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Finish Crack Question


BoGibsonCA

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Hi team, I have a 2003 J45 Custom with a lacquer crack (is not a structural issue). Will take it in to a great shop in Los Angeles next week (suggestions?), but any thoughts on how issues like this are dealt with and if this is a long-term, fatal flaw in the guitar?

 

I updated with larger images - thanks for thoughts!

 

IMG_9177_zpsyiiryaid.jpg

 

IMG_9176_zpsfwuc5zlt.jpg

 

IMG_9175_zpszf3yg45t.jpg

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Looks like meaningless finish checking to me that occurs with nitro finish guitars. On my Gibsons such finish checking comes and goes depending on the environment. At worst, it's a minor scratch, but to me it looks like finish checking from the photo. Try some polish on it. It may disappear and then reappear depending on the weather, humidity, etc. Either way looks like nothing to worry about.

 

Just my two cents.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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I'd echo what the others said. It's a Gibson. The time to worry is when you don't have finish cracks....

 

Seriously, any type of touch-up is probably going to be more trouble (and expense) than it is worth. Finish cracks generally occur when you take the guitar from a cold environment to a warmer one without letting it warm up gradually. You can take precautions to minimize it but, again, it's a Gibson so finish checking just kind of comes with the turf. Once you start "fixing" finish cracks, it becomes a Sisyphusian task because there'll always be another crack.

 

Some background: https://acousticguitarman.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/what-causes-guitar-finish-checking/

 

Here is Frank Ford's tutorial on how lacquer checks are filled in: http://frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Finish/Lacquer/CheckRepair/checkfill.html

 

Notice Ford says that, "After a month's drying time...." which is another way of saying that if you really want the check repaired, your guitar will be in the shop for awhile. The stuff takes forever to cure, and no competent luthier is going to let it out of the shop before it is fully dry.

 

I know the first finish crack on a pristine guitar takes awhile to get used to, just like the first dent or scratch. But tools get dented and scratched and, at the end of the day, guitars are tools. Beautiful tools, mind you, but still tools.

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Curious if this is the first issue that's come up with this guitar? Have you had it 14 years, or did you get it from the original owner? Irregularities are much more visible on darker finishes. Sort of like having a black car. Hand was only! Even using a regular bath towel to dry it is frowned upon by 'purists'. Of course, the dealer will not tell you this - they don't want you to buy the car, not scare you.

"Drive it like it's stolen!"

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Don't polish over the crazing area - the polish will dry inside the checks and will be even more noticeable! Just dampen towel / warm water and dry towel off is all, if it gets dirty.

 

That is how you should clean all guitars - just a cheesecloth, cotton diaper or something slightly dampened with distilled water.

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Don't polish over the crazing area - the polish will dry inside the checks and will be even more noticeable! Just dampen towel / warm water and dry towel off is all, if it gets dirty.

 

I think it's more concisely, be careful which polishes you use. Some are extremely mild and are fine to use. Some are not.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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That is how you should clean all guitars - just a cheesecloth, cotton diaper or something slightly dampened with distilled water.

 

Double check there isn't any do do in the diaper first, please.

 

But on the more serious side - what do you use on the arm sweat spot that seems to just smear with water?

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Double check there isn't any do do in the diaper first, please.

 

But on the more serious side - what do you use on the arm sweat spot that seems to just smear with water?

 

The Gibson brand guitar cleaner/polish is awesome for getting that arm haze off. I don't clean or wipe down my guitars regularly. I just hit them with the Gibson polish maybe a couple times a year and it gets rid of that haze in no time. For scratches I've had great results with Scratch X. I've used it a couple times when I was selling a guitar that had some light surface scratches and it worked amazingly well, resulting in a mirror finish.

