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Crack in my guitar's side
Author
Post
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 261
Yesterday, I discovered about a 4" crack along one of the sides of my first build.
It's probably the result of maybe a little too much "thinning" of the side when I tried to sand out the fuzz that was coming up all around that guitar.
It's on the lower bout, on the upper part of the side.
I've seen discussion before but I think it applied to sides before they were bent. It involved using super glue.
Can someone give me a recommendation on fixing this?
My initial thought is to sand down thru the finish, put on some super glue, then try to mate the two parts by working both inside and outside the body. Trying to wiggle them into place.
The only other alternative seems to be to save the neck and order the body parts and start it over. I can only save the neck and tail blocks if that's the case.
Thanks for any help you can give.
Bob

Jun 01, 10 | 7:23 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Cracks in the sides are pretty common - in fact many old Martins have the so called "key crack" which is easily fixed. First, did you put any vertical stiffeners on the sides? If not I would suggest adding several - maybe four on each side. 1" by 1/8" inch scraps of mahogany - bevel the ends to fit the kerfing and curve the clamping face to fit the curve of the sides. I usually put mine at the ends of each back brace - but space them out where ever you like.

They'll be a little hard to clamp now - I'd suggest making cauls with magnets for inside and out. StewMac has magnets in two sizes - the small ones should work. Pad the outside caul.

Wick some CA into the crack before you clamp the braces on - use some waxed paper between the caul and side to keep the glue from sticking. If you are lucky the crack will close up nicely and probably all you'll need to do is blend a couple of coats of finish on it, then sand and polish that area. If the crack is really bad you can fill it with a mixture of powered wood and CA - fill the crack with the wood dust and wick the CA in. It will get very hot as it sets.

I had some cracks in the little git that I built for may daughter (humidity, yours probably was too). Here is how I fixed it and three years later it seem to be stable

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=1952120

Jun 01, 10 | 8:29 am
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
The crack is not very visible, so hopefully I can just put some CA in it and I'll hold the pieces together for a few minutes to let the CA set up.
It was properly braced, but I'll put in 2 braces about an inch in from either side to help reinforce that area.
Humidity could be a factor also, as you said. Although the humidity here in East Texas usually stays pretty high. If I remembered right, I built it at about 45 rh and now it's running from 52 to 56.
With what you suggest above, should I sand down to bare wood first? Or just go with what I have now, and sand and finish later?
Thanks,
Bob

Jun 01, 10 | 8:39 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Bob,

If you can go the library and take a look at Don Teeter's repair publication he has a great section on using Super Glue to repair cracks without the need to remove the finish --- he is, in my opinion "The Master Repair person." $.02

Ken Cierp

Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Jun 01, 10 | 8:52 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
big cracks

http://www.mimf.com/library/align_edges.htm

I'd never heard of "tuner clamps" before

Jun 02, 10 | 11:39 am
naccoachbob

Total Topics: 26
Total Posts: 257
Freeman,
That "tuner clamp" is slick. I like the idea of a "L" bracket with a tuner on it.
I'm going to try aligning it by hand first. Glad my crack isn't as severe. It's barely noticeable.
Bob

Jun 02, 10 | 4:00 pm



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