Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

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Jeff Daugherty
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Pick wear / damage repair on a cedar top.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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.)
Attachments
Pick damage.JPG
Pick damage.JPG (31.8 KiB) Viewed 14318 times

Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Pick wear / damage repair on a cedar top.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

Here's the signature on the lower bout:
Attachments
Yairi Signature.JPG
Yairi Signature.JPG (14.67 KiB) Viewed 14318 times

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

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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Mark Swanson
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Mark Swanson »

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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Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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
Pick damage cleaned up.JPG (19.32 KiB) Viewed 14264 times

Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

>>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?

Ron Belanger
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Ron Belanger »

I would not fill it. A light coat of shellac applied with a fine brush will seal the wood sufficiently.

Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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
Pick damage cleaned up - close up.JPG (26.98 KiB) Viewed 14233 times

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

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.

Craig Bumgarner
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Craig Bumgarner »

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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Mark Swanson
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Mark Swanson »

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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Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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 14163 times

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Mark Swanson »

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

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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

Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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 14000 times

Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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 13907 times

Jeff Daugherty
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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 13907 times

Darrel Friesen
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Darrel Friesen »

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.

Jeff Daugherty
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:49 pm

Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Jeff Daugherty »

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 13856 times

Darrel Friesen
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Re: Cedar top pick wear / damage repair.

Post by Darrel Friesen »

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

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