I am an Idiot.

msr13

Member
Messages
2,128
I travel quite a bit for work. I live in the northeast. I normally keep my guitars in their cases with humidifiers. I went away for a few weeks and left my favorite guitar hanging on a stand. My house is extremely dry. A room humidifier won't work because the house it too open. Anyway, I came home realized the guitar had been left out. I looked it over, seemed ok, and then started to play it. Second (or third) dumb move. I heard the crack before I saw it. The finish on the top cracked along the seam. I am just sick about it. My repair guy said that the crack didn't hit the wood, just the finish. He said that I could refinish it, but that would change the overall sound of the instrument. At first, the crack seemed to improve as the instrument was re-humidified, however, now, as I continue to take it out and play, I think the crack is getting bigger. Not sure what to do. Any thoughts? The guitar is a Patrick James Eggle Linville. Needless to say, I will never leave home without checking the humidifiers in the cases.
 

Dave Orban

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
16,866
I'd let it be for a while, to be sure that it's stable.

ANd if it is, I'd do nothing.

If it's NOT stable (further cracking, wood separating) I'd get the cracks stabilized, but leave the finish alone.

My best-sounding acoustic is a beater '56 Gibson LG-2 that has major cracks on both the top and the back. I've had them stabilized so no further cracking should occur, but it still sounds fabulous.

And FWIW, the only guitar that I don't have cased is a parts Tele.

The acoustics and the archtops all get put to bed nicely, when I'm done playing them.
 
Messages
7,045
Keep the guitar well humidified now to prevent further damage and get it to a good tech when you can. Don't play it in a dry environment either.
I have a hard time believing it's not the wood that's cracking and only the finish. I have finish cracks in my 175, but flaptops usually always get the wood cracks.

Not to bring bad tidings, but the insides need to be checked also. If the top cracks, it's not uncommon to have bracing separating as well.



A good article from Laravee:
http://www.larrivee.com/5_features/educationEssays/humidityWood_essay.html
 
Messages
6,248
Get it checked out but DON'T get it refinn'd.
A cosmetic crack is just some more personality. Just make sure that it gets humidifed properly and that the crack won't get worse.
 

msr13

Member
Messages
2,128
Appreciate the input and advice. I have another tech I can take it to. Just to be sure that the wood is not cracked. And, I will hold off playing it until it is checked out. Oy! Thankfully I have wonderful little girl who told me, "Daddy, it's not like it's a living thing. It's just a bunch of wood. Don't worry about it." Out of the mouths of babes. Anyway, thanks again.
 

royd

Member
Messages
2,039
one more piece of advice... don't touch the crack on outside or inside. If it is a wood crack, the oils from your fingers make it more difficult to glue.

Again, if it is a wood crack, all is not lost... see's Dave's post. Once it is properly repaired, it will not affect the sound. And as everyone else has said, leave the finish alone.
 

Tele71

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,316
There's a guy in Conway SC that is a magic man with acustic instrument cracks. His name is Chestnut and he owns the local music store. He can do wonders for your guitar.
 

Tele71

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,316
BTW you're not an idiot I dropped mine putting it in the car after getting off a plane. It was in the gig bag but alas the crack in the top is huge. After Mr. Chesnut got done with it it plays and sounds great and I don't have to worry about damaging it any more....
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,169
It could be worse. I looked at my SG wrong and the headstock almost snapped right off!
 

msr13

Member
Messages
2,128
Thanks for the reference to Mr. Chesnut, Padols. Much appreciated. And, thanks for the advice, Royd. I will definitely avoid touching the crack, although it is hard in the same way driving by a traffic accident and not slowing down is difficult. And, CharAzable, I feel for you. Thanks for commiserating.
 

greeny

Member
Messages
1,617
I sympathise. I also have a Patrick Eggle (Saluda Cutaway) they are beautiful Guitars, and I too have just had an issue, this time even more my stupid fault. I was carrying it down stairs, not concentrating and cracked the back really hard with my knee, this has resulted in again what I think is just a finish crack, so I'm just putting it down to experience, Guitar still sounds great fortunately.
 

Rob Sharer

Muso-Luthier
Messages
2,822
Small suggestion:

Don't be inclined to run your fingers over the crack to feel it. Any amount of finger oil/grime that gets into the crack could hinder any finish/wood repairs, not to mention compromise the cosmetics. Cheers,

Rob
 

Shemp

Member
Messages
981
Stick the guitar in the case with a soundhole humidifier and a baggy with a wet sponge (holes punched on one side) and leave it there for a couple of weeks. Check the humidifiers every 3 or 4 days and keep them charged.

That should get the guitar properly humidified. Then take it to a good tech.

If you heard a "crack" I'm guessing you did more than crack the finish.

You can shine a light inside the soundhole (in a dark room) and check the top to see if any light is coming through the crack.
 




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