Temperature Induced Finish Crack - Ouch!

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by TokyoPortrait, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,013
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    So, I took my Epiphone Japan LP out of its case yesterday. Tuned it, played it a bit, maybe 5 minutes or so. Sat it on the sofa. Walked away.

    Hour or so later walking past I noticed this. Definitely not there when I took it out. I'm assuming the temp change did it.

    Curses.

    LP Neck Finish Crack 1.jpeg

    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Boreas likes this.
  2. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,694
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    What was the temp difference between taking it out and playing it that caused this?
    What is the finish? Nitro?
     
  3. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,013
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    I’m not really sure, to be honest. The air con was on and the room was warming up, pretty fast I guess, and the guitar came out of a hard case from behind the sofa, where I guess it was still quite cold. Not sure of numbers. From cold enough to make you shiver to warm enough to make you think you better turn the air con down. Possibly important is the fact it was sitting just slightly to one side of the air con’s direct path of hot air flow. Doh...

    Poly finish.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Boreas likes this.
  4. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,935
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    The heavy coatings that Epiphone uses seem to puddle a little bit in those areas. It wouldn't take much of a temperature shift to cause it to crack...happend on my P93 Riviera as well just from walking from the garage to the house in the winter.

    Sucks, but it is just a finish crack, nothing structural to it at all. Could be touched up to hide it easily.
     
    Boreas and TokyoPortrait like this.
  5. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    452
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere
    If it's any consolation, it took more time than I care to admit for me to see the crack in that picture. If it's an accurate reflection of the situation, it really isn't very noticable. I mean, I get it, you will always notice it, and a crack on a guitar sucks (unless you're one of the relic people). But in general (again, if the picture is accurate) it could be worse.
     
  6. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,013
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    Yeah, I too noticed what you might call puddling in this general area. To be fair though, on this MIJ ‘Epiphone Japan’ model LP, the finish is generally quite thin, in my estimation.

    I’m not actually too worried about it.

    Except when I look at it. Guess I’ll have to get better at playing without looking at my fingers... :)

    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Boreas, JL_LI and ahiddentableau like this.
  7. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,013
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    In real life, it’s quite noticeable. I was just walking past and barely glanced that way. It was like a scene from a 3D movie, where it jumped forward and popped me one in the eye.

    But yes, it could have been worse. At least the headstock didn’t spontaneously combust (ducks & runs for cover ;)).

    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Boreas likes this.
  8. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    4,777
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    Temperature/humidity may have played a part, but my guess it was simply a crack waiting to happen. All finishes change over time. Some finishes are more stable than others, but they also have to be applied correctly. If this was in the middle of the top or the back, I would say temperature. But in an area like that - basically a joint - you can only ask so much from a finish. Two pieces of wood moving in different directions - especially when playing with the various forces on the neck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
    BobbyZ and TokyoPortrait like this.
  9. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    1,025
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2020
    Location:
    Florida
    I can't find the crack in the photo, so it must not be that bad.
     
    TokyoPortrait likes this.
  10. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,013
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    It looks a bit like a reflection. Here I've drawn a fat black line to the immediate left of it.


    LP Neck Finsih Crack 2.3.jpeg


    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Boreas likes this.
  11. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    9,234
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I’m a big MIJ guitar fan and am appalled at the amount of filler around those inlays, holy heck

    It’s like they were routed by hand by someone on their first day

    No offense to the O.P
     
  12. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,581
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Dean, tap around the heel joint and fret board and listen for a rattley sound. Just make sure you dont have a bonding failure. I’m in Japan and the temps it would take to cause this would be very cold. You would likely have other cracks as well, notably the backside of the headstock.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
    Boreas and TokyoPortrait like this.
  13. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,013
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    No offence taken. I noticed that too. It's not really apparent in real life - or rather, it never was to me before :). The exposure, and maybe colour temp of the photo highlight it. I'd never noticed before I looked at the photo. I do now.

    That strange dark smear though, over the upper inlay in the first photo, that almost looks like a brush stroke over the photo, I did notice for the first time when playing it that day. Maybe something else is going on too?

    Here's another neck shot, I took moments ago. It's more representative of what I actually see, but still shows it up more than in real life.

    LP Fretboard Inlays 1.jpeg

    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Boreas and Fretting out like this.
  14. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    31
    Posts:
    1,515
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Location:
    Tip of the Mitt
    I have my doubts that crack is due to temp swings.
     
    TokyoPortrait, 985plowboy and Boreas like this.
  15. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,958
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    That's not from temperature change; if it were, the change would have affected the finish where it's thinner, such as out on the face of the body or across the back. A guitar going from cold to warm generally has no issues other than perhaps condensation forming on the cold surfaces. It's when a warm guitar is subjected to rapid cooling that creates finish checks, and that temperature change has to be extreme and quite rapid.

    That crack is due to wood shrinkage--namely the neck/fretboard. We know this because the crack occurred parallel to a glue joint between two pieces of wood. A contributor to the problem is really dry storage conditions.
     
  16. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,898
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Isn’t that due to neck movement? Seems like a problem with Gibbys. Epiphone too? I know that’s why several popular YouTubers quit buying Gibson.
     
    TokyoPortrait and Boreas like this.
  17. The Angry Possum

    The Angry Possum Tele-Holic

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    552
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2017
    Location:
    Staten Island NY
    Did you wait to tune it up when it reached normal temp.?
     
    TokyoPortrait likes this.
  18. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    4,777
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    Do you know when this guitar was manufactured? Original owner? Any warranty? I wouldn't be too concerned about the crack as it is, but if the neck is coming loose, it could be a harbinger of things to come. BTW, any recent changes in string gauge? Do you keep it tuned in its case? I feel it is almost certainly neck related, whether it is just settling in, or it is on the move.
     
    TokyoPortrait likes this.
  19. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,693
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    Finish cracks on a 1965 ES-330 that was gigged all over northern Minnesota every weekend for years. Sub zero outside to 70 above inside just does that. I don't think the temperature swing you're talking here should've done it. It was gonna crack sooner or later anyway. 20200718_105610.jpg
     
    BigBillow and Boreas like this.
  20. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,356
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    Adds character.
     
    BobbyZ and TokyoPortrait like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.