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Taylor Top Crack and Finish Repair

3/1/2013

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Taylor guitar ding and crack in top Taylor guitar chunks of spruce and plastic binding missing
1. Taylor Guitars makes some great instruments.  This budget model 210 has suffered some hard knocks which have left it with two top cracks and a pretty serious ding.  Because of the modest value of this guitar, I’m going to have to execute a nice looking and solid repair in a hurry. 2. The Ding.  On the bass-side lower-bout, there are some little chunks of spruce, finish and binding missing, the top is separating from the lining inside the guitar, there are loose pieces of finish surrounding the ding and there is a 2 ¼” long top crack emanating from the damaged area.
Taylor guitar top crack taylor guitar repair ding with medium super glue
3. Another Top Crack in the spruce follows the lining on the treble-side lower-bout for about 1 ½” and continues as  a finish crack for another inch or two.  All of this damage should be repaired in order to prevent the cracks and finish damage from spreading. 4. Thin Super-Glue (c.a.) isn’t usually my first choice for crack and finish repairs.  In this case, water-thin c.a. makes sense because of it’s ability to penetrate these really tight cracks at the lining.  What’s more, Taylor’s finish is so high tech that standard lacquer or shellac touchup methods don’t look as good as do c.a. touchups.  I’m applying a generous amount of thin c.a. to the bare spruce to glue the loose section of lining, seal the spruce and glue down the loose flakes of finish.
taylor guitar repair top crack with thin c.a. super glue Taylor guitar repair binding with medium super glue
5. Gluing the Cracks with thin c.a. is quick.  I’ve masked off the top surrounding the cracks on both lower-bouts to prevent the super glue from spreading.  Before the glue hardens I will remove the tape.  I’ll go back and apply a second and third coat of c.a. to both top cracks in this same fashion.  In order to avoid unnecessary discoloration, I won’t use accelerator for these repairs. 6. Finish Repair.  I’m using medium viscosity c.a. to build up the “ding” on the bass-side.  I will apply multiple coats, waiting a few hours between each application.  Once I am satisfied that the cracks and ding are built up with c.a. above the surrounding finish, I will set the guitar aside for a few days to allow the c.a. to fully cure.  If I immediately leveled the c.a., it would sag over the course of a few days in comparison to the surrounding finish.
taylor guitar using razor blade as scraper to scrape drop fill flush taylor guitar finish repair wet sand drop fill
7. Leveling the C.A. a few days later.  I’ve given a razor blade a burr with a screw driver in order to use the blade as a scraper.  The tape on either side of the razor blade allows me to safely scrape the c.a. until it is less than .002″ proud of the surrounding finish. 8. Sanding the Touchup flush to the surrounding finish is quick.  I’m wet-sanding with a cork-lined sanding block wrapped in P 1,000 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I’ll follow this up with 2,000 grit sandpaper in the same fashion.
taylor guitar buffing gloss finish and top repair drop fill taylor guitar gloss finish hand polish top
9. Buffing the Top with the buffing wheel gets rid of the sanding marks.  When I’m done buffing, I’ll thoroughly clean the top with VM&P Naptha. 10. Hand-Polishing the top gets rid of the streaks from the buffing wheel.  I’ll remove any polishing residue with Naptha.
Taylor guitar drop fill ding repair looks good taylor guitar super glue ca crack repair done
11. The Ding Repair looks good although not completely invisible.  The c.a. appears slightly darker where the ding was deepest.  The repair is smooth to the touch. 12. The Bass-Side top crack and ding are nearly invisible from a short distance away.
taylor guitar top crack drop fill repair is nearly invisible
13. The Treble-Side top crack is also nearly invisible as well as smooth to the touch.