Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

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Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Matthew Nepacena » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:14 pm

Hi everyone, first post here:P
I recently found out that my beloved and favorite guitar (Takamine GS330S) has some cracks on the top of the body. I honestly have no idea how it happened, I just opened the softcase one day and it was cracked. I was/am devastated. I've never tried to repair a guitar before nor have I any experience in doing so. Can anyone offer me some advice? I'm too scared to level out the top because one portion is like lodged under the other tightly. I got a quote from a guitar repair store (CB Perkins in San Jose) for an $85-$125 cost of repair. I was wondering if it's possible to do it on my own for cheaper or if anyone on here could possibly do it for me for a cheaper price :( I'll attach some pictures, please any help is appreciated and needed!

Thank you!
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Mark Swanson » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:41 pm

That is a nasty crack, and the guitar has taken a pretty big hit to do that kind of damage. the price you have quoted there seems low to me.
I am pretty sure that there would be some bracing broken free of the top underneath, was that checked? It would take a mirror and a light to see inside to check the braces.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Matthew Nepacena » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:57 pm

Do you think I should get it repaired or just sell it? I'm really tight on funds being in college and all so that amount of money is kinda a lot to me:/ How much do you think I could get for this guitar if I decide to sell?
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:45 pm

Hi Matthew,
Selling that guitar in that condition won't get you much money. You can make the guitar playable for the price of a small bottle of titebond and some careful aligning of the cracked pieces (this is probably what the $85-$125 repair would have gotten you). Even for a professional it will be difficult to make the repair undetectable. If you really like the guitar it will have more value to you than to most other people.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Michael Lewis » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:59 am

You get only one chance to get it right. If you glue it, however it turns out is the way it will be from then on. I would guess there is broken lining around the waist section. Probably the cheapest and easiest way to fix it is to push everything back into proper position and flood the cracks with CA and hope for a good result. Don't do this at home!

The main problem with damage like this is getting ALL the parts back where they belong at the same time. No doubt some clamps and clever clamping will be needed.

It looks like it was stepped on or fallen on. It takes a lot of force to do that. SOMEBODY knows what happened.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Matthew Nepacena » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:17 pm

Yeah, the guys over at CB Perkins told me that cosmetically, the repair will be obvious, but it will be in better condition than now (obviously:P). I really do like the guitar, I guess I just have a thing for Takamine's, but 85-125 is kinda steep on my budget, and it kinda has me questioning if I should repair it, or try to sell it (I was offered $30 from a guy) and save up for a new one which I can find for ~$200 new. With a $200 new pricetag, I don't know if dropping ~$100 on it now is worth it. And even then, I still have my Fender CD140SCE (still prefer the Takamine by tons though) so I guess it's not the end of the world.

I have no idea how to clamp or any of that:( I have a tough decision to make within the next couple weeks.. I was saving money to go to Disneyland with my girlfriend this Christmas..

For reference, if you were offered this guitar in this condition, how much would you be willing to pay for it? I'd like to get a more "tuned" estimate before I decide.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Nick Middleton » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:26 am

In that condition, you'll have to pay someone to take it away! :) You're in a tough spot. You're left with little value in that guitar. Any value in that guitar will only be appreciated by someone who has the skills to fix it up correctly and then resell it. Maybe see if your repair-guy would offer something for it.

If your goal is to have a nice-guitar for the least amount of money, you're looking at having it repaired. $85 - $125 for repair is much better than a new or used guitar in that price range. If you're not concerned about looks, then you don't have too much to loose at this point if you try to fix it yourself.

You kind of need to decide on looks vs function
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Mario Kessels » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:46 am

the price stated is too low for a good repair and too high for glueing the stuff together if you ask me. Difficult to answer this one but I would think have it repaired decently and if you dont have the money now just wait. or do it your self . I always hate these guitar shops that just want to take in some money but have you pay for bad work. Not saying that this shop is one, maybe they're super and are just cheap. I would not expect that though for this price with such a crack.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Matthew Nepacena » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:58 pm

Def in a tough spot.. I just looked up CB Perkins on Yelp and it has 4.5 stars (http://www.yelp.com/biz/c-b-perkins-co-san-jose) and seems okay. I'm really debating selling it to that guy who offered $30..
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Steve Senseney » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:19 pm

$30 is close the to price of the tuners.

Is any of the soundboard bracing damaged?

If the soundboard bracing is solid, then the cracks in the top can be glued without too much trouble.

Even if the kerfed linings are a little damaged, they may not need much attention.

If you specifically need help with repairing this, the participants here can give you good, solid recommendations for repairs.

