Can A Cracked Guitar Be Fixed? The guitar is a fragile instrument, and it will likely have a crack or two at least once in its lifetime. Keep in mind that it’s an hourglass-shaped wooden box with a thickness between .090″ and .150″, a reasonably thin panel. There’s also the fact that strumming the strings results in upwards of 180 pounds of force being exerted on it.
Fortunately, it’s possible to fix cracks on a guitar! You can either undertake a do-it-yourself repair work or let the luthiers make the repairs. You should have the right tools, supplies, and skills for a DIY job, so you may want to consider the second option.
Places Where Cracks Happen In A Guitar
Nearly every part of a guitar can be cracked. But the type of crack and the timing of repair will likely be different.
Often, the worst cracks happen on a guitar’s top, and these are also the hardest to repair. These cracks aren’t even cracks per se but a separation of the center seam, usually caused by allowing the guitar to dry out. The top’s two halves then become unglued at the center seam, typically from the bridge to the end block.
In this case, never run your hand along with the center seam separation since the dirt, dust, and oil from your fingers will become stuck in the crack. Avoid repairing it on your own, too, as it requires professional skills.
The sides of a guitar are just as susceptible to cracks because the wood is thinnest at these points. These are also more likely to get bumped and whacked, whether while playing or carrying the guitar. Even the braces at the sides won’t prevent cracks from showing and expanding.
When cracks are evident on the sides, these can be repaired in the same way as cracks on the top. Plus, the repair work won’t be as visible partly due to the grain hiding the glue marks.
The back of a guitar usually has a thicker and harder panel of wood. There’s less likelihood of it getting cracks, but it doesn’t mean that there will be no cracks at all.
The repair process for cracks in the back is almost the same as for the top and sides. Interior clean-up should be more thorough to avoid the repair work being noticeable from the soundhole.
Steps For Crack Repair
If you’re doing the repair work at home, you may want to keep these tips in mind. Otherwise, you should get your guitar to a professional luthier for the best results.
- Determine the damage, including locating the crack and assessing its extent.
- Prepare the guitar by removing its strings and placing it on a flat surface with a clean, soft cloth (towel or rags) for its protection. Be sure to remove any obstruction in and around the cracks, too.
- Apply the adhesive, such as the StewMac Bind-All Guitar Binding Glue, to the cleaned area.
- Secure the repair area using a clamp, such as the Shop Fox D2804 6-Inch Aluminum Deep Reach C-Clamp, for a few hours or until the adhesive dries completely.
- Apply light grain sandpaper on the repair area to remove excess glue.
To summarize, the cracks on your guitar aren’t the end of its life. You can still repair these cracks and get your guitar to sound great again.