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Repair tele chipsHow do I repair a dime sized chip in poly


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#1 Panther_spawn

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 01:57 PM

Hey there,
I picked up a used tele for a good deal but the finish has some dime sized chips in the poly all the way down to the wood. Anyone have an idea as to the best way to repair these chips without respraying the whole thing? There's no paint color to match as its natural, but I'd really like to get it cleaned up and the wood protected. Any input is greatly appreciated. I've looked at some tutorials on the crazy glue fills, but I'm not sure if this chip would be too large for that technique. I have pictures, but don't see where the option is to upload them to the post.

#2 dadfad

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:17 PM

Go to the Stewart-MacDonald's website. They sell just about anything you need for repairing and restoring guitars. They also have hundreds of free tutorials and videos for doing repairs. You might find one that you're looking for. Otherwise it's pretty tough to explain a repair without seeing the instrument. And welcome to GuitarZone.


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#3 Panther_spawn

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 12:54 PM

Thanks. I've seen many of the stew Mac repairs with CA glue, but all the ones I find are much smaller chips than what is in mine. I have a good idea of how it could be done, but joined it it woukd work for larger chunks of poly missing.

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It's finally going to let me upload photos. Here are the ones of my telecaster. As you can see, one piece is missing down to the wood, the other is just starting to bubble up and crack. One on the front of the body, the other on the back. My biggest concern is that the major one on the front is on a slight curve. Not quite sure how the glue method would work with that.

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#4 dadfad

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 05:08 AM

Short of refinishing the whole guitar (which I rarely advise doing) what I would do is probably use nitrocellulose lacquer  dripped onto the spot a number of times allowing each "drip" to dry before the next. The first time I would thin the lacquer slightly which would allow it to get in and under the old coat of finish a bit to sort of seal it into the new. Then use thicker coats to build up the chip to the level of the original coat or slightly higher. After you've built up the surface to slightly higher than the original, you can use fine-grit wet-sanding papers to blend it into the profile of the old finish. (They come in different grades of fine and coarseness right down to a micro-finish so fine it doesn't even feel like an abrasive.) Be sure to use a light touch in a sort of circular motion and keep it fairly wet as you get close to being finished.

 

The re-finished area will be sort of dull of course. You can then use a polish and a wax to give it the sheen you want. (When re-finishing using nitrocellulose lacquer you can also use a light mist of pure lacquer thinner at the end. The thinner will sort of  allow the lacquer to flow-out the micro-scratches from the abrasives and become even more fine.) And then polish it up.

 

The amount of work and time you want to put into it really depends on what you're trying to achieve. Just simple protection of course requires much less time and effort (and expense) than trying to bring the repair as close to perfect as possible. I usually use (and recommend) using nitrocellulose lacquer (or acrylic lacquer, more often available at auto-paint stores) because epoxy is much harder to work with and often doesn't take well to sanding and polishing techniques. When using one finish-base chemical over another (like lacquer over epoxy, or epoxy over enamel, etc) use the new re-finishing material as sparingly as possible as sometimes the different solvents will "clash" which might cause blurring, peeling or lifting. And try to let one coat dry before adding another so as to avoid "saturating" the old finish with the new finish's solvent.

 

You probably won't need it (or want to bother), but if you're really concerned about a perfect match you could always tint an under-layer of lacquer to more closely match the older wood-tone if necessary. (On old valuable vintage guitars I've even used an artist's paint-brush cut down to only several hairs in width to hand-paint the matching wood-grains into the repair.)

 

So you have to decide what you're trying to achieve and the amount of time and effort and expense you want to put into the repair.

 

Myself, unless a guitar is fairly valuable and/or collectible I don't use a "heroic" effort on the repair. Just functional and reasonably cosmetic. Depending on what you want you could spend between ten dollars and a couple of hours to over a hundred dollars and twenty or more hours on it. Also, unless you have a bit of experience I'd suggest you do the repair on the back first to get a better idea of what you're doing.

 

There's another member of GuitarZone, Adam ( member-name "adds") who's a luthier. If he sees this topic he can probably give you some more (or better) advice.

 

Anyway, I hope I've helped a little. And good luck!


Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#5 Dave C

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 05:15 AM

I would not repair it. I love a relic look. That's just me, but this is not my guitar, it's yours. so good luck with it.



#6 vinnie1971

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:13 AM

It's a poly finish. You can repair it with thinned super glue but it would look terrible. There are 2 solutions:
Leave it
Strip and refinish it, but that's not easy as it's a poly finish


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