Help w cracked to repair from drop

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Len Gerthoffer
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Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Len Gerthoffer »

Hi all. Hope this finds you well. I'm hoping I can get some advice on a repair. This is a 3 year old Taylor 612 CE that was dropped on it's lower top edge along the way by it's previous owner. My big concern is that the top buckled just a bit. Im assuming the top pulled away from the purfling in that area. The idea is to get the top flat and secure before tackling the finish. There doesn't seem to be an damage to the side. Do I start by getting some titebond into the slight gap I assume is there under that area and clamp the top flat? Regarding the top and it's finish, you can see there are a bunch of lifted chips. Do I just use #10 AC to try and glue the various chips down in place, then go about filling and leveling? Or sand the area and fade in some lacquer? I know they use poly but it's such a small area. My main concern is getting it structurally sound, cosmetics are secondary. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers. Len
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Len Gerthoffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Len Gerthoffer »

few more pics. Hard to see but the are is not flat, there's a drop off between the binding and the crack. The top has lifted in that area and is bent downward towards the binding.
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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Unfortunately the interior pics are not in focus at the affected area. Has the top separated from the lining, or the lining separated from the side (if you can see in there)?

Can you clamp it flat?
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Len Gerthoffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Len Gerthoffer »

Hi peter and thanks. Yes, it's hard to tell if it's separated. Im assuming it is because of how it's lifted. I'll try again to get some more pics. I haven't tried yet to clamp it. Again, I'm assuming (which might be dangerous) that it will clamp flat, my concern is will it stay that way and how best to get it to do so. I'll try and upload some addition pics and try to get that area better. Thanks for the response.

Len Gerthoffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Len Gerthoffer »

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Ok, a few more inside pics. Just realized that the crack is inside of the lining. I can actually feel the crack from inside and it's not seeming like the lining is separated.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Barry Daniels »

That is a cross-grain break along the edge of the kerfing. This will be very challenging to repair so that it has sufficient structural integrity. How much experience do you have with guitar repair? It might be best to see if it is covered under warranty or even send it back to Taylor for a pay repair.

It also looks a bit dirty, like some grime has worked its way into the finish cracks. That will just make the repair even more difficult. I would probably walk away from this one, as any repair will be very visible and weak. A re-top would probably be justified.
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Len Gerthoffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Len Gerthoffer »

Thank you Barry. I have a fairly good amount but Im not a full time luthier. I emailed taylor for advice and was told to take off the neck, bridge, sand down and glue the top, then refin it and put it all back together. Uhhh, no. I bought this for myself at a pretty low price. I just want to make it stable and play it. The somewhat good news I"m hoping, is that the crack is not on the exact edge of the kerfing but inside it by a good 1/8 inch. I can feel inside and feel the entire length of the crack. Keeping in mind the task is to make it stable and a good playing instrument, can I cleat across the crack inside while clamping the top flat in that area? Might I get lucky and have it dry flat? Can I get it to be solid and stable w that choice? I would hope catching that extra 1/8" between the kerfing and crack with cleats while clamped might get the top flat and the area solid. I can then deal w the chips and finish for cosmetics knowing it would then be solid and stable. Whattya think? If you think it's possible, how exactly would you cleat it? Appreciate the replies. I just want a solid player in the end.

Carl Dickinson
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Carl Dickinson »

Thin veneer patch and strong magnets might work to make it playable for a while.

Chris Reed
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Chris Reed »

This is what I'd consider in your position, i.e. I bought it for myself and want to get it stable and playable.

The problem is the cross-grain crack in the spruce top, so that the top is no longer connected to the lining at that point. So I'd plan this (then ask advice and think about it some more before starting!):

1. Remove the kerfed lining along the line of the crack and for a short distance either side.

2. Clamp the top flat.

3. Glue in wedge-shaped tentalones where I'd removed the kerfed lining, making the tentalones long enough to span the crack. In effect I'd be building up a block at that point. I'd make the tentalones deeper than the kerfed lining, to give more glueing surface against the sides. I'd use HHG for this, so I could just hold each tentalone in place until the glue grabbed, thus not needing to work out clamping.

4. Finally drop fill the top with CA and polish up as best I could.

What do others think? Might that restore structural stability under string tension?

