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  #1  
Old 01-01-2018, 02:02 PM
Hurricane Bob Hurricane Bob is offline
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Default Spruce top cracks

Two top cracks on my Taylor 110 seemed to have opened with this cold dry air. They were previous glued by the original owner and now have gone sour, this guitar always sits in its stand. Can I inject some glue and then humidify? not sure how to proceed here


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Old 01-01-2018, 02:22 PM
nitram nitram is offline
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It seems to be a given that at this time of year when the RH can go below 30% in our homes, you NEED to assist in humidifying your guitar(s). I see you're in WI and, as a Canadian I know that you suffer through similar winters that we do, you have to take precautions. Either an in-case system or a good room humidifier.
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:30 PM
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vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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I'm down here an hour away from you and it is C-O-L-D! I've got a 1200 sqft condo and am running FOUR humidifiers and still struggling to keep humidity at 35%. All my acoustics are cased, with soundhole humidifiers. This time of year we have to go into the "protect" mode until we can get humidity at or above 40%.

Cracks happen on some guitars. Unless you really know what you're doing it may be worth it to take it to a luthier and have them see what needs to be done.
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:32 PM
markrj markrj is offline
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I would re-hydrate the guitar first. That process can take 2 weeks or more depending on how fast you introduce moisture into the guitar body. See YouTube for rehydrating methods.

I have more than just guitars to consider when it comes to RH and Wisconsin winters. I also have a 6' 3" Grand Piano and a 123cm (4ft) Upright piano. A wooden Oboe, Violin, Clarinet, Ukuleles, etc.

I use two 3,600 sqft rated (I think that rating is very optimistic btw) on the first floor of our house which just so happens to be 3,500 sqft.

These are the units I use: https://www.essickair.com/4dts900-console.html

They easily keep the entire house at a comfortable 40-50% RH at 72degrees F.

I also use, Oasis Sound Hole and Homemade Case Humidifiers using MiracleGrow Water Crystals, and a D'Addario Humiditrak digital bluetooth hygrometer in every guitar case.
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:36 PM
Hurricane Bob Hurricane Bob is offline
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This guitar has been my teaching workhorse, either sits in the stand or in a gig bag. Guess it was inevitable with the dry house and freezing car rides to work, will take it to my local guitar shop tomorrow, thanks
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:42 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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A top crack should be cleated and glued, after rehydrating. I had a Martin guitar with a top crack. After proper repair, including cleats, it never opened up again.

Sidebar: Unless it is really old (prototype) the Taylor 100 series uses laminate for the back and sides, which should not crack. It is possible that some of the original 100's used solid body woods, not sure there.
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Old 01-01-2018, 06:16 PM
dcmey dcmey is offline
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The best place for your guitar when not in use is it's case. You could find a decent hard case for around $60 or $70.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:11 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurricane Bob View Post
This guitar has been my teaching workhorse, either sits in the stand or in a gig bag. Guess it was inevitable with the dry house and freezing car rides to work, will take it to my local guitar shop tomorrow, thanks
I'm thinking freezing car rides to work is the culprit. Rapid changes in temperature and/or humidity cause more damage than being in a constant low humidity environment. I attempt to keep my music room humidified but this time of year I'm lucky to stay above 30% RH. One thing I do ensure is no rapid environmental changes. I don't have any vehicles with a trunk/boot. Instruments ride where the people do. When the case comes out of the car into the home or playing venue the case stays closed until it equalizes with ambient conditions. So far none of my 20+ stringed instruments ranging from 1 to 130 years old are showing any humidity/temperature related damage.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:43 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is online now
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Vindibona in the Chicago suburbs wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
I'm down here an hour away from you and it is C-O-L-D!
I envy you. One of the reasons I moved to Alaska 35 years ago was that I happen to love cold weather.

Weíre not having much cold weather in Alaska these days: itís raining outside right now. Gee, what could POSSIBLY be causing this radical discombobulation of our normal subarctic weather patterns?

Whatever might be at work here (pixies, perhaps?) itís more than a little ironic that itís far, FAR colder in my native state of Missouri right now than it is in my adopted state of Alaska.

If I want snow maybe I should hop a flight for points south, eh?

