Is neck gouge a candidate for drop fill repair?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Rick1114, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Rick1114

    Rick1114 Member

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    I recently picked up a 2000 American Standard Strat (Pre American Series). It's been well played, and I have to admit it's a really nice strat. I got for a great price too, probably due to this gouge on the neck, which was easy for me to overlook once I felt how this one played...I just had to have it!

    Anyway, the gouge isn't too bad but enough that I feel it while playing here and there. I'm one of those OCD types, so of course I'm mulling over how I can fix it. I don't care about how it looks really, but if I could repair it to point where I don't notice it while playing, I would be very happy. Would this be a good candidate for a super glue drop fill repair?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    Thanks,

    Rick

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  2. cochese

    cochese Supporting Member

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    I had a similar type of ding in one of my guitars. My tech was able to fix it with a soldering iron and wet towel but you should ask someone that knows how to do it.
     
  3. markszabo

    markszabo Member

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    Step one is removing the dent, which you can do as described above with a wet towel + soldering iron (using a tip you don't care about, and NOT a soldering gun, which will degauss your pickups).

    Step two is the finish repair, which can be done a few different ways. Drop fill with super glue is one way.
     
  4. Rick1114

    Rick1114 Member

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    Thanks everyone for their thoughts on this. I'll ask around and see what it my might cost or research doing it myself.

    Thanks,

    Rick
     
  5. ChuckR

    ChuckR Member

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    I would consider drop filling with shellac as well. That is pretty deep and the soldering iron thing will most likely leave a bit of a depression. Shellac will build quicker.
     
  6. Drak

    Drak Supporting Member

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    The problem with CYA glue drop fills is when it comes time to re-level the repair.
    CYA glue is much harder than the finish itself so unless you use some sort of hardbacked sanding pad which will keep all surfaces level, you'll wind up sanding more away of the surrounding area, which is softer, and can actually make the problem worse than it initially was in some cases.
    If you want to drop-fill, try to find something that is closer in hardness to the actual finish.
    Shellac as mentioned above would be a candidate and is easy to sand back, among other possibilities.
     
  7. joeybsyc

    joeybsyc Member

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    This is good info, and I should also add that using the soldering iron/wet towel thing takes some care too, as you can get it too hot and damage the surrounding finish this way if you get too aggressive/hot. I have had luck using an actual clothes iron and a wet towel, but again, this doesn't always work not get out all of the ding. Another suggestion for a drop fill would be some spray can clear lacquer. Something like Deft or Minwax. Spray a little in the lid and drop fill with a toothpick or tiny brush. It dries quickly and you can actually build it up with a couple applications rather than with one big blob. it's also not super hard and will actually sand faster than the surrounding original finish... which is exactly what you want to happen. it can also be buffed up to match the original neck finish exactly.
     
  8. Rick1114

    Rick1114 Member

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    There's some really great info here...that's why I love TGP!

    So far I did the soldering iron trick with a wet t-shirt. It worked very well actually with regards to bringing the wood fibers to their original shape.

    Now here's where it starts to get tough. First off the ding has been there so long the entire area is stained black. Any suggestions for getting the stain out (or just decreasing it). If not I can live with it.

    Second problem, the original finish surrounding the gouge is not smooth. I'm getting very detailed here. How do I prep it so there will be a smooth edges to work with when I do the drop fill?

    Thanks everyone for tips regarding the lacquer. I was going to use CA, but now I'm go with the recommendations here for the filler material.

    Thanks, Rick
     
  9. Ronsonic

    Ronsonic Member

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    Good work.

    Depends on what the contaminants are and what dissolves them. Naphtha is safe and a good try. First, try a q-tip and water, preferably deionized water which can often come from one of those filtered water stations. Or that and what art restorers call "mild enzymatic solution" a bit of saliva on a clean q-tip will get things the water won't. Uh, change q-tips with each use.

    Leave it and take it down with the drop fill

    Good luck with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  10. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    I've seen someone who used wood bleach to do that.
     
  11. Rick1114

    Rick1114 Member

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    Okay, so I borrowed a can of clear lacquer from my neighbor and sprayed it in a cup. I dropped in 3 - 4 application's over a few hours with a small dental brush (that's why I had around!). The hole seems completely covered and then some, and has melted in with the surrounding finish. How long should I let It cure? I've read anywhere from overnight to weeks.
    Have a bunch of sandpaper 600-1500 grit, and micro mesh pads from stu Mac ready for the next step!

    Thanks Rick
     
  12. Rick1114

    Rick1114 Member

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    Just wanted to let everyone know I just finished the repair and from a "smoothness" standpoint it is 100% perfect! I was super nervous, but if you do the razor blade trick (just watch the Dan Erlwine video), and do a tiny bit of strip sanding/wet sanding with (I used 400-1500 grit, a couple of swiopes each, and wet sanded with micro mesh pads) you will be astonished at the results. The magic really happens when you wet-sand, I was getting a little nervous prior to that because of how the lacquer tends to bulge up around the edges like a volcano, and it wasn't disappearing until the wet-sand at the end - then it just blended sort of like magic.

    Theres still a stain underneath the repair I'm not too worried about, I bought the guitar cause she's a player and is looking more reliced than new anyhow.

    Thanks everyone for their advice!

    Rick
     
  13. ChuckR

    ChuckR Member

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    Glad it worked out for you!
     
  14. Yoda

    Yoda Member

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    How does a soldering iron and wet towel remove a ding? Just curious as I have a '98 USA Strat that was stolen and when I got it back it had a ding in the back of the neck but I don't know how to go about fixing it.
     
  15. tuna141

    tuna141 Member

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    The wet towel and soldering iron produces steam which swells the wood fibers, which got compressed when the ding occurred.

    I used a damp towel and a clothes iron to reduce some dings on the side of the neck of one of my guitars. It made the dings less noticeable.
     
  16. Yoda

    Yoda Member

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    Makes sense. I'm going to give it a try.
     
  17. Rick1114

    Rick1114 Member

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    Make sure you watch a video or at least read up on how to do it first, the interwebs is your friend. Wet the T-shirt well, and keep the iron moving in a circular fashion!
     
  18. Yoda

    Yoda Member

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    Will do.
     

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