I just found these drumsticks in my guitar…

This poor Fender dreadnought took a bad fall and had it’s top separated and most of its bracings loosend. A few actually fell out as a result. Here’s how it showed up to us…

Okay, first thing’s first. Since every brace was at least partially loose, it made the most sense to remove the top to properly glue and clamp each piece. We begin by removing the neck , since the lip of the fingerboard is glued to the soundboard.  This isn’t for the faint of heart, but this guitar will thank us in the end. First we remove the fret over the dovetail joint, drill a hole and steam that baby loose.

Here we are with the soundboard removed.  I know we skipped some steps to get here, but it’s hard to hold a camera in your mouth and I can’t afford a film crew yet. Either that or you just don’t want to see how this happens. Pick which answer suits you best.

This view shows the missing braces, a damaged bridge plate and other structural issues.

The body fared better, but still required some of the bracing to be removed, cleaned up and reglued.

Next we get to clamping. This view shows the 3rd round, since we only have space for so many clamps at a time…

Now we fast-forward to replacing the top. Lots of tape and a few clamps ensure a snug fit and this Fender will be back to playing shape in no time.

Except for a few battle scars, it’s all ready to go. There is some filler in the binding and a few bumps from the impact, but they’re hardly noticeable. Lots and lots of buffing made the edges look and feel good. After all, you can’t expect a top to bounce out of it’s kerfling without a few bruises. Fortunately, the poly finish on this Asian-manufactured guitar left clean edges in the clear coat that made our job a bit easier. It could have gone the other way and cracked clear into the top, so we got lucky.  One stress crack on the upper bout is the only one that is really noticeable, but after being wet-sanded and buffed it looks fine.  This guitar’s been through a lot these last few days, so it really deserves some nice open chord playing for a few hours. I think a nice happy C chord will make it feel like it’s old self.

Here’s the worst of it. Full disclosure and all…

And there you have it. Another sunny day at the repair bench of Coyle’s Richboro Music.

Thanks to Ross for letting us tackle this one for you.


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