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Nasty headstock gouge--any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by drett, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. drett

    drett TDPRI Member

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    Hi all,

    Just picked up this PRS Santana SE for dirt cheap because of a serious cosmetic problem (sorry it's not a tele, but this is far and away the most knowledgeable forum out there).

    See the huge gouge out of the bass side of the 3 x 3 headstock. Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion about how to build back up the missing bits of the headstock. I was thinking about building some kind of form around the headstock shape, then filling with wood putty or something. Refinishing will be another issue altogether, but for now I'm mostly interested in building the headstock shape back up. Of course, stability is also an issue. Mostly I'm after suggestions for tools, products, and techniques.

    I'm nowhere near a seasoned woodworker, so this is probably beyond my expertise, but I'm looking to learn...

    Thanks!
     

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  2. motor_city_tele

    motor_city_tele Tele-Afflicted

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    If the headstock finish is opaque black like it looks in the photos, I would seek out a two part epoxy type putty that you could use to sculpt the shape back to the original design. After curing overnight, the patch can be filed and sanded smooth. black lacquer could be applied over it and you would have a seemless repair.

    if the headstock finish is transparant, I would do the same thing but instead of painting solid I would use some artist brushes for detailed work and do my best to duplicate the woodgrain pattern using dyes and stuff.

    It looks like the structural integrity of the headstock has not been compromised due to the damage.
     
  3. drett

    drett TDPRI Member

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    Ok, thanks. It sounds like I was thinking in the right direction. I'll try to get a hold of that two-part epoxy putty and work it from there.

    As for the refinishing, the face of the headstock is totally black, but the guitar is a semi-transparent but very dark blue color and there is a coat of that underneath another coat of black on the sides and back of the headstock. Adds a little kink, but I'm really only looking for perfection from about 4 feet out. I might try a little nail polish under the black lacquer to match that black-blue look.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Telesavalis

    Telesavalis Friend of Leo's

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    looks kinda like a dog chewed on it.
     
  5. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

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    You also can build it back up to repair with superglue.
     
  6. rip_topaz

    rip_topaz Tele-Meister

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    This.
     
  7. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thats what I would do if it was opaque.


    If it were transparent, I would take my Bailey low angle block plane and smooth out that area, and glue on a matching piece of wood. Then refinish.
     
  8. ThreePlyGuy

    ThreePlyGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Take your time with this nice guitar, appears to be a good candidate for repair, good luck.
     
  9. bubba105

    bubba105 Tele-Meister

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    +1 on the block plane. How come nobody ever wants to sell me stuff like this.
     
  10. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Tele-Holic

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    If you do go the epoxy route (which I agree is you best option) drill some small holes into the headstock and then glue in small dowels or toothpics so that they protrude slightly - out into the space that is to be filled with epoxy. Try to have a few of them pointing in different directions.

    Then create your dam to hold the epoxy in place, mix and pour.

    That way the sticks will form a structure that the epoxy can lock onto, preventing it from ever popping off.
     
  11. drett

    drett TDPRI Member

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    That's a great idea Keyser Soze. I was worried about the bond a bit.
     
  12. Bud Veazey

    Bud Veazey Tele-Holic

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    IMHO Colt's suggestion is the best way to make the repair whether the finish is transparent or not.

    If that method is not for you, for what it's worth, here's some alternative advice. Try Freemans Tuf Fil Mahogany Polyester repair paste. It can be carved and sanded like wood. You can find more info here: http://www.freemansupply.com/TUFFilPolyesterRep.htm
    You can rig up a mold with tape and cardboard then do final shaping with sandpaper and files after the material dries. If you use Tuff Fil, Bondo, or Fiber Glass resin--I've used them all for stuff like this-- follow the good advice given by Keyser Soze about the dowels/toothpicks.

    You'll have a tough time matching the finish on the top of the headstock. But with an airbrush and some tinted nitrocellulose lacquer, you can come close. When you have achieved the closest match possible, lightly wet sand the entire headstock with 800 grit sandpaper and spray on a couple of coats of clear nitro. In three or for days you can level the nitro and polish.
     
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