Acoustic guitar content: those cracks in the top of your guitar do need to be repaired, Bob, but itís the sort of repair job thatís a LOT easier for an amateur to booger up than to execute correctly. Your guitar has already lost some of its resale value by getting cracked this way. If you want to maximize the resale value that it might potentially retain, your best bet is to have a pro do the work.

Otherwise you can drive the guitarís value down even further. Even the best repair tech canít make the repairs totally invisible, unless you opt for the much more expensive option of having a dark sunburst finish shot on the top. That would cover the repair work, but wouldnít be even remotely cost-effective.

Leaving the top with its original natural finish unchanged means that if someone looks closely enough, theyíll be able to see where the cracks were repaired. But an experienced repair tech can make them almost invisible.

Itís worth doing. At some point itís going to need to be done, sooner or later, so you might as well get it done right. Reading your second post, Bob, I see that thatís the way youíre now leaning. Iím glad to see that. Itís by far your best option.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:49 AM
Don W Don W is offline
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I have my guitars in a separate room with a room humidifier as well as "in case" humidifiers. One thing that really helps is to not have my house "hot"...I keep it at 62 and suppliment with a wood stove insert. The areas where I play are 30% and about 67 degrees. When I am done playing I put my guitar back in the case and back in the "guitar room" where the humidity is 40-50%. This has worked well over the years. I have had only one top crack years ago with an Ovation...mainly due to the construction of Ovations with a soundboard that can't expand due to the "plastic" round back. When I got my first solid wood guitar I started doing the above and have had no problems. Recently it has been below 10 degrees with very low humidity here in Mass. I have a simple room humidifier that hold about 1 gallon. I fill it in the morning and turn it on low for a few hours and again in the afternoon and again before I go to bed. I don't leave it on overnight. I have 2 inexpensive humidity gauges in the room with accuracy of +- 5 degrees. One may read 39 another 44...that way I get a good idea at a glance. I also have a cheap gauge in the guitar cases. My guitars are my "babies"...I'm always checking to make sure they are safe. My wife thinks I'm weird that way but thats okay.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:14 AM
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Sorry to hear that Bob. At least they were old cracks and not new ones. The worst case you'll have is repairing the same repairs again so the guitar will be just like before for you, so that's good.

As stated - you have to rehydrate the guitar first to close the gaps and get it back to "normal" conditions. This will take days.

Before sending it to your repair tech - you can rehydrate it at home.

Three ways to do it:

1: (my preferred way) put the guitar in a oversized clear garbage bag. Put humidifiers/sponges/whatevers in the soundhole and put a hygrometer gauge in the bag. Make sure water can't contact your wood! Watch the hygrometer so you know its getting humid in there and add water if necessary. After ~4+ days you will see the gap shrunk. Keep it there until fully closed. Try to keep the humidity above 50% during this time.

2: lay flat in a safe place. Put bowl with wet sponge inside soundhole (bowl sitting on back). Seal soundhole with an inflated balloon.

3: put in case or humidified room. This will take longer but be more natural.


Plan on a week before taking to the shop.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:12 AM
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I have a solid Recording King that normally hangs out but recently noticed the top was sinking in. I hung it in a closed closet with a damp towel wraped around the front. Within a day it was back to normal. Now it stays in the closet. The two Taylors that I own seem to be fine as long as they stay in their case with an occasional redamping of the soundhole humidifier. I cant imagine trying to humidity an entire home for guitars. :That would be quite the undertaking.
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Old 01-02-2018, 07:48 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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The Martin CEO-5 I bought used had a seriously sunken top-fortunately not cracked-due to excessive dryness. I simply left a bowl of water next to the guitar on its stand and replenished as it evaporated. Within two weeks the top had popped right back up, tonal equilibrium was restored and my stress vanished.
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:40 AM
Hurricane Bob Hurricane Bob is offline
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Last night I glued the cracks and now its re-hydrating in a case, hope i didn't wreck it--
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:06 AM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is online now
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You probably can't do more damage as that has been done. You also likely didn't do any good - other than hydrating it. The glue will dry long before the guitar is hydrated and therefore the cracks may disappear or appear closed after hydration but won't be repaired. If you want the top to be stabilized, you will need to take it to someone for proper repair. That will include proper hydration, then cleating the cracks to stabilize them. Then you should have a proper set up as things may be different after the damage than when first set up.
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