The separation started at the frets and just spread a little along where the finish did not adhere to the wood quite as well. I had my luthier just take the finish off the sides of the fretboard for me and clean it up. However, that was on an old guitar with a thick ebony fretboard that already had some dings and scratches. I'm not sure how comfortable you would be doing that to this guitar! This is the only reason why a bound fretboard can be advantageous, as the tangs are cut shorter under the fret and the binding protects the finish.

The problem is that even if you keep the guitar perfectly humidified, you will still get the wood naturally moving a little bit. So, this can still happen.

Best of luck!

Martin
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Old 03-25-2021, 10:43 PM
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Zissou Intern Zissou Intern is offline
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As mentioned several times above, Collings Customer Service is absolutely stellar. It would be in your best interest to call them. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they will do for a non-original owner.
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:57 AM
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I'm a non-original owner and they still bent over backwards to make things right for me. They are the best guitar company I've ever dealt with.
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:05 AM
rmp rmp is online now
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looks like the effects from fret sprout.. I see that is appears to also happening on a few neighboring frets

It's a lack of humidity problem mostly.. where the dry wood shrinks, the frets dont, and it's pushing the finish away from the wood.
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Old 03-26-2021, 11:16 AM
Nanosecond Nanosecond is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmp View Post
looks like the effects from fret sprout.. I see that is appears to also happening on a few neighboring frets

It's a lack of humidity problem mostly.. where the dry wood shrinks, the frets dont, and it's pushing the finish away from the wood.
I'm in Florida, interior humidity about 55-75%. But I purchased from seller in New Jersey. Maybe he stored it next to his furnace. I've reached out to Collings--waiting to hear back.
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2021, 06:38 AM
Nanosecond Nanosecond is offline
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From Collings, for the win:

This is an issue I recognize, and though you’re not the original owner, I would like to offer fix it under warranty for you. You would be responsible for the cost of shipping to and from our shop. We would cover the work to fix the finish which involves removing the neck, stripping, refinishing, re-assembly and a plek setup. A repair of this nature can take about 2-3 months to complete but we will work to finish faster than that.
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