 

GocCM7D.jpg

 

EiCTQUa.jpg

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Looks like meaningless finish checking to me that occurs with nitro finish guitars. On my Gibsons such finish checking comes and goes depending on the environment. At worst, it's a minor scratch, but to me it looks like finish checking from the photo. Try some polish on it. It may disappear and then reappear depending on the weather, humidity, etc. Either way looks like nothing to worry about.

 

Just my two cents.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

 

Thank you so much for taking a moment to look, and helping to educate me. I'd always baby'd it, so was worried when this appeared. That said, I'm not trying to sell it, just play it 'til I'm gone!

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The Gibson brand guitar cleaner/polish is awesome for getting that arm haze off. I don't clean or wipe down my guitars regularly. I just hit them with the Gibson polish maybe a couple times a year and it gets rid of that haze in no time. For scratches I've had great results with Scratch X. I've used it a couple times when I was selling a guitar that had some light surface scratches and it worked amazingly well, resulting in a mirror finish.

 

GocCM7D.jpg

 

EiCTQUa.jpg

 

Thanks for the recommendations! Hitting the shop today (and, if that fails, Amazon).

 

Cheers, friends, appreciate the kind words and advice. - B

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Curious if this is the first issue that's come up with this guitar? Have you had it 14 years, or did you get it from the original owner? Irregularities are much more visible on darker finishes. Sort of like having a black car. Hand was only! Even using a regular bath towel to dry it is frowned upon by 'purists'. Of course, the dealer will not tell you this - they don't want you to buy the car, not scare you.

"Drive it like it's stolen!"

 

Thanks for the question and the help.

 

This is the only issue with the guitar - nothing structural, or even any other finish "anomalies" (though even that is probably the wrong word given all the comments on how this is somewhat "normal"). I purchased this guitar about 3 years ago, so just after it's 10th or 11th bday. It's the J45 Custom Rosewood as noted in my sig. The mark was smaller when I got it - has spread a bit. I keep one of the Boveda/D'Addario humidity packs in the case with it at all times when not gigging/in-use. Is that a good idea? Have heard mixed things.

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I'd echo what the others said. It's a Gibson. The time to worry is when you don't have finish cracks....

 

Seriously, any type of touch-up is probably going to be more trouble (and expense) than it is worth. Finish cracks generally occur when you take the guitar from a cold environment to a warmer one without letting it warm up gradually. You can take precautions to minimize it but, again, it's a Gibson so finish checking just kind of comes with the turf. Once you start "fixing" finish cracks, it becomes a Sisyphusian task because there'll always be another crack.

 

Some background: https://acousticguitarman.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/what-causes-guitar-finish-checking/

 

Here is Frank Ford's tutorial on how lacquer checks are filled in: http://frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Finish/Lacquer/CheckRepair/checkfill.html

 

Notice Ford says that, "After a month's drying time...." which is another way of saying that if you really want the check repaired, your guitar will be in the shop for awhile. The stuff takes forever to cure, and no competent luthier is going to let it out of the shop before it is fully dry.

 

I know the first finish crack on a pristine guitar takes awhile to get used to, just like the first dent or scratch. But tools get dented and scratched and, at the end of the day, guitars are tools. Beautiful tools, mind you, but still tools.

 

Nothing but praise and thanks for your thoughtful response!!!

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Thanks for the recommendations! Hitting the shop today (and, if that fails, Amazon).

 

Cheers, friends, appreciate the kind words and advice. - B

 

Rather useless probably, check cracks usually begin near wood, so applying whatever outside will not help (if it is lacquer check).

I don't find it bad, a gibson with lacquer hairlines is nice and sexy...

If it is a mark above (means it has been damaged by something on the surface) then polish may help a bit...

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It's nothing to worry about. The lacquer on my old SJ200 ended up looking like a mirror that someone had thrown a brick at, that guitar was worked HARD though-I took it all over the world, 1200 or so gigs, five albums and plenty of plane holds over eight years.

 

The lacquer crazing didn't affect the sound whatsoever though...that thing was a cannon!

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