Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

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Pick wear / damage repair on a cedar top.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:18 pm

Hi all, Just acquired my first K. Yairi (Alvarez) guitar. It's a 1986 DY-67. I been well loved over the years & has quite a bit of pick wear in the cedar top. Haven't touched it yet, not even tried to clean it up yet.

How should I go about cleaning this mess up first, & then go about repairing & protecting the area?

Is there a top refinish in order here? (Problem being it's a signature model & I'm not sure if Yairi's signature is above or below the finish on the lower bout.)
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Pick damage.JPG
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Re: Pick wear / damage repair on a cedar top.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:21 pm

Here's the signature on the lower bout:
Attachments
Yairi Signature.JPG
Yairi Signature.JPG (14.67 KiB) Viewed 13241 times
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:26 am

If it were mine, I would clean and touch up the area inside the rosette and then add a pickguard to protect the area outside the rosette. I wouldn't refinish the whole top. On an older instrument I think a bit of honest wear is preferable to a renewed finish. YMMV
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Mark Swanson » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:03 am

I agree, but I am not so sure that I'd add a pickguard. I'd just fix it the best I could and live with it, a some wear like that is ok and seen as cool. By me, anyway. :idea:
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:29 am

Thanks for the input... Area cleaned up nicely with some naphtha. (Zippo lighter fluid).

So now to protect the area...
I'm worried that if I just apply a coat of lacquer it may soak into the end grain & cause a "stain".

I don't have any experience with french polishing at all. Would some shellac brushed on then steel wool'd give me better results then just applying lacquer?

Here's a pic of the area cleaned up:
Attachments
Pick damage cleaned up.JPG
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:03 pm

>>Is there any way to possibly fill this area with a clear filler... epoxy, CA glue, or, ???? without causing the end grain to stain? Then maybe put on a clear pickguard?
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Ron Belanger » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:47 pm

I would not fill it. A light coat of shellac applied with a fine brush will seal the wood sufficiently.
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:28 pm

Did the acetone/q-tip test & def. not a lacquer finish, acetone didn't even affect it at all, must be poly? :?: Would really like to at least clear fill a little around the soundhole & between the rosettes. Then make a Yairi teardrop shaped pickguard out of ebony veneer that can be removed with a little heat later.
Here's close up of what I'm dealing with:
Attachments
Pick damage cleaned up - close up.JPG
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:19 am

Some orange shellac might help the damage blend in with the top a little better. I like using the adhesive sheets Stew Mac sells for adhering pickguards. A pickguard will not only hide some of the existing damage but also prevent further damage. If the top is gouged deeply and you feel you need to fill it before covering it with the pickguard, I would use a thin layer of light weight auto body filler, rather than epoxy or CA.
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Craig Bumgarner » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:11 am

I like the Rokkomann clear non-adhesive pickguards. They are thick enough to offer good protection and hold on by air pressure. I was skeptical that they would work for long, but been using one on my main gig guitar for about 9 months now and it has held up well and look great. Likewise for a guitar I built for a customer. AND if need be, they just peel right off and the finish is perfect underneath. Important to have the surface really clean before application as any dust particles will show as small air gap. I find after taking them off and back on a couple times, they get bent up a little and don't stick as well, so a new one is needed. On a practical basis, this was just a by product with my early "fuss with it" stage. Now, I just "stick" them on and that is that.

I've used the Stewmac guards and they are okay, certainly get the job done, but besides the difficulty in removing someday, the glue on the underside is not perfectly level, so once applied, there is shallow air bubbles or gaps, for lack of a better word, that show when the angle is right. This, to me, don't look so good. Rokkomann guards solve that problem too.

CB
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Mark Swanson » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:05 pm

You're not going to get that spot to go away. It'll be darker, no matter what you do with it. If it were mine, I'd simply coat it with clear shellac and call it done, and put on a pickguard if I really wanted to cover it. If you use orange shellac it'll darken it even more, use a clear finish if you can.
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:25 pm

Well, did a spot test on a piece of scrap cedar using lacquer, CA glue, & epoxy. The epoxy seemed to soak less into the grain & had less darkening effect. So got a li'l braver & put a smudge on one of the higher spots of my repair area. Seems to be just what I was looking for. After it set it seem to match the surrounding finish pretty good. Gonna use it to level things up. Here's a pic:
Attachments
Epoxy test spot.JPG
Epoxy test spot.JPG (26.42 KiB) Viewed 13086 times
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Mark Swanson » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:13 am

That doesn't look too bad!
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:48 am

Well it's the weekend...gonna get back on this project. Question is, when using epoxy to build up this area, I'm probably going to have to use a couple of layers to get it level. I'm kinda worried about the epoxy blushing & also "witness" lines between layers of epoxy. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:52 am

UPDATE: Got my first layer of epoxy down & in the process of leveling.
What would be the best grit to end with if I need to add more epoxy?
If it seems this first layer will do, what would be the best grit to finish with?
Probably will top coat entire top to help blend it in.
Quick pick of leveling progress, using 220 right now.
Attachments
Top repair 1st layer epoxy.JPG
Top repair 1st layer epoxy.JPG (22.56 KiB) Viewed 12923 times
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:56 am

Progress Update: Decided to refin whole top. Carefully block sanded off org. finish & steamed out the dents & heavy scratches with distilled water using my soldering iron (and alotta patience).
Found some Gaboon Ebony veneer I'm going to make a pickguard out of.
Going to refinish with lacquer.
Will this cedar need to be grain filled? If so what are my options?
Attachments
DY67 Top sanded.JPG
DY67 Top sanded.JPG (24.9 KiB) Viewed 12830 times
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:59 am

Here's a closer look at pick rash repair. Hope the epoxy "clears" up a bit as I use finer grit paper. Planning to put a pickguard on anyway, so mainly needed to level area up a bit.
Attachments
Pick damage filled & leveled.JPG
Pick damage filled & leveled.JPG (20.35 KiB) Viewed 12830 times
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Darrel Friesen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:33 am

You will not need to grain fill cedar Jeff. A pickguard would be the best solution to cover IMHO as you won't be able to color match the repair now, or at least I wouldn't be able to.
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Jeff Daugherty » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:41 am

Here's my template / plan...
Got some Gaboon Ebony veneer I'm going to make a pickguard out of.
Going to cutout & inlay the Yairi logo with lighter wood, maybe maple or zebrawood.
Also gonna try adding an "extension" between the abalone & inner wood rosettes.
What do y'all think??? Any problems or concerns I may run into???
Attachments
Yairi Pickguard Template.JPG
Yairi Pickguard Template.JPG (20.03 KiB) Viewed 12779 times
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Postby Darrel Friesen » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:12 am

I like the pickguard design and the way it doesn't cover the ring Jeff.
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