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Old 11-21-2019, 10:01 AM
Ralph124C41 Ralph124C41 is offline
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Default Couple of chips on top of guitar; red flag or green light?

I have a chance to get a good deal on a used older guitar through an online dealer with a good return policy. I called and talked to a store rep who looked at it and told me it played fine and had no structural problems ... but there were a couple of chips on the top of the guitar. All I have are the online pics and they can be seen but it's hard to say how big they are but the largest is smaller than the head or top of a bridge pin, maybe 3/4 or 2/3 of that size.

My concern is not the resale value or aesthetics of it but do these chips pose a problem? They are not cracks which could spread but are chips down to the wood.

As ever, thanks for your comments. I've learned cracks can spread ... such as the crack on my old Guild D-25 which one day resulted in the whole headstock snapping off when it fell onto my carpet one day.

The stated return policy does help me a lot.
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Last edited by Ralph124C41; 11-21-2019 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:11 PM
david.freeman david.freeman is offline
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If they are just chips in the finish they aren't a massive risk. The finish offers some protection from humidity changes, chips like that do create the risk of moisture getting underneath the finish, but mostly it's just an aesthetic thing. if wood is missing you do have the risk of there being a crack that can spread.

One note on your guild D-25. I would doubt a finish crack caused your headstock to snap off, if the wood itself was cracked then it would help, but it's not uncommon for heads to snap off when the guitar falls on the floor like that. the string tension is pulling hard on the guitar (180psi) and when it hits the floor the impact causes the neck to flex back. Then the strings stretch and pull it forward, breaking the head off, usually at the scarf joint. A lot of guitar cases are bad for this too because the neck is supported in the middle on that rest so there's a good point to flex on.

Our PSA for the day: When traveling with your guitar in a case, loosen the strings for the trip, and pack the headstock good and tight so it doesn't move!

If you are concerned about the chips, anything that will seal the wood and not look too bad is probably better than bare wood. Unless the guitar is going to face some serious humidity changes, you should be alright.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:51 PM
Ralph124C41 Ralph124C41 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david.freeman View Post
If they are just chips in the finish they aren't a massive risk. The finish offers some protection from humidity changes, chips like that do create the risk of moisture getting underneath the finish, but mostly it's just an aesthetic thing. if wood is missing you do have the risk of there being a crack that can spread.

One note on your guild D-25. I would doubt a finish crack caused your headstock to snap off, if the wood itself was cracked then it would help, but it's not uncommon for heads to snap off when the guitar falls on the floor like that. the string tension is pulling hard on the guitar (180psi) and when it hits the floor the impact causes the neck to flex back. Then the strings stretch and pull it forward, breaking the head off, usually at the scarf joint. A lot of guitar cases are bad for this too because the neck is supported in the middle on that rest so there's a good point to flex on.

Our PSA for the day: When traveling with your guitar in a case, loosen the strings for the trip, and pack the headstock good and tight so it doesn't move!

If you are concerned about the chips, anything that will seal the wood and not look too bad is probably better than bare wood. Unless the guitar is going to face some serious humidity changes, you should be alright.
On my Guild D-25, it was not a finish but an actual crack into the wood. I was dumb (and still am) and I did not spot it in the store. I had probably medium-gauge strings on it at the time.

On this other guitar, there is no wood missing AFAIK, just the finish has chipped off. Now I do live in a place with low humidity in the winter but I always keep my guitars in their cases with a soundhole humidifier so I would do the same. Btw, the guitar comes with a hsc.

I imagine there is some form of wax or other covering I could use to help protect the wood in these places. I use Feed-N-Wax which I think offers some protection but maybe somebody could offer other suggestions.

Thank you for your comments.
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