Body touch ups or…

Quick Fixes when I do Something Stupid!

Guest contributor: John G. Loveless

I was done playing my 76 Jimmy f hole the other day and, as I was returning it to its stand, I banged it into the edge of a chair…. ding!!!  So I’m an idiot for adding another ding to a valuable 40 year old instrument. What can I say; “it happened”.  I don’t ever wish it on you, but if you make a similar mistake, a prompt repair can minimize the effects of careless/mindless/just plain stupid behavior.

One repair trick I learned by reading Dan Erlewine’s Guitar Players Repair Guide is repairing all kinds of things on guitars with super glue.  (Erlewine is also employed as a technical advisor to Stewart-McDonald’s Guitar Supply, and a long time columnist for Guitar Player Magazine.)  He goes into detail in the above sources about super glue technique so I won’t try to retread that here.  Suffice it to say that the thin, “hot” super glue will flow into fine cracks through capillary action where thicker will not.  Once in the crack, it dries clear and hard.  It will fill dents and can be sanded and polished like other finish materials.  Stew-Mac sells super glue, but I found everything I needed and more, in a local hobby shop.

So after I finished cursing myself and all adjacent parts of the universe for the damage I inflicted, I immediately cleaned the surface with naphtha, and put a drop of super glue on the spot.  I also applied super glue to an old ding and a crack to show some of the benefits to this kind of repair.

Finish cracks become more visible over time because dirt and moisture find their way into the crack.  Any crack or ding which goes all the way through the finish will continue to darken and allow moisture into the wood. This also widens the crack further which can compound the problem.  I have repaired dings and  cracks on a number of  vintage instruments with super glue.  The repair does not make the crack invisible, (I wish) but it makes it less visible and, most importantly, protects the instrument from further damage by the elements.

This next picture show an old ding that I repaired at the same time. Note that there The key is this:  If you affect this type of repair RIGHT AWAY; before dirt &moisture enter the crack, you CAN render it almost invisible.  Look at the pictures: I don’t have any before shots, but the first picture shows the
ding I made, after the repair.  You can see the ding, but the finish is level with the surface and the super glue matches the clear Hagstrom finish.

In the last picture you can see an old crack that I did not repair at the bottom and an old crack I did repair (it started at the ding in the picture above) about 1/3 of the way down from the top These cracks were similar before the super glue repair.  The repaired (upper) crack is still visible, but  is sealed/protected and much less obvious than the unrepaired crack.

(See the repaired old ding on the right). The ding I made and repaired in a timely manner is barely visible in the top center of the last photo, to the left of the light flare. It’s still a ding.  I’m still and idiot for doing it.  But, it is not as noticeable as dings not cared for, and it should never look worse.