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  #1  
Old 09-16-2014, 03:26 AM
Googster Googster is offline
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Unhappy Remorse

I need some advice. About 13 years ago I loaned a friend my 1970's Washburn W260. First real guitar i ever bought. I had gotten a couple more by then, at least one much better. The Washburn wasn't playing so well, so I said, "Here. Take this one."

Well, a couple months later he returned it all banged up with a "Sorry about that". There was some bad impact damage on the lower rear bout. I guess he'd had it hanging on a makeshift wall hook that gave way and it hit the floor. I just put the guitar away and forgot about it.

Well, I've learned a lot about guitar maintenance and setup in the past 13 years. I found myself needing a "house guitar" for those times I didn't feel like uncasing the good ones, so I dug this old thing out, did some setup and got it playing very well (If only I'd known back then what a sweet little guitar it was!).

The final thing to do now is to take care of this damage. I've linked to some photos. There's a crack in the back is about 5-!/2 inches wide, maybe 1-1/4 inches high. It's sort of like a flap, with the finish still attached at one end, splinters on the other, kind of spongy-feeling when you press on seam between the crack and the rest of the back. The binding around the crash site is a bit jacked up, but not horrible. I'm wondering if I should replace that segment...

I don't have any money for a pro repair, and this guitar's just going to go to my grave with me as a beater/house axe anyway, so any fix doesn't need to be seamless or undetectable. Not particularly worried about sound. I just want it solidly patched and closed up.

My thought is to take a dremel saw to it, cut around the crack (in sort of a sideways comma shape), glue some splints on the underside of the back, then fashion a patch out of some tonewood (just for the heck of it) to match the hole and then contour, sand, stain, polyurethane it and finally just glue the crap out of all of it.

I've got no experience with this kind of repair, so I need some advice. Should I somehow bind/fill the edge where the cut along the back meets the patch? Should I buy a length of very thin binding from StewMac or just "grout" the edge where the patch meets the back with--I don't know--whatever?

Any other tips, reflections, cautions or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Googster






Last edited by Googster; 09-16-2014 at 03:44 AM. Reason: Clarity
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2014, 08:21 AM
redir redir is offline
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The guitar obviously means a lot to you but it is just a plywood guitar. Personally I would just tack it back down to the linings with some Titebond glue and then sand off the rough edges and maybe even try to color it with some mahogany colored lacquer or just leave it at that.

You could have fun with it and try to make it look good but only a real talented pro would be able to hide something like that and they cost a fortune to do it. So I would not expect great results. What you would want to do in this case is glue everything that is loose back in place. Then you can rout or chisel off the exposed cracked material down to the inner ply which is probably Luan or something like that. Then inlay your 'tonewood' which in this case looks like rose wood. Then sand everything flush and refinish the area.

Do you happen to have the missing chipped off pieces?
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:39 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
Then inlay your 'tonewood' which in this case looks like rose wood.
Mahogany.


.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:33 AM
redir redir is offline
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Yup it is mahogany.
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:39 AM
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B. Howard B. Howard is offline
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Plywood guitars are difficult to repair. I would add another layer of kerfing along the original (which if memory serves is ply also)just at the damage to give a wider glue surface and glue everything that is still there back down and together. After that I would fill with some burn in stick or colored epoxy and leave it at that.
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:53 AM
Frank Ford Frank Ford is offline
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I've fixed a few things like this pro bono for the VA, and a couple of local middle schools, where cheap guitars get unexpected and severe blows. My plan of attack is to treat the hole as I would a hole in a plaster wall. Instead of spackle, I'll mix up a big batch of epoxy to peanut butter consistency, stirring in some pigment to vaguely match the color of the mahogany.

Then, I'll squish epoxy in a all around and under the the bits I can lift, mash the back down level with my hand, and trowel the epoxy the best I can to level and smooth, particularly at the edges. There's little or nothing that can done to clean up afterward, so I take my time to make the mess as neat as I can before I set aside to harden.

Then I send the old warrior back to battle. . .
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:56 PM
NEGuy NEGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googster View Post
. . . I loaned a friend my 1970's Washburn W260. . . . a couple months later he returned it all banged up with a "Sorry about that". . . .
And you're feeling only remorse?

I give you credit.

I would doubtless be feeling a bit of anger as well.

(Not so much about the damage -- accidents happen -- but about the uncaring attitude and absence of any gesture to try to make it right.)
.
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cracks, damage, impact, repair

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