Neck pocket crack repair?

expat701

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Hi, I recently purchased a 1989 MIK Strat copy as a project guitar. I want to restore it to some degree and learn from the experience.

The finish is polyester. There are finish cracks on either side of the neck pocket and a nasty ding on the side of the lower horn (please see pic). I'm guessing the cracks may have come from the guitar being dropped on its side. The cracks are in the poly only, not the wood.

Now to make these cracks look better I'm thinking to use water thin CA glue to wick into the cracks and stabilise them. What would I do to try and mask them after that? I'm thinking of using a medium CA glue that dries white to cover the cracks before sanding and polishing. What do you think?

Remember this is as much of a learning exercise for me, as it is a DIY attempt to conceal the cracks and make it look a little better. I know it will never look perfect and that doesn't matter.

The ding on the horn I'll address later but it looks like a fill, sand and polish job.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Midgetje94

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I could be completely wrong. teles are my weapon of choice. But a lot of strats seem to get stress cracks there. From my understanding usually it’s just the finish? Maybe a strat guy will chime in.
 

Peegoo

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Wick water-thin CA in and allow it to cure (use no accelerator), and the crack will become virtually invisible once you carefully level-sand and polish the repair.

To fill finish chips, take the guitar with you to a cosmetics shop that has a large selection of nail lacquer. Find a color that most closely matches the guitar's finish. To do the drop-fill, carefully paint the lacquer in the damaged area only, in a thin layer. Allow it to dry. Add another layer and allow that to dry. Keep this up until you completely fill the ding, plus a little extra. Level-sand the repair and polish it.

NOTE: If you glob on a lot of lacquer thinking you'll fill the ding faster, you won't. The surface will cure and the inside will remain liquid, drying really slowly and leaving air voids in the cured lacquer. Take your time with this. There is no fast way to do this correctly.
 
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jfgesquire

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Wick water-thin CA in and allow it to cure (use no accelerator), and the crack will become virtually invisible once you carefully level-sand and polish the repair.
This is absolutely true, except.... that finish has appeared to yellow some, so when you polish it out, you will whiten the area that you have polished.

I would probably stabilize it and live with it.

Here is an Olympic White Telecaster that has yellowed a little in its 13 years and you can see how polishing it made it a little splotchy. Not as big a finish crack but there nonetheless.

20220304_105618.jpg
 

Boreas

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Wick water-thin CA in and allow it to cure (use no accelerator), and the crack will become virtually invisible once you carefully level-sand and polish the repair.
I am not so sure. IF that is dirt in the crack, it could hinder both wickage and closeage - potentially ruining invisibility. But it will still be fun. :)
 

eallen

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Common on teles & strats. I would be surprised if those are only finish deep! Unless they are fine hardly visible hairline cracks I find a lot of them extend into the wood as well.

Prego has some good input it. Anytime I repair these I take the 60 seconds needed to remove the neck and do so. Then you can address any part that extends into the pocket as well as making sure none seeps into the pocket & glues the neck on.

With the neck setting in place I put slight pressure on the side of the pocket being repaired so that the crack opens a bit. Then wick in thin CA, slip the neck out and apply CA to any on the inside as well. I also find it helpful to try to apply a little clamp pressure when possible top to back.

If the neck is a tight fit in the pocket that is your culprit. When I see people brag how they can pick up a build by the neck without screws I know it is a neck pocket destined to cracks as humidity changes and expands the wood. I make sure my necks slide in place without pressure to do so. I dont want gaps everywhere but a pressed fit will result on cracks. Even a couple thousands sanded off the pocket sides can be all needed to relieve the pressure.
 

jfgesquire

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Common on teles & strats. I would be surprised if those are only finish deep! Unless they are fine hardly visible hairline cracks I find a lot of them extend into the wood as well.

Prego has some good input it. Anytime I repair these I take the 60 seconds needed to remove the neck and do so. Then you can address any part that extends into the pocket as well as making sure none seeps into the pocket & glues the neck on.

With the neck setting in place I put slight pressure on the side of the pocket being repaired so that the crack opens a bit. Then wick in thin CA, slip the neck out and apply CA to any on the inside as well. I also find it helpful to try to apply a little clamp pressure when possible top to back.

If the neck is a tight fit in the pocket that is your culprit. When I see people brag how they can pick up a build by the neck without screws I know it is a neck pocket destined to cracks as humidity changes and expands the wood. I make sure my necks slide in place without pressure to do so. I dont want gaps everywhere but a pressed fit will result on cracks. Even a couple thousands sanded off the pocket sides can be all needed to relieve the pressure.
"Prego" - lol!
 

TheTealGuitar

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I would try GlueBoost's Fill n'Finish Thin with white MasterTint. Watch their tutorials, see how they fix some more or less similar issues. Be sure to practice on something else first, those tutorials will make you think this is an easy thing to do, but trust me, it's not, it takes practice...

You will also need their EndPoint Mark and the Mark System masking tape to prevent the CA from running all over the guitar body.

With the white tinted CA (GlueBoost) in the finish, you have to level (watch StewMac's chip in guitar finish repair video for some ideas on how to use a blade to remove the CA excess glue prior to sanding), then level sand and polish.

In the end, you will be spending a lot of money on materials and there's still a decent chance that the fix will not come out perfect and that you may have to live with it.
 




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