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Alder body...splits and cracks?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by DarnWeight, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. DarnWeight

    DarnWeight Tele-Meister

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    I'm after a little advice here. Picked up a 3-piece alder tele body off eBay a few days ago. It arrived today and on close inspection, I'm seeing what looks like some visible splitting and cracking on both the upper and lower horns/bouts. Here are a few hastily-taken photos, so excuse the blurring and horrible light. Nonetheless, it should be easy enough to pick them out...

    [​IMG]

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    Now I got the body reasonably cheaply, but the seller (a business-seller with 100% positive feedback) didn't mention anything about it in the description. To be honest, I'm not sure how much of a problem this is anyway. I was going to paint this one a solid colour (milk paint), so as long as it's OK structurally I guess I'm not overly bothered. I can't feel any split when running my finger along the affected areas, but it could just be well coated in sealer, I guess.

    So, have I got a problem or is this "acceptable"?

    Thanks in advance,

    D
     
  2. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire

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    Alder is notorious for those cracks. I usually stabilize mine with CA. I've never had a problem with them growing afterward, but it also depends on how dry the wood is. If this wood isn't kiln dried, I would worry about further checking after it was complete.
     
  3. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

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    Have a look at Glenn (flatfive's) 2013 challenge build. He had a similar issue to what you ae describing and discusses the various issues and potential solutions with great clarity. Hopefully it will go some way towards helping you decide what best to do.
     
  4. DarnWeight

    DarnWeight Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the input and the pointers, guys....reading flatfive's build thread now. I don't think it's going to be too serious an issue...the milk paint is always going to show through at least a little of the grain/surface, so there's no chance of it spoiling an otherwise flawless finish or anything.
     
  5. mefgames

    mefgames Friend of Leo's Double Platinum Supporter

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    Those "cracks" are actually called cell collapse. They gave me fits on a finish I did awhile back. They continue to collapse as the wood dries. What I found to work best was Zinsser B.I.N. primer. If you're going to paint a solid color, apply the BIN, then sand it, then apply color coats. Mine hasn't shown through, and that was about a year ago.

    Good Luck, Mike
     
  6. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    Id be more concerned with that god awful excuse for a glue joint. Id return it honestly. Nothing but problems going down this road imo.
     
  7. DarnWeight

    DarnWeight Tele-Meister

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    Contacted the seller to ask what they do RE: drying and sealing/stabilising of the wood/bodies. I'll see what they come back with.
     
  8. funkymann1

    funkymann1 Tele-Holic

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    The joining of the wood looks fine to me...ive seen fender do worse...
    the cracking is completely normal wich is why Alder is not the wisest choice of clear finishes....Alder is a very brittle wood next to Ash & Especially next to mahogany or basswood....The alder I get down here in SFlorida does the same thing if I let it sit to long before finishing....seal it & finish it in a solid color & your fine....
     
  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm no wood technologist, but I would guess those lines were there when the body was routed and cut out. They look like they are perpendicular to the growth rings and would indicate that the wood shrunk or had internal stresses that were relieved. If the body was kiln dried to a moisture content of 10-12 percent, I doubt any more shrinkage would occur in the UK unless you have a desert- like atmosphere where you live. It they are open, I'd fill them in and finish the body. The glue joint looks OK too.
     
  10. Beatbx

    Beatbx Tele-Meister

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    Looks like typical alder markings to me.
     
  11. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    I'd just fill those lines , seal and paint , it'll be fine , I don't see any problems with the glue joint either
     
  12. clsatt

    clsatt Tele-Afflicted

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    I had some markings like that in the body I did for the challenge. They were solid wood on mine... Don't know what they were but they weren't open and were as hard as the wood around them. I actually really liked the look of them.
     
  13. DarnWeight

    DarnWeight Tele-Meister

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    I feel almost universally reassured! Not seen alder up close and unfinished before, so glad to hear this looks "normal" and isn't likely to be a problem.
     
  14. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have yet to get an Alder Body off fleebay with out those type of....what are we calling them?...cell collapses?... they always seem to be on the sides or edges. A solid color will work just fine, just get a real good seal coat on the body. I used wood putty on any of the one that were open prior to sealing and you could not see then through the finish. I would also suggest a burst if you alder has any figure to it. The dark edges will hid those marks and you can still show off your wood.... ah, I mean guitar.
     
  15. BruceF

    BruceF Tele-Meister

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    I just finished my third alder guitar from single board and I found the markings to be solid,also, and haven't had a problem with them. Two were finished in clear and the third will be a transparent color.
     

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  16. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Doctor of Teleocity

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    No worries mate............it will make a fine guitar ;)
     
  17. Jdelys

    Jdelys Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    As long as those cracks aren't open I would use it without too much worry. I've used worse on other projects that turned out fine.
     
  18. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    Sorry gentlemen, but this is NOT a properly jointed glue joint. If you think its "ok" thats fine, but especially coming from a 'vendor' I would find that completely unacceptable. Bad glue joints are weak, and are prone to splitting apart over time. What do you think is going to happen when you paint it? Especially with that nitro stuff a lot of you like to use...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. adirondak5

    adirondak5 Wood Hoarder Extraordinaire

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    Whats nitro got to do with the glue joint , what are you inferring here ??
     
  20. bob1234

    bob1234 Tele-Afflicted

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    because nitro likes to sink in and shrink (A LOT). Nitro over that glue joint will NEVER come out well.


    Here's a nitro sprayed strat I have from the 70's. That line is present around the entire guitar (front, back, sides). Why? because its soaking into the glue joint.

    [​IMG]



    This is my peace on the subject, if you're comfortable using mediocre work, so be it. You will get mediocre results. Depending on cost (i.e. if he picked this up for 30$) hell yeah, go for it. Great learning experience! If you're expecting great results, don't hold your breath with a body like that. Likewise if he spent 100+ bucks on that, I'd be kinda pissy with the seller.
     
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