At the least, this plan is reversible if someone later on decided to retop the guitar,

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I've seen a guitar with multiple cracks and a three square inch hole in that area that held up structurally and sounded great (an old pre-1900 Martin). It is better to repair the damage and that was an extreme case.
From the interior photos it looks like someone has reglued the top to the linings using a "clear" glue. If it is hide glue you may be able to moisten and heat it and clamp it down a little tighter to help flatten the top. If they used epoxy you may want to just live with the "hump"
I can't see the cross grain crack that Barry mentioned because of the cracked finish, but some of these guitars had a "relief rout" that selectively weakens the soundboard around part of the perimeter - which would make a crack more likely. I don't see the "rout" in the interior photo but it could explain why the top gave out with the side showing comparatively little damage. I think the rout is a bad idea and makes this kind of damage more likely. What you suggested - gluing cleats across the break should restore structural integrity to that area. As Chris mentioned, drop filling with CA and then sanding and buffing could smooth out the finish although that "war wound" will probably still be noticeable. Just consider it " pre-scratched" so you don't have to worry about that "first ding" most guitars eventually get.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Someone has definitely tried to unsuccessfully glue it (glops of glue oozing out.) Try heating it with a heat gun or maybe a hair dryer and see if it softens/liquifies. Then go with Clay's suggestions above, depending on the results.
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Len Gerthoffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Len Gerthoffer »

Hi Guys. First off, thanks so much for every one of your great replies. I really appreciate every one of them and you all taking time to share valuable advice. I just spoke w the seller and he informed me that it was his son that put the adhesive in there and that he used 6000 adhesive. I was anxious to know what was used. Now that I look at the enlarged pic below, I can see the top to side split was bigger than i though. Looks like it goes about 6 inches in length judging by the glue seepage inside.

It seems that the top is solid to the sides and kerfing. Is it worth trying to get all that adhesive out and the reglue the top? If so, will heating it be effective to loosen it? A quick search advices solvents. OR, should I assume that the top is solid to the side and go to a plan B of clamping the top flat and putting 3 -4 cleats across the crack, do some refinishing of the small top area and call it a day? I forgot to mention that the top has a ton of pretty deep pick indents. The 20 year old kid that owned it for only 2 years must have been a big Pete Townsend fan as he was strumming the hell out of it hard.

I say that because it's never going to be a beauty queen. I don't care, I paid for a player. I just want it to be structurally solid. I don't mind doing the work to clean it out if you all think I should. That said, how best to do so if you think I should? Thanks in advance, really enjoying the info!
Best, Len

Alain Lambert
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Alain Lambert »

From product info:
«E6000 is formulated to meet high performance industrial requirements. The self-leveling formula forms a powerful bond with most any material and will remain flexible once cured. E6000 Industrial will handle just about any project DIYers or PROs throw at it.»

This would be almost impossible to get out of the joint unless you remove the lining. And being at the lower bout it is not easily accessible.
Unfortunately it is a flexible glue which is not what we want in a guitar.

Len Gerthoffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Len Gerthoffer »

Morning and thanks for all the help. It's been great hearing different angles to approach this. That product reminds me of JB weld. Another big thing, Clay was right. The top DOES have the relief route on the top inside the kerfing. More importantly, I wan't feeling the crack inside assuming I could cleat it. I was actually feeling the relief route Clay spoke of. Meaning the crack IS right on the edge of the kerfing. I cannot get a cleat on it. Seeming like it's solid with the adhesive that was pushed in so guess I'm gonna have to live with it and just do some cosmetic on the area. They likely didn't clamp the top down when they glued it. It may have laid flatter if they had. Oh well. Appreciate all the advice, I've been on a roller coaster w strategy.
Have a great weekend.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

From looking at the pictures and seeing where the crack line of the finish is, I keep thinking the top buckled (and cracked?) at the relief rout. You would only feel the relief rout inside the guitar, but the top may be cracked along that same line. If that is the case I would be inclined to wick superglue into the crack from above and clamp the area flat using cauls ( wax paper between the top and cauls) and after it has set glue cleats across the relief rout on the inside.
Much of what I said above is speculation, and not having seen the guitar up close, should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Bob Gramann
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Bob Gramann »

If you can avoid it, don’t use superglue on spruce. It will always show and, if you to repair it again, it will be in the way. Hot hide glue won’t be as visible and is reversible.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

If you have hot hide glue and can get it into the crack (again, assuming we are right and the wood is cracked) that would be better. If you are using CA as a finish repair it will most likely wick into any cracks that are not already filled with glue. Some superglue formulations eventually discolor the wood.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Help w cracked to repair from drop

Post by Barry Daniels »

Access to the area from the inside of the guitar will limit what can be done.
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