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Taylor Acoustic Pick Damage

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by SerpentRuss, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. SerpentRuss

    SerpentRuss TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    My son recently purchased a very hard-played Taylor that has a couple of issues. It's an Academy 10e, so it can only be a few years old. The main cosmetic issue is picking damage below the soundhole. This model came without a pickguard and we'd rather not put one on. At first, we were going to just leave it alone, but since the spruce is completely exposed, we thought it best to put some type of finish on it to keep it from getting worse.

    The Taylor website states they have used a UV-cured polyester-based finish for the last several years so that is what this instrument has applied to the top. What type of brush on finish could we find locally that would be compatible with that. We'd like to lightly sand the whole top and apply a finish without having to remove every bit of the existing finish, so we're looking for something that will play nice with what's already there.
     
  2. Mark617

    Mark617 Tele-Meister

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    Try Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound
    Go very lightly
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have been totally unsuccessful in trying to repair catalyzed finishes - in my opinion that is one of their big down sides. Shellac is kind of the universal stick to anything finish, I would probably try some light applications in the damaged area, then put a pick guard on if you son is going to use a pick.
     
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  4. SerpentRuss

    SerpentRuss TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    Maybe I need to post a photo. We're not trying to remove scratches, the finish and part of the wood are gone so we're dealing with bare wood here. The wood is also scolloped because of the grain, evidently, the lighter part of the grain is easier for the pick to remove. The wood below the soundhole has a washboard-type appearance.
     
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  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Personally, I would leave it. Good mojo. It is very possible your son will not add to the scratches. Not everyone strums the same way and with the same ferocity. I rarely scratch my tops. As Freeman said, you could take a small brush and just apply shellac or preferred finish to the EXPOSED wood only. Your son may never put another scratch in it. If so, and it is unacceptable, a clear pickguard or something may be in its future, or keep touching up with finish as needed.
     
  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Please do post pictures. I think you are asking two different questions - one is how to stop the damage, second is how to repair it. What I'm saying is that catalyzed poly finishes are hard to repair - if it was nitro I could shoot a few coats and more or less hide the damage. I repair guitars with modern finishes but I tell the owners that it may not be cosmetically perfect.

    The second part is why the damage - as Boreas says some people just pick that way. Glen Hansard, Willie, some folks are just hard on the tops of their guitars. I don't put pick guards on my guitars because I don't pick that way.

    Brushing a few light coats of shellac onto the bare wood will protect it and make it look a bit better, shellac will bond to the poly about as well as anything. Frank Ford has an article on fixing a damaged Taylor where he applies a couple of coats of shellac and then lacquer over that - the shellac helps the lacquer bond to the poly.

    I'll add that often trying to "fix" a damaged finish just makes it worse.
     
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  7. teleman14

    teleman14 Tele-Meister

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    Trigger seems to be still doing well after all these years. Leave it be.
     
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  8. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Apparently, you’re in N Carolina, not too dry of a climate. Suggestions of a light treatment as above sound pretty reasonable.
    Seems like Willie Nelson learned to live with a few pick scratches and it didn’t hurt his chances...guess I was on the same wavelength as @teleman14...
    132A0740-67D8-46C4-B459-06D027A59B7D.jpeg
     
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  9. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    Keep in mind that Willie's guitar has had major surgery (more that once) to get it "on the road again".

    I would leave it alone anyway. :)

    Dan
     
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  10. SerpentRuss

    SerpentRuss TDPRI Member Ad Free Member

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    OK, a picture is worth...

    Also looks like it was made in Baja Mexico in 2017

    20210417_141650.jpg 20210417_141659.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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  11. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    That's a perfect candidate for a shellac repair, IMO. I'd use a small artist's brush to apply thinned amber shellac to match the color, and then clear shellac to level things out. You could spray the clear or use a brush -- either a flat bristle brush or a disposable sponge brush (or two).
     
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  12. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Holic

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    Same thing happened to my 2004 210e. It has a pickguard but the finish just below the sound hole is worn off.
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Shellac followed by a nice pick guard with double stick tape. I make my shellacs from flakes and either brush or pad, I haven't had luck spraying. Zinsser in a can is fine for brushing.
     
  14. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I'd take my Jr High football coach's advice, and just rub some dirt on it and keep playing.
     
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  15. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    MinWax Satin Wipe-on poly treat that pretty well. I am assuming you want to preserve and protect the exposed wood before it becomes soiled from the hands and becomes dark. Apply lightly with a soft cloth or paper towel. Work from the center out so as to "feather" it out to the edge of the existing finish. Apply a very small amount for each coat and wipe it smooth. The material is water thin and as easy to aply as wiping on a Danish oil finish.

    If you follow the instructions, you can build a nice finish in as few as 3 coats. Don't overwork it. Just wipe on smoothly and leave it to dry. lightly sand (or use a green scotchbrite) and repeat until the transition to the original finish is smooth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
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  16. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    I would use good shellac, wiped on as French polish. I've done that on ancient, bare-wood acoustics and it can make for a beautiful look, typing in with the finished wood while retaining the look of honest wear. The build-up is negligible. Like any finish repair, the potential exists for an unskilled person to create an ugly mess in a highly-visible location. All I can say is personally, when I had to do something similar, the wiped shellac worked wonderfully and the result was terrific. Caution: if the wood is uneven and scraped at any points under the pickguard or where the edge of the pickguard is located, you are unlikely to have a good result adhering and attaining a really flat and flush pickguard.
     
  17. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, you can use wipe-on poly to finish it up, but I would still hit it with the amber shellac first! You'd have a hard time getting a better color match with anything else, and it's cheap, easy to apply, can be wiped off the existing finish with no damage, and it dries fast.

    If you combine amber shellac with a Honey Spice Mohawk Brush Tip Marker and some judicious use of alcohol and cotton swabs, you can easily get an exact color and grain match.
     
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