FP finish repair

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
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Randy Roberts
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:11 pm
Location: Omaha, NE (a suburb of Iowa)

FP finish repair

Post by Randy Roberts »

This is a replica of an 1840's Martin I made from a photo in a book. It was the prototype for a few I made quite a while ago.

When I first finished it, I just did a quick French polish to somewhat protect it so I could take it around and show it to friends to see what they thought, then finish FPing it, regrettably not sticking a pick guard on it first. While I was in back of our local guitar shop looking for one of these friends, some 18 year old kid wandered in, picked it up off the counter, and as we came back up front, was whamming away on it, and Willy Nelson'd it in no more than five minutes time.

I've been away from building guitars for a few years now building furniture for my wife, and this thing has just been hanging on the wall all this time, pissing me off every time I see it.

Planning on getting back to building guitars again, but whatever chops I pretended to have are long faded now. I thought fixing the finish on this one to a presentable state would be a good way to ease back into it, and would like your advice before diving in.

The top is red cedar [siding] and the scratches are deep enough that I'm leary of sanding them out. Also plan on a clear pick guard once I'm done.
Do you think enough French polish (and Advil) would render them un-noticeable, or steaming them ( they look more like cuts than dents )?

Hope you guys have advice. Time is not a factor, as this one's mine.
Attachments
1840-top-finish-2.jpg
1840-top-finish-1.jpg

Bill Raymond
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:37 pm
Location: Red Bluff California

Re: FP finish repair

Post by Bill Raymond »

Damn! That kid really did a number on that top. Sorry I can't offer any advice about repairing, but it's a shame you couldn't get him to pay for that. That's totally irresponsible behavior.

Michael Lewis
Posts: 1473
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA
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Re: FP finish repair

Post by Michael Lewis »

There are some people that don't care about other's stuff, and obviously don't care much about guitars. Red cedar is what it is, so either just live with it, put an opaque guard on, or replace the top. Those dents/scratches are there in the wood.

Chuck Tweedy
Posts: 1180
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:25 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: FP finish repair

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Randy - damn kids!
Anyhow, there is no coming back from that other than to cover the whole area with a pickguard.
I would seal the damage with shellac/FP first to generally protect, but that will not make it look much better. Then a tortoise or rosewood guard over that with an "artistic" shape can shield you from the rage.
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Michael Lewis
Posts: 1473
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:22 am
Location: Northern California USA
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Re: FP finish repair

Post by Michael Lewis »

Actually, it is 'honest wear', and that does make it look old. Unintentional distressing, but distressing none the less.

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