If you are just getting started with instrument building and work, it can be quite daunting.

I would recommend that you use hot hide glue.

Don't remove any fragments of wood that are on the top.

Remove the strings. Look carefully inside with a mirror or camera.

Carefully push the broken pieces back where they belong. If you need to rig up a some special clamps, consider simple weights on blocks of wood, with saran wrap or aluminum foil to keep the glue from sticking to the clamping system.

Repairs are often much simpler than you anticipate.

If you use hot hide glue, it is reversible. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can usually remove the glue and try again.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Matthew Nepacena » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:08 pm

I've tried to level out the top, but the longer crack in this picture (furthest from camera) is like really wedged tight. I'll try to describe it, but the center-top is wedged under the outer-top, if you get what I'm saying. Like if it wasn't for this stuck crack, I would be more willing to try and repair it myself, but it's really tight.

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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Mark Swanson » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:26 pm

I would recommend that you use hot hide glue.


Everything Steve says is right, but hot hide glue can be difficult for a beginner and the quality of this guitar isn't high in the first place, so I'd suggest just fixing it with Titebond and letting it go at that. Hide glue is good stuff but if you haven't learned how to work with it, it can present a lot of problems too.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Steve Senseney » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:48 pm

In the excellent picture you present, you may need to reach inside the guitar and push the wood up to "unlock" the pieces.

If you need, you can cut a little piece of wood, just the right length and wedge it from the back of the guitar against the top to push it up.

A similar problem may present itself with the crack at the waist of the guitar.

Hot hide glue has some peculiar properties, but is not hard to use.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:23 am

Hi Matthew,
If you are willing to sell the guitar for $30, then consider that you are repairing a $30 guitar. Even if the repair doesn't turn out cosmetically perfect you will end up with a good player for $30. Sometimes it's nice to have a "beater" you can take places and not worry about. It's just unfortunate that it started out as your "beloved guitar". Eventually we all wind up a little worse for wear. :(
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Mark Swanson » Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:40 am

Steve, it may not seem like hide glue is hard to work with to someone like you and I who have been working with it a lot. But for someone who is just starting out, mixing the glue and having to regulate temperature somehow means getting a hot plate or some other situation to handle that, and then you need to get the glue where you want it AND get it clamped up BEFORE it sets, and probably having to do this inside and outside the body is not easy for someone who has never even worked with that glue before. There's a lot of extra things to worry about, compared to regular old Titebond that will work just fine for a guitar like this. Its ease of use and longer working time lets a newbie repair person get everything right without having to hurry, and won't make much difference at all in the outcome. What advantages does hide glue offer here?
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Steve Senseney » Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:56 pm

It wicks into a crack easier, it is more reversible if the repair is not done perfectly the first time.

I realize I have years of experience using it. It is not that difficult to use.

I feel that it is not really that hard to use, and recommend it where I think it has advantages.

PVA glues like Titebond have their own disadvantages. Difficulty getting it into a deep crack, difficulty applying finish to areas where glue is on the surface.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:53 pm

A middling way would be to find a fresh bottle of liquid hide glue and use that. It would offer some of the advantages of both but not have the "strengths" of either. For a low stress joint like a top repair it might work O.K.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Michael Lewis » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:37 am

I agree with Mark, that Titebond will suffice and is much easier for a novice.

Push against the inside of the waist near the sound board to release the wedging of the splintered pieces. It should go back into place reasonably well. Use waxed paper for the release agent between any clamps and cauls and the wood. A piece of plexiglass and waxed paper on the outside surface should allow pushing from the inside and clamping against the plexiglass to flatten the outside surface of the soundboard. Make sure your clamps and cauls fit where you need them BEFORE you apply any glue.
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Arnt Rian » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:46 am

I often use fish glue for repairs like this. Its easier to use than both hot hide glue and Titebond, and much stronger than liquid hide glue (from what I have read). Some of its advantages over Titebond type glues are the long open time (=more time to get things aligned), and like hide glue its easier to redo if things go wrong; heat and water will open it, and you just add more water, glue or both, for the new repair. With Titebond you pretty much get one shot, as old glue must be removed if you need to do it again, and that can be a major pain. Fish glue squeeze out can be removed with water, it can be thinned to penetrate deeper into cracks if needed, etc. Good stuff!
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Re: Cracked top body - Takamine GS330S

Postby Gary Wilson » Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:33 pm

I have a guitar with a cracked body like Mathew has but worse. Some of the top bracing has been broken as well as the top split in several places. I'm curious why no one recommended taking the top off to get at possible broken bracing as well as the cracxks?
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