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  #1  
Old 02-20-2019, 03:50 PM
roadbiker roadbiker is offline
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Default Buffing out a minor ding...

I have a 2011 Taylor 814ce that I recently sent to Taylor to fix some bubbling in the finish on the back of the guitar (covered under the warranty). While they had it I asked them to repair a very minor ding on the top. They told me it would cost $150 to buff it out, so I told them not to bother. Much to my surprise, when I got my guitar back, not only did they do a fantastic job on the back, but they also rubbed out the ding on the top. You would NEVER know there was a ding and the guitar is completely like new except for the normal fading and improvement in tone. Kudos to Taylor! Thank you!!!

Now I just purchased a used Taylor 356ce 12 string. The guitar and case are both in new condition - almost pristine. I was really lucky to get such a gem. I did notice, however, a very small ding on the top. It's on the edge and not very noticable, but I am curious to understand how Taylor rubbed the ding out of my 814 (which was a little more noticable). Is it buffed with compound and then polished? It's really not that important to me because the ding is so small, but I am curious how they do it. I rubbed it with Guitar Finish Restore Plus (a great product, BTW), and that seemed to minimize the ding.

Thoughts? (other than "if it's so small, then why bother?" I already know that.)

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:59 PM
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Dings canít be rubbed or buffed out. They must be filled, usually with CA, scraped level, sanded and buffed. Sometimes they can be steamed out.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:01 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McKnight View Post
Dings canít be rubbed or buffed out. They must be filled, usually with CA, scraped level, sanded and buffed. Sometimes they can be steamed out.
I've had success with steam, but I understand that the procedure works best with a fresh ding. The longer it sits, the less likely it is to expand to its original dimensions.
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Last edited by bufflehead; 02-20-2019 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:54 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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I suggest OP take the guitar to a luthier and discuss the 'ding'. What can be done to remedy the problem depends on a professional inspection. I think no one knows what can be done without the problem in hand.
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Old 02-20-2019, 06:08 PM
TennesseeWalker TennesseeWalker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McKnight View Post
Dings canít be rubbed or buffed out. They must be filled, usually with CA, scraped level, sanded and buffed. Sometimes they can be steamed out.
^^^^^^^^^
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:10 PM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bufflehead View Post
I've had success with steam, but I understand that the procedure works best with a fresh ding. The longer it sits, the less likely it is to expand to its original dimensions.
Correct. However, if you add water to the area, it may help as over time the wood with the ding will have changed in moisture content. See link below for a further explanation. I don't know if Taylor uses this method or a combination of this and something else but it was good of them to do the repair and not charge for it.

https://www.wikihow.com/Remove-a-Dent-from-Wood
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:21 PM
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Personally, I would do anything with it unless you really know what you are doing. You could be opening up a can of worms. Believe me, I'm talking from experience.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:40 PM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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If the ding is only in the finish, then, it can be invisibly repaired as with your 814ce. If the ding has damaged the grain, then, it has to be repaired as described by Tim in post #2. Applying steam as described by bufflehead in post #3 might also help although I've never heard of that method. Too much steam might damage the finish. Usually a ding that has damaged the grain cannot be completely-invisibly repaired.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:03 AM
roadbiker roadbiker is offline
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The ding is only in the finish and has not penetrated the grain. It' really so minor that it's not worth the cost or effort. It is hardly visible. I was only curious how these are removed and really don't have any intention of getting it repaired or attempting it myself. Steaming it does sound interesting though.

Thanks for all of the replies! Very interesting.

Jim
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:39 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Just to be clear, steam is used to re-expand locally compressed wood (i.e. a "dent"). It is not used to repair finishes. If the fibers of the wood have been cut or severed, steaming isn't very effective. If the "dent" has cut or severed wood fibers, steaming it won't do very much.
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:47 AM
roadbiker roadbiker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wooly View Post
Personally, I would do anything with it unless you really know what you are doing. You could be opening up a can of worms. Believe me, I'm talking from experience.
As I mentioned, I'm not planning to do anything - the ding is hardly noticeable.

Thanks for your reply!
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:23 AM
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In answer to the original question, a buffer is used to buff out the ding. Finish is applied thick enough to remove some in the final sanding and buffing.

If the ding is shallow enough to remove it and the finish around it without going through the finish, then it can be buffed out.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:01 AM
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Just think of buffing as very find sanding, to remove the scratch you need to ďsandĒ the area down until itís flat with surrrounding areas

Steve
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:37 AM
joe white joe white is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodger Knox View Post

If the ding is shallow enough to remove it and the finish around it without going through the finish, then it can be buffed out.
Exactly! I have removed many dings from guitars by sanding the finish until the ding is gone and then buffing. In order for this to work, the ding cannot break or crack the finish and the finish has to be thick enough to allow enough sanding to remove the valley of the ding and gradually feather away from the ding so as not to create a visible void. Many Taylor guitars have quite thick finishes (.008+) and that allows such a repair without filling the ding.
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:20 AM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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A number of posts have mentioned "buffing" as the way to repair minor scratches and dings and I have even recommend that myself, sometimes, even though I've never done it. What type of buffer should be used? Can it be attached to an electric drill? What material is the buffing wheel made of? What stiffness should it be, etc.?
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