Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

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Blake Porter
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Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Blake Porter »

Stewmac Tripple O Kit. Spruce.
The wood is raw - unfinished.

Dang. Not sure how, or when, this even happened.
These dings have broken wood fibers, so steaming them out didn't work. Steaming did work on a couple surrounding smaller dings.
Any ideas on how to reduce the dings? Or help the look?
IMG_7015.jpg
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Bob Gramann
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Bob Gramann »

You probably can’t make it totally disappear but you can glue some fibers from the offcuts in the divots. Use hot hide glue (anything else will be quite visible). Lightly clamp with a plexiglass caul. After a couple of days, sand the insert flat with very fine sandpaper glued to a sanding block. It will show, but if the color of the fiber you glue in is close, it won’t jump out to your eyes.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Peter Wilcox »

This probably won't work if you've already tried steam, but it might be worth a go. They look like dings to me, not gouges, so all the wood should still be there. I'd try more focused wet heat, by filling the dings with water and let it sit for an hour or so, adding more water if it soaks in. Then slowly insert a small tip of a soldering iron in the water filled divot to boil it out and see if that expands the wood.
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Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

If steaming fails, try, try again. I used to repair and touch-up furniture and some pieces that had corners crushed in an inch or more when steamed for more than an hour regained most of their original shape. I would then wick in thin superglue to give the wood some integrity. As Peter said, it looks like the wood fibers are still there, and eventually with enough water and steam you will be able to raise them back up. I use a cheap HF hobby tool on top of a saturated wash cloth which I rewet as necessary. The hobby tool had a flat spade shaped blade (4:45 in video) that spreads the heat a little better than a soldering iron, but a soldering iron can also work.
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Paul Breen
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Paul Breen »

You might try giving spit a try. I have raised dents out of unfinished wood fairly successfully with saliva. I have no proof but suspect that the enzymes present in saliva help to soften the harder fibers. Just repeat applications until there isn't anymore change. Any kind of filler will show.

"I would then wick in thin superglue to give the wood some integrity." Clay, my experience has been that Super Glue on unfinished wood affects the color slightly. Once it's applied, you're stuck with the results.

Blake Porter
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Blake Porter »

Thanks all,
-Update-
I've worked on steaming the dings yesterday and will try a little more today. Maybe use some spit :)
Plan B: If I did hide glue some cedar fiber into it - then use a plexiglass caul - once dry - How to pull plexiglass away without tearing more wood? Taking wood with it?
This top seems so sensitive.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Barry Daniels »

Hide glue will not stick to the plexiglass. To be really sure, you could put a light coat of paste wax on the Plexiglas, but it is really not necessary.
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Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Hi Paul,
I should have been more clear - I would not recommend using superglue on spruce. It was something I used on furniture where the corners were so badly crushed that even after they regained their shape they didn't have enough structural integrity. Those small spruce divots should bee fine once they are steamed out.

Paul Breen
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Re: Ideas? Dinged Spruce Soundboard (photos)

Post by Paul Breen »

Thanks for the clarification Clay. Super glue does work well for toughening distressed wood. I use it fairly routinely for toughening fret slots when doing a re-fret. Helps a lot with softer Rosewood boards and Ebony boards that flake and chip easily during fret removal.

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