Instructables

can you fix a guitar with wood putty alone?

I have an old acousitc guitar witch my music teacher gave me (Mrs. M's so nice) it has tons of cracks and. I was wondering if I could fix it by just using wood putty and a sander and then spray paint it a different color. any suggestions?

*i'm also gonna make an instructable out of this.

Irock148 (author) 3 years ago
ye but the guitar is a vintage or atlest i think it is
If you think it's worth something, or would be after repair, then I agree with the suggestion that you not try to fix it without expert advice, and that if it isn't buzzing you could just leave it alone and call the cracks part of the instrument's character.

I'd suggest getting someone reasonably savvy to actually look at the instrument and make sure the cracks don't endanger its structural stability. If it isn't going to get worse, and it isn't hurting the sound, then you can wait before trying to make it better.

If you were in the White Plains NY area, I'd have a good luthier to refer you to for advice. I'd suggest asking other guitar players to (a) look at it and (b) give you suggestions for who might give you a cheap/free professional evaluation.

Actually, having a pro look at it to make sure it's set up properly might not be a bad idea anyway. As I understand it, one of the things which makes a huge difference in playability of a guitar is how high the strings are above the frets, which is something that can be adjusted. A couple bucks invested now might make the instrument more responsive and enjoyable.

Have fun with it. Stringed instruments are a family I haven't played with much, but instruments of any kind are a Wonderful Thing.
orksecurity3 years ago
Acoustic instruments rely on the resonance of the wood to help amplify their sound. I'm not convinced that wood putty would respond at all reasonably.

There's an instructable on "How to fix the backing of an acoustic guitar". I haven't looked at it but it would probably have some good suggestions.
I tend to agree with Orksecurity in a fundamental way.

However... If the cracks are very small (cosmetic) then a little wood putty won't hurt too much, considering it's your first guitar, and it was a "freebie", it's probably not an heirloom instrument that needs to be reconditioned by experts, and at a guess, you likely wouldn't be able to afford the professional repairs anyway.

Depending on the crack sizes, as long as there is no buzzing caused by the cracks, you may just be better off leaving them alone
Good points.
.  +1. Unless you have some reason to believe this is a valuable guitar and you have the resources to have it professionally repaired: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Your local musical instrument stores should be able to tell you if it is worth spending any time/money on it.
.  If it is a valuable instrument, you may do more harm than good if you try to repair it yourself.
btw, if your cracks are "large", really the best repair would probably entail finding the same type of wood and gluing fitted, inlayed splinters of said wood into the cracks rather than to fill them with pastes.

This of course presumes the cracks were caused by shrinkage due to many years of improper storage which can't be fixed in the "right" way (which is quite complex and entails removal and sometimes replacement of the piece to do it correctly.
Irock148 (author)  orksecurity3 years ago
it's not the back it's the front at the sound hole.and that instrctable is how to fix a guitar with the back coming of the sid and the front
caarntedd3 years ago
I would do it. It may not sound perfect, but if you were given it for nothing, you have nothing to lose. I think it would still sound good enough to learn on.
Instead of trying to fix your guitar with wood putty alone, you should invite a friend to help you fix the guitar with wood putty. That way you won't be alone.
;-)