Can this guitar be saved?

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Forum topic by Keen1 posted 09-27-2015 04:14 PM 877 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Keen1's profile


103 posts in 4019 days

09-27-2015 04:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: guitar restore repair

This guitar belongs to a friend of mine who said he left in storage too long and heat/cold caused it to crack. He was going to chunk it but I told I’d like to take a shot at restoring it. However, I know nothing about guitars and just do wood working as a hobby so I figured I’d consult the experts here before I start. I was thinking I could just use some dark wood glue and clamps to fix the cracks on the side. There is another small crack on the face that may be a little difficult to see in the picture. Not sure what to do about that one. Any advice is welcome. Thanks Lumberjocks!!!

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-- Dad to 5, Son of The One

8 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5136 posts in 3416 days

#1 posted 09-27-2015 04:30 PM

Anything can be repaired. It all depends on the skill of the repairer. Martin; that is a very good guitar that deserves to be restored. If it were mine, I would take it to a professional for restoration. I don’t feel I would have the skill to restore it myself.

View BurlyBob's profile


5934 posts in 2438 days

#2 posted 09-27-2015 04:34 PM

You know that being a Martin guitar which I believe is a pretty darn high quality company. I’d be hesitant to tackle that job. You might want to contact Martin and see if they would be willing to repair it. They might also be able to recommend someone in your area. I’ve refused several projects from folks here because I know if I don’t get it perfect I’d be a POS in their book. Like you I do woodworking for a hobby and turn out the occasional real nice piece. Folks get to thinking your an expert and can do anything. Sometimes maybe yes, sometimes maybe no. Just my two cents. Best of luck.

View Kazooman's profile


1214 posts in 2125 days

#3 posted 09-27-2015 05:13 PM

Worth about $800, I believe. Best left to a luthier to repair. I am certain it can be done.

Ask him what he wants for it.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6239 posts in 3367 days

#4 posted 09-27-2015 05:19 PM

If I were you, I would not touch that guitar….I would tell your friend to send it back to Martin, and let them do the repair…I collect vintage Martin guitars from the ‘40’s and 50’s…Mine are Dreadnought size, and I’ve sent a couple back to Martin for repair…..Don’t even look for a local luthier to do the repair…unless he’s a certified Martin repair dealer…then that could be questionable…That guitar should have never been neglected like that…it should of been in a controlled enviorment, and kept in the case when not being played…..That is an $800-900 guitar made of either a Sapale or Mahogany top, and Mahogany sides and back with a walnut bridge (usually)...You being a hobbist woodworker will be in over your head on this one….Let the professionals do the job right….They do it everyday….

-- " It's a rat race out there, and the rats are winning....!!"

View tomsteve's profile


844 posts in 1392 days

#5 posted 09-28-2015 11:54 AM

to add to what others said

please kik yer friend in the arse and remove all guitars from his posession until he can learn to properly care for them.

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2469 days

#6 posted 09-28-2015 12:09 PM

Throw the guitar away, you can’t fix it. But tell me where and when you’re tossing it first so I will be there to pick your trash.

I don’t know if it’s possible to glue and clamp that back together or if the wood would have a memory and recrack there. If you fill it the tone of the guitar may be affected. Needs an expert opinion. There are lots of guitar builder forums out there. I would cruise those first.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1251 posts in 1886 days

#7 posted 09-28-2015 12:09 PM

I am sure that, if you have the right info, you can do it yourself. Ir order to get that as the pros. For instace here:
Good luck!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Tennessee's profile


2887 posts in 2687 days

#8 posted 09-28-2015 12:37 PM

I’ve repaired a few like that over the years. Of course, I build guitars and have been the main repair guy for a local shop for years.

The main thing you have to remember is you probably will not be able to completely make it dissapear.
The second thing is to analyze why the side cracked. Did it shrink that much? I doubt it. It probably cracked due to either the front or back flexing. With that being said, will the front or back crack if you try to bring the side back together? If the answer is yes, I would turn down the opportunity and let someone like Martin do it, where they might steam the front or back to loosen it up so the side can be repaired, etc.

You just have to know your limits. I once put back together a thinline hollowbody Gibson, pre-war, that came to me in mostly splinters and in a cardboard box. Took weeks, but the guy is still playing it. But unlike this one that was moved by temp and humidity, his was stepped on and simply broken up. Big difference.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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