Soundboard crack question

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by tele_savales, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic

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    The guitar I've been wanting (well, one of them) for a couple years is on eBay and it does have a crack in the top from the bridge and all the way back. I wondering if anyone has a general idea what the repair would cost to figure it in to my bid.
     
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  2. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hi, got any pics?
     
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  3. tintag27

    tintag27 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    As Fendereedo says - chances are with decent photos you could get a fair idea on whether it is worth pursuing, but unlikely without...
     
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  4. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic

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    None of the pics are close up enough to make that kind of call, really.
     
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  5. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I think unless it's a very special guitar you should pass. I ran into this a few years ago, I had decided I wanted to try a Takamine acoustic. Many big names use them on stage so I thought "what am I missing?" . What I discovered was quite a few of them from a certain decade had top cracks. My guess is improperly aged or dried wood. I think they learned that lesson and I've seen other examples of the same type of thing in other brands, especially on solid tops.
     
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  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Watch some youtube videos for how to repair it.
    Bid as if it's a project.
    Get the tools. Fix it.

     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I fix these all the time. The most common cause is that the guitar became dehydrated, the top shrunk and eventually it cracks, often at the seam but sometimes just along the grain

    IMG_3622.JPG

    There are frequently other humidity related problems.

    The fix it to rehydrate the guitar which may take 30 or more days - I usually put a sponge/baggie humidifier inside the guitar and another in case by the headstock. When the guitar is stable and the crack has closed as much as its going to there are several possible approaches. If I can work a wood glue (either HHG or AR) into the crack I may chose to do that as its much easier to clean up. If I'm trying to get a little finish repair along with closing the crack I may choose to wick water thin CA into the crack.

    Either way I will cleat the crack with one or more cross grained spruce cleats. What I like to do to position the cleat is put it on one of my deep clamps with some double back tape orienting it with the outside part of the clamp.

    IMG_3988.JPG

    IMG_3987.JPG

    (different guitar in the second set of pictures, crack was on the bass bout)

    Then its just a matter of dealing with any other humidity related issues (frets, action, any other cracks).

    Unfortunately this is one of the most common repairs that I do in the winter. It should never happen.

    I'll add that there are other cracks such as the infamous pick guard crack but when you say from bridge to butt its almost always humidity. If you are considering buying this guitar I would think again - the previous owner has not taken proper care of it, it can be fixed but I suggest continuing to look
     
  8. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    i know how a crafstman did a repair. use real parchment en let the woodglue swell it through its moisture.
    he than applied it on the inside of the guitar.
    now i don't recall anymore if he clamp't it while drying.
    but because the dry process will let the parchment shrink again it pulled the crack together.
    because parchment is thin it will not influence the vibration of the top so much.
     
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  9. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the responses. My brother had a Fender Palomino in the late 70's the he didnt slack the strings on before driving from Miami to California across the desert and got the exact same split across the soundboard.
    On this particular guitar its about a 1/2 inch from the center.

    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=184179111556

    There's a few more hours, if the bids go any higher I'll pass because I've watched what they go for used for a while now. I own a 60's gibson L50 that had a similar crack repaired 40 years ago and its never re-appeared so I know it's fixable and I got a couple estimates on the repair.
     
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  10. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic

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    I appreciate your input, thanks!
     
  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I would want to know about other signs of dehydration - is the top flat or concave across the lower bout, does the neck appear to be overset, is the action particularly low, are the fret ends sharp, does the finish appear wavy?

    A dehydrated guitar is the one case where I will shim a saddle to make it playable while it gets rehydrated since I know I can either take the shim out or make a new saddle when the top comes back up. However this guitar will have an UST so shims are out. I can't tell much from the photos, a few measurements would be helpful.
     
  12. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic

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    Good advice. At any rate it's gone. I tend to decide what I'm willing to bid on something and not add a penny more, which has served me well, and in this particular case someone was willing to pay more than me. With the selling price and the labor to fix it, 100 bucks more and I can buy one that's never cracked.
     
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