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Guitar repair advice needed


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#1 stoopid

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 09:12 AM

My lower end Martin didn't survive the cross country trip so well.  It plays fine but I immediately noticed the slight neck gap/separation.

I've seen a few diy repairs videos on youtube.  It seems dubious I'd be able to repair this myself with some wood glue(?).

Link to dropbox hosted image: https://www.dropbox....in-gap.jpg?dl=0

Edited by stoopid, 06 November 2018 - 09:13 AM.


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#2 JARG

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 09:15 AM

Have you called around to any shops to get a quote?

#3 Fridge

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:22 AM

Is it only on the one side?.....if so, it may have sustained a knock and the wood on the other side may have been driven into the body a touch...I suppose you could try a few gentle taps on the raised side to level it out and maybe use wood glue once you are satisfied there is no gap, but not sure i would fancy trying it myself.

#4 condemned2bfree

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 10:54 AM

View PostJARG, on 06 November 2018 - 09:15 AM, said:

Have you called around to any shops to get a quote?

This would be my personal approach. Depends on the sentimental and commercial value for you, I guess. It looks slight, though I'd still get someones qualified opinion on this 1st, as I'm no good at woodwork!

#5 stoopid

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:49 AM

View PostJARG, on 06 November 2018 - 09:15 AM, said:

Have you called around to any shops to get a quote?

Not yet, was starting to lean toward diy when I saw people supposedly had success.  Money's a bit tight for such things at the moment, but I also know having it in this state isn't good for the long term.

#6 stoopid

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 11:50 AM

View Postcondemned2bfree, on 06 November 2018 - 10:54 AM, said:

View PostJARG, on 06 November 2018 - 09:15 AM, said:

Have you called around to any shops to get a quote?

Depends on the sentimental and commercial value for you, I guess.

It has neither, it's just a decent guitar for noodling and very occasional tracking.  That's one reason I want to avoid spending a bunch of money fixing it.

Edited by stoopid, 06 November 2018 - 11:50 AM.


#7 HemiBeers

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 04:03 PM

The key thing is: if you try it yourself and totally hose the guitar, would it be a huge loss? If not, back off the string tension, glue it up, clamp it and say some prayers to the Martin gods. I noticed you said 'low end' in your post, so that would be a key. If this was higher end or vintage...oh hells no, let a pro take care of it.

Honestly for separation like that, i'm not sure what else a shop would do except what I said.

Then it again, it's easy for me to give advice when there's no chance of f***ing up my own gear. :P

#8 stoopid

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 02:48 PM

Thanks for the encouragement.  I went ahead and did the DIY repair and so far it's holding.  I left it a day as you see it in picture 1, for it to cure, since I didn't have any way of clamping it.

https://www.dropbox....lhkzm/guit1.jpg

https://www.dropbox....qqt9a/guit2.jpg

https://www.dropbox....wz2dd/guit3.jpg

#9 toymaker

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 03:54 PM

View Poststoopid, on 08 November 2018 - 02:48 PM, said:

Thanks for the encouragement.  I went ahead and did the DIY repair and so far it's holding.  I left it a day as you see it in picture 1, for it to cure, since I didn't have any way of clamping it.

https://www.dropbox....lhkzm/guit1.jpg

https://www.dropbox....qqt9a/guit2.jpg

https://www.dropbox....wz2dd/guit3.jpg

Looks good . . . maybe you should put an extra two hundred pounds of weight on it, though . . . :scared:

#10 stoopid

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 08:36 AM

View Posttoymaker, on 08 November 2018 - 03:54 PM, said:

View Poststoopid, on 08 November 2018 - 02:48 PM, said:

Thanks for the encouragement.  I went ahead and did the DIY repair and so far it's holding.  I left it a day as you see it in picture 1, for it to cure, since I didn't have any way of clamping it.

https://www.dropbox....lhkzm/guit1.jpg

https://www.dropbox....qqt9a/guit2.jpg

https://www.dropbox....wz2dd/guit3.jpg

Looks good . . . maybe you should put an extra two hundred pounds of weight on it, though . . . :scared:

It's not all on the neck.  I think there's 40 pounds total shown, and the way the weights are placed some is being sent into the floor through the body.  Considering my lack of proper tools, I'm pleased I was even able to get the job done with what I had.

#11 stoopid

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 08:40 AM

Correction, 45 pounds shown.

#12 JARG

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 10:59 AM

View Poststoopid, on 09 November 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

Correction, 45 pounds shown.

How will those weights affect the sound? And you sure are going to fatigue quickly playing it that way!

#13 HemiBeers

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 11:05 AM

View PostJARG, on 09 November 2018 - 10:59 AM, said:

View Poststoopid, on 09 November 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

Correction, 45 pounds shown.

How will those weights affect the sound? And you sure are going to fatigue quickly playing it that way!
I play an early Ibanez solid body that's heavy as an anvil. Just gotta build up the girly man shoulders.

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#14 stoopid

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 11:54 AM

View PostJARG, on 09 November 2018 - 10:59 AM, said:

View Poststoopid, on 09 November 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

Correction, 45 pounds shown.

