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Side Crack Repair on Epiphone Acoustic Guitar

While the glue on the bridge is drying, I'm going to fix another structural problem on the Epiphone acoustic guitar.

It's this dent/crack on the side near the end pin.  I remember when this happened - I was at a friend's house and accidentally whacked the end of the guitar on the corner of a coffee table.

Since the sides are plywood, it's not a clean crack or break.  It's like a combination of a dent and a crack.  Another reason to have a solid wood instrument - even the breaks are better!

I couldn't reach into the guitar far enough to get to the dent, so I took a 3/8 inch dowel and ran it through the soundhole and pointed it at the dent from the inside.

There were mixed results.  I thought I might be able to just push the whole thing out, but I couldn't.  The different layers in the laminate were all cracked differently.

So I pushed it out as much as I could and then spread Titebond on the cracks while I kept it pushed out as much as I could.

Then I made a splint to go on the inside.  It's cedar - I figure it's not worth cutting a hunk of mahogany for this.  If it gets whacked again, it may just crack a little more, so I don't think it needs a strong piece behind it.

I used some repair magnets to hold the splint in place.  Since I had to reach so far in, I stuck a magnet to the patch with masking tape.  Then I used pliers to grip the magnet and move the whole thing inside the guitar until I had it where I wanted it.

The pliers, of course, stuck to the magnet, so they helped keep the splint aligned.

I put glue on the back surface of the splint - the one that will contact the side of the guitar on the inside.

Then, while I was guiding the inside magnet into place, I put its mate on the outside.  It got pulled right up to the guitar - and I was able to use it to help guide the inside splint and magnet exactly where I wanted it.

The magnets are a real lifesaver for this sort of repair.

Really hard to get a good picture of the whole thing, but here it is.

I actually wound up using longer pliers than the shot above to be able to reach in.

The green arrow points to the magnet.  I left everything as is overnight until the glue dried.

When it was dry, I slid the outside magnet off.  The inside magnet was then freed up, and I could pull it out with the pliers.  I left a long 'tail' on the tape so I could then just reach in and grab it and pull it out as well.

The upside-down view looking into the mirror inside the guitar.  The repair came out very well - it's squared up nicely and I didn't get any glue runs.

Not, mind you, that anyone will ever look inside the guitar.  But I know I did it the best I could.

You may have wondered how I got the interior of the guitar lit up.  I cooked up a simple guitar "trouble light" with a bulb socket.  It's just wired straight to an AC plug.

I have a CFL in it - a "75 watt" bulb.  It doesn't get too warm at all and illuminates the inside very well.  An incandescent would be too hot to sit inside a guitar, I think.


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