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How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

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How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Michael Baresi » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:21 pm

I've got this Victoria Parlor guitar. Estimate 1920's
When I bought it there was an oversize pickguard screwed to the top.
When I removed it I discovered the reason why.
Lots of tearout on the top from pick damage.
Lots of dirt too. I've already cleaned with naptha
Looking at the pictures I see that it looks much worse than it actually is. The damage is not as deep as it might appear.
To put it into perspective, hypothetically if I were to sand it down and refinish I could probably remove it all without thinning the top excessively.
Any suggestions on how to deal with this without refinishing?
thanks

IMG_20160704_121002262.jpg

IMG_20160704_120924303.jpg
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:28 pm

Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:32 pm

Don't try to sand it out. I would just clean it and do a little french polish over the top, done.
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:11 pm

Then cover the ugly with a new pick guard.
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Michael Baresi » Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:39 pm

thanks guys
good one Peter
any suggestions for cleaning Mark?
Naptha didn't do much
and yes a pickguard will hide some ugly.
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Joshua Levin-Epstein » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:07 am

Frank Ford uses Deionized water for lifting off dirt. Check it at frets.com.
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Bryan Bear » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:55 am

I wouldn't sand that either. I'm with Mark on this one.
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:57 pm

Some of those old parlors guitars had pretty thick tops. You might be able to lightly sand the dirt off the pick guard area (and slightly beyond it for blending) and then wipe a dilute solution of potassium permanganate over it to regain some of the patina (lost by sanding). It will likely be difficult to do so much sanding as to achieve a smooth flat top, and not sand thru the rosette or overly thin the top, but a light sanding to clear the dirt and eliminate the pick guard outline could work O.K.
Many of the better parlor guitars (Martin, etc.) had thin responsive tops and shouldn't have them sanded at all. Victoria, being a Regal product, might have a little extra wood. It would be good to measure the thickness of the top before deciding on a course of action.
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Re: How Do I Repair Pick Damage to the Top?

Postby Mark Swanson » Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:19 pm

I'd clean it with a little soapy water, and let it dry well. i have never tried Frank's Deionized water trick but he says it works well.
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