How will those weights affect the sound? And you sure are going to fatigue quickly playing it that way!

Ever gig with a solid body bass?  I'm up to the challenge!

#15 stoopid

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Posted 28 November 2018 - 04:04 PM

The repair is kinda holding, I can see a little bit of light on the bottom/start of where the prior separation was, but the overall integrity of the neck seems fine so I'm letting it be for now.  I only need it for plunking and very occasional recording.

#16 Blue J

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 04:53 AM

Update on this?

As I was gone from the forum for awhile, this is the first I’ve seen this thread, but my first thought was just to have the neck re-set. Since you said it is a lower-end model (i.e. an HPL body, or something like that), then that may be a repair that costs more money than it’s worth. But I’d say if the neck starts to revert to the way it was before you repaired it, that would definitely help.

And pretty much all Martins that I know of (except the early parlor guitars) are notorious for needing neck resets at some point. I have a 1936 0-17 that I just had the neck reset on a few months ago. For around $300, it’s a repair that typically lasts about 50 years- it definitely lowered the action and it’s easier to play now, and no fret buzz.

Whatever the case, I hope it’s still enjoyable to play.

#17 stoopid

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 02:35 PM

View PostBlue J, on 14 June 2019 - 04:53 AM, said:

Update on this?

As I was gone from the forum for awhile, this is the first I’ve seen this thread, but my first thought was just to have the neck re-set. Since you said it is a lower-end model (i.e. an HPL body, or something like that), then that may be a repair that costs more money than it’s worth. But I’d say if the neck starts to revert to the way it was before you repaired it, that would definitely help.

And pretty much all Martins that I know of (except the early parlor guitars) are notorious for needing neck resets at some point. I have a 1936 0-17 that I just had the neck reset on a few months ago. For around $300, it’s a repair that typically lasts about 50 years- it definitely lowered the action and it’s easier to play now, and no fret buzz.

Whatever the case, I hope it’s still enjoyable to play.

Thanks for the nudge and advice.

The neck is holding together okay since the repair (almost 7 months ago). The tiny gap hasn't widened any more, so the glue repair must be doing its job.  If it reverts to the same gap I'll probably spend the money or maybe donate it to a shop and buy something tossable for the cost of repair (if it's $300 like you suggest, I can get by with a $300 takamine or something).

#18 Blue J

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 07:55 AM

View Poststoopid, on 18 June 2019 - 02:35 PM, said:

View PostBlue J, on 14 June 2019 - 04:53 AM, said:

Update on this?

As I was gone from the forum for awhile, this is the first I’ve seen this thread, but my first thought was just to have the neck re-set. Since you said it is a lower-end model (i.e. an HPL body, or something like that), then that may be a repair that costs more money than it’s worth. But I’d say if the neck starts to revert to the way it was before you repaired it, that would definitely help.

And pretty much all Martins that I know of (except the early parlor guitars) are notorious for needing neck resets at some point. I have a 1936 0-17 that I just had the neck reset on a few months ago. For around $300, it’s a repair that typically lasts about 50 years- it definitely lowered the action and it’s easier to play now, and no fret buzz.

Whatever the case, I hope it’s still enjoyable to play.

Thanks for the nudge and advice.

The neck is holding together okay since the repair (almost 7 months ago). The tiny gap hasn't widened any more, so the glue repair must be doing its job.  If it reverts to the same gap I'll probably spend the money or maybe donate it to a shop and buy something tossable for the cost of repair (if it's $300 like you suggest, I can get by with a $300 takamine or something).

That’s good news, and yes, I totally understand- putting a $300 repair into a $500-or-so guitar would not exactly be cost-effective. But if it’s working out as it is and it’s perfectly playable and enjoyable, that’s all that matters.

#19 stoopid

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 09:02 AM

Well things aren't improving with the guitar.  Noticed the other day there's a crack on the back, exact mid seam near the neck end.  I'm pretty sure I would have noticed this before. Guess I'm playing this until that crack grows to the point it affects the sound and then moving on to another instrument.  This guitar is likely a victim of the cross country move, probably relied on the case too much to protect it and needed to take more precaution with it.  I'm a bit surprised just how thin the wood is on the body.  It's a light guitar but never made the connection as to *why* it's so light.

Edited by stoopid, 27 July 2019 - 09:04 AM.


#20 1-0-0-1-0-0-1

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Posted 04 August 2019 - 12:35 PM

View Poststoopid, on 27 July 2019 - 09:02 AM, said:

Well things aren't improving with the guitar.  Noticed the other day there's a crack on the back, exact mid seam near the neck end.  I'm pretty sure I would have noticed this before. Guess I'm playing this until that crack grows to the point it affects the sound and then moving on to another instrument.  This guitar is likely a victim of the cross country move, probably relied on the case too much to protect it and needed to take more precaution with it.  I'm a bit surprised just how thin the wood is on the body.  It's a light guitar but never made the connection as to *why* it's so light.

What could you have done differently? Stuff the case with towels or something? Is the guitar moving around inside the case when it's closed?




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