Guitar Chat

Maton Restoration (Part 2)

Gluing cracked guitars together is often just the beginning of the work on the aesthetics.  Lacquer previously coating joints also cracks, but usually in a manner that leaves a crater along the length of the crack.  These need to be repaired in a similar fashion to small dents and scrapes, with either clear or colour matched lacquer, or something similar.  In this case I used a colour matched lacquer to minimise the “obviousness” of the original damage.  The shrinkage of the lacquer as it cures has to be accounted for before any leveling or over coating can be done.  The photo below shows the difference in appearance of the “open” repaired crack and the filled repair.

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Colour matched lacquer fill

The top had a separated join in the middle, but since it was a solid top, it did not suffer the delamination that occurred to the back.  The crack was not clean or straight and I needed to widen, straighten, and clear the joint before I could splint it with timber.  I inlaid the length of the entire top, and also glued back the top where it had separated from the neck block. Blending it into the surrounding finish would come later.  There was also some restoration done on old tarnished and corroded and worn components with buffing, cleaning, lubricating, and replacements.  In all there were very few, and no significant replacements of hardware needed after the work, which was desirable to keep the original feel of the guitar.

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Before buffing

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After buffing


Inlaid centre splint

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Broken screw heads to be repaired

Before I refitted the neck, I completed the surface preparation, and sprayed the final colour and clear coats.  To fit the neck back I needed to shim the dovetail as the fit was a bit loose.  I also needed to replace the truss rod nut since the original was beyond repair.  Luckily one of my past times is riding bicycles, and I have built many a wheel.  I identified, with amusement that the nut was in fact an M5 motorcycle spoke nipple.  It was a curious thread however, not matching up exactly but with some chasing out with my tap set, I got the nut to fit nicely, and re-torqued the neck.

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Old and new nipples

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New nipple on truss rod

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Restored guitar

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Restored guitar




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