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Need help patching a chip

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by wintremute, Apr 4, 2015.


  1. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    What is the easiest and cheapest way to fix the chip in my headstock, that won't affect any future/better fixes? Or, should I just leave it alone?

    EWj1KJu. OPkNRyO.
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    From what I understand, I'd go with the black superglue from stewmac and drip it on to fill the chip - not sure about how to mask the edge though.
     
  3. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms

    This one?
     
  4. s2bs2

    s2bs2

    Apr 1, 2009
    Sonoma, CA.
    the green painters tape that forms a better seal might work, but if it were me I'd leave it. MOJO
     
    Aqualung60 and tuba_samurai like this.
  5. What ever seeps through the green tape you should be able to carefully sand off. Build up some layers, buffing when you're done. Personally, I would leave it. Battle scars!
    Cool logo s2bs2
     
    s2bs2 likes this.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Wish it was around 30+ years ago back when I put that first chip in my then new black musicmaster (now it's stripped and awaiting rebuild).
     
  7. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    If I had put that chip in it, I might consider leaving it. Since I just got it, it bugs me...no history, just a blemish.
     
    Robert Canfield likes this.
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    If I had it here in my shop, I'd fill the chip with West Systems epoxy, tinted black. Black superglue will work too, but the black epoxy is easier to level sand and polish up to a gloss to match the laminate. Also, if you use multiple coats of superglue, you may get whiteish waterlines in it when you level sand it flat. The epoxy can be applied all at once.

    To mask the edge, I'd use black vinyl electrical tape. It's much stickier than masking tape.

    The trickiest part of the job is level sanding the repair so it's even with the clear coat over the laminate, without excessively scratching the clear coat. I'd do the level sanding with a hard block (wood or metal) behind the sandpaper. Bring the repaired area down to the height where you are just scuffing the clear coat. Don't use any paper coarser than 600 grit. I'd sand it with 600, 1000, 2000, and then buff it out. If you get it level and flat and get the scratches out, the repair should be nearly invisible.
     
    PDX Rich and wintremute like this.
  9. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    cant tell from the pic how deep the chip is, but Ive used black nail polish on my old Ric 4003 with really good results. I built up several layers and you could barely tell.
     
  10. BassShark

    BassShark

    Feb 16, 2007
    Metuchen, NJ
    I've been doing these type of repairs for years. To do it right you'll need some tools: a Sand Stick from Stew Mac with a few grades of sanding belts, some wet/dry paper grades-600-2500, a bottle of Super Glue accelerator, buffing compound like Meguiar's Show Car Glaze, a small piece of cork or rubber to act as a snading block for use with the sandpaper, and polishing cloth.

    For black finishes, I apply some black lacquer or nail polish (let it dry thoroughly before continuing), then a drop of accelerator (a drop then wipe it off, too much may result in the super glue "foaming") then a drop of regular clear Super Glue with a toothpick (it's been years since I tried the Stew Mac black super glue, but when I did it was black and tarry, not good at all, plus the way I do it is cheaper). You don't have to mask off the surrounding area since you'll be applying thin layers that will set almost immediately with the accelerator...removing super glued masking tape is even worse than removing excess glue!

    The clear super glue will set almost instantaneously, so spread it around evenly with the toothpick before it does. Repeat these steps (you may need to apply another thin coat of black paint, if so, again let it dry thoroughly before continuing) until the glue is slightly above the surrounding finish, then use the sand stick to level it down and go through all the sandpaper grades with a piece of cork or hard rubber just large enough to cover the repair area. On a modern instrument with a poly finish, it's thick enough that you needn't worry about sanding through to the wood. When it looks as smooth as the surrounding finish, buff it out. Done carefully the repair will be undetectable!

    If you aren't going to do it properly without the sanding and buffing you'd be better off leaving it alone and living with the chip. Honest wear's a lot better that an amateur repair.
     
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  11. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    This isn't just a chip in the paint. That's a sheet of black plastic that's glued onto the face of the headstock, and then coated with clear. A chunk of the plastic is broken off, and the areas nearby are lifting up. The plastic is about 0.025"-0.030" thick, I believe. It needs to be glued back down and the missing chunk replaced with a hard glue like epoxy or superglue. You aren't going to fill that with paint. Well, I guess you could, but it would take about 30 coats.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  12. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    "Honest wear's a lot better that an amateur repair."

    I may have to go that route.
     
    GregT and tuba_samurai like this.
  13. GregT

    GregT

    Jan 29, 2012
    Southwest Missouri
    So this would probably be out of the question? OPkNRyO.
     
  14. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Two words:
    Sharpie.

    <ducks, returns to lurk cave.>
     
  15. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Vegas
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    That's my level of craftsman ship. I'd probably get that bandage crooked.
     

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