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tbonesullivan

How to stop finish cracking/checking at glue joints

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So, my 8 year old SG supreme has some finish cracks on the edge of the headstock, associated with the headstock binding and winglet joint. This guitar is in it's case indoors at home almost all of the time. It does go outside sometimes but always in the case. It is in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.

 

Any tips on stopping this from happening more? I already polish all of my Nitro guitars regularly with Gibson pump polish to nourish the finish. Should I look into possibly having it oversprayed with clear to fill in the cracks? and before anyone asks, there has been no physical damage to the headstock from dropping/etc. The cracks are only on the side of the headstock. There are none on the back, though you can see the glue joints through the finish.

 

finishcrack.jpg

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This is a simple and normal condition of paint and lacquer cracks caused by expansion/contraction of the wood due to temperature/humidity conditions. Visable "hairlines" of this nature does not signal any kind of glue joint or seem failure, they are just finish cracks. The only way to avoid this is to store/play the guitar only in a "laboratory" type climate controled environment, which a home/office HVAC system is not.

 

Overspraying with clear will only serve to devalue the guitar, and unless you also touch-up the paint color will do nothing to hide the area, and it is nearly impossible to get paint or stain to flow into such a narrow area for touch-up.

 

It's pretty much something you just have to live with unless you want to store your guitar in a hermetically sealed case and never play it. The good news is that this does not get worse, as through the extremes of the climate cycles it expands and contracts basically the same amount each time.

 

PS: This will also eventually happen around the joint at the neck pocket.

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It was like this when I got it, I just "re-noticed" it during a guitar lesson. So, best course is to continue storing it in a nice environment, keep it polished, and love it to death.

 

I mean, honestly, I don't think I'll ever sell it. It sounds great, looks great, and is literally my dream guitar, so resale value wouldn't be anything to worry about.

 

Anyway, thanks for the re-assurance. I finally have been playing this one regularly, as I finally got around to adjusting the truss rod to remove the forward bow. The rod had zero tension on it to start out with. Now I just need more guitar skills.

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Movement is inevitable with all laminated constructions - it's just a case of when and by how much. I would be tempted to refinish it - the beauty of nitro-cellulose is the ability to blend in new lacquer, and done properly the value wouldn't be affected. In fact to many people it's value would probably be higher.

 

New lacquer would melt the original finish and darken the crack - even if it didn't melt original pigment, the refractive index would change as the lacquer was drawn into the crack and it would appear darker.

 

But... there's the case for just letting thing be, and concentrating on playing rather than small cosmetic issues. [cool]

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Movement is inevitable with all laminated constructions - it's just a case of when and by how much. I would be tempted to refinish it - the beauty of nitro-cellulose is the ability to blend in new lacquer' date=' and done properly the value wouldn't be affected. In fact to many people it's value would probably be higher.

 

New lacquer would melt the original finish and darken the crack - even if it didn't melt original pigment, the refractive index would change as the lacquer was drawn into the crack and it would appear darker.

 

But... there's the case for just letting thing be, and concentrating on playing rather than small cosmetic issues. [cool

 

yeah, and as was pointed out to me, if I fix the cracks, even with a super thin nitro blend they may just come back. If i get anything done, definitely getting it done by a pro. I did touchups on stand rash on two guitars, and it's just a pain in the butt! waiting for the lacquer to dry for like a month, then sand with finer and finer paper.

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Movement is inevitable with all laminated constructions - it's just a case of when and by how much. I would be tempted to refinish it - the beauty of nitro-cellulose is the ability to blend in new lacquer' date=' and done properly the value wouldn't be affected. In fact to many people it's value would probably be higher.

 

New lacquer would melt the original finish and darken the crack - even if it didn't melt original pigment, the refractive index would change as the lacquer was drawn into the crack and it would appear darker.

[/quote']

 

I have to respectfully disagree with any argument for refinishing it. I just can't see the point. I would just live with it and accept it as a normal part of your guitar ageing gracefully.

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Remember my justification...

 

Every scratch just makes your guitar look cooler for when you are playing in front of 900000 people

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