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Thread: Heartbreak Hotel

  1. #1
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Heartbreak Hotel

    Hey there,

    Well, heartbreak city. My beloved acoustic guitar fell off its instrument stand and got a nasty chip as shown in this picture.

    I have a preferred person I’d like to repair it (that’s you Mr. Hamlett!), and am just hoping to hear some discussion from you all as to what the repair will entail/how bad is it?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts. :-)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Kevin Briggs; May-29-2021 at 10:28am. Reason: To include a pic

  2. #2
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    From your photos, Kevin, I wonder if the neck joint has been loosened? There is a very fine line running the depth of the fingerboard just at the neck join and I wondere if this is a symptom of the neck having a stress fracture. I did not notice it right away as I was looking at the nasty chip. I hope not, and Mr Hamlett will certainly be able to do a proper assessment.
    Hope it turns out well for you.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    What unusual damage you have there. Did it hit on a sharp edge? Were you able to save to chip to be reglued?

    I don't think the neck joint is damaged, and the fingerboard "line" is a reflection. Should be quite savable.

  4. #4
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Thanks John and NotMelloCello,

    Yes, I think what appears to be a crack in or around the neck joint is a reflection from the window behind me while taking a picture. Thank goodness.

    I was not able to save the chip. I looked everywhere for it on the stage but only found a few of what I believe were remnants. Sad for sure. It feels to me like it's structural for sure, but as it did not impact tone or playability is thankfully seems like a patch job, if such a thing exists. It's great t o have so many skilled luthiers and enthusiasts on the Cafe to chime in and lend some encouragement. :-)

    Oh, and it hit on the top of my bandmate's metal instrument stand, which explains the isolated chip. Kudos to Martin and Co. for making such a sturdy instrument. I've had it for 21 years and this is the first damage of this kind. So, it was a bit rattling to say the least.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Sorry, Kevin! Agree with the others that it should be fixable, and Mr. Hamlett has mad skills!

    Iíve been lucky to have only had two such crashes. One was my Kentucky 675-S starter mando that was a bit of an eBay mess Iíve griped about before. I canít remember now if I had it propped against a piano bench or the couch, but a dog or toddler (both in the vicinity and I wasnít watching) knocked it over. Standard headstock scroll crack. Fortunately the binding held, so it was an easy glue up. Now my babies go in the case or my Hercules hanging stand when I leave the room (and the current dogs are smaller and the toddlerís a rising senior in college, lol).

    The other happened when I had my G and L Indonesian tele around my neck on a strap and went to put it and the music I was using away. Had a beverage in the other hand, and the strap slipped off the end pin. Caught it on the first bounce (and didnít spill my beverage ), but it took a good chip out of the lower bout. It still plays great, and I just call it ďnaturally distressed,Ē but I always have a hand on the instrument now (and strap locks on the tele).

    I hope you get yours repaired quickly!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    It is an odd bit of damage. After zooming in on the photo, I'd guess that it landed on something hard and possibly pointed between the 11th and 12th frets. Just from that photo it appears to be cosmetic. If it plays and sounds OK, then it's likely nothing else is damaged. My guess is that a repairman would pull at least the 11th and 12th frets and route out that section into a smooth curve so that new mahogany and ebony could be fitted, glued, and shaped. Once that's complete the area would be stained, sprayed, leveled, and buffed to match the adjacent finish. Reinstall the frets and do any necessary setup adjustments and it would at least be unobtrusive. It would be near impossible make it disappear entirely.

  7. #7
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Thanks for your replies, everyone.

    Todd, thatís a similar approach to what Iíve been hearing. Iím resigned to the fact that it will be a challenge to make it a perfect match regarding the color. Itís okay though. I keep thinking of Willie Nelsonís ďTriggerĒ and that seems to help, lol.

    It still sounds wonderful and otherwise plays great, so Iím grateful it does indeed seem to be cosmetic.

  8. #8
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Battle scars. Character. Perhaps even panache
    Glad it's not as serious as it could have been. Hope you're able to get it taken care of soon.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Buck tells the whole story. You're looking at scarfed in ebony and mahogany patches, leveling, filling and finishing. For such a small area it's going to be a lot of work and $$. It's a shame the chips couldn't be recovered.

    Oh yes, and get a Hercules stand.

  10. #10
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Take some comfort from the fact that you now play a genuine "distressed" model. And you didn't have to pay a dime for the "distressing.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  11. #11

    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Overall, I'd say you got lucky, considering the fall.

    Given, the location of the strap button, you could dangle a fluffy feather boa, which should conceal most of the damage. (I know, I know -- I too, thought they went out of style with Steven Tyler and David Bowie, but it seems they are making a comeback with Harry Styles' crowd......FWIW)

    Not sure what the Bluegrass crowd would think, though.....

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    Just stick to cowboy chords and don’t look at it.
    Don

    2016 Weber Custom Bitterroot F
    2011 Weber Bitterroot A
    1974 Martin Style A

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Heartbreak Hotel

    I have fixed a couple of instruments for a friend of mine and he will tell me not to match anything, he wants to see that it is repaired to remind him to be more careful. So there is always that.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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