Instructables

How to fix the backing of an acoustic guitar

I recently acquired an Alvarez 5014 made September 22, 1975. It was overall in good shape. However, apart from being horribly out of tune the back was coming loose. This instructable is meant to show you how to return good sound to this classic guitar. It sounds fantastic now, I like it a bit better than my friend's martin and it is more cheerful than my other guitar (Ventura V-11). The process over all is very simple.

I hope you all enjoy reading about a quick fix for your damaged guitars.
 
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Step 1: Gathering supplies

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You will need:
A clamp
Some glue (multi-purpose glue works but wood glue would be best)
A guitar with the back coming off.

Step 2: Glue it

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Apply glue generously along to edge that is sticking out. Snap it down into the guitar completely and put moderate pressure on the guitar, just enough so it bends a bit.

Step 3: Let it be; Let it be

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Lean the guitar up against a study object, like a desk, and let it be for a few hours. I left mine alone for about 3 hours.

Step 4: Clean the wound

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Undoubtedly there will be some glue residue on the back so take a soft guitar pick. I never use the traditional pick, always a finger pick or just my thumb. Rub gently and the dried glue should come off.

Step 5: Add it to your collection

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Add it to your collection or play a song

I suggest Hurt by Johnny Cash

tab is heretab is here

or hot cross buns if your not good, just google it.
Chicken Spit7 months ago
It would be an interesting project to completely remove the back and replace it with a solid peice of tonewood. I'm guessing your guitar has a laminated back, in which case you could potentially achieve an improved tone. I would probably stick with hot hide glue, though. It is used by luthiers because it loosens with heat and humidity, which means we can take it appart to do repairs.
Rakshana2 years ago
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neffk3 years ago
Sorry, but I can't see what's going on. Do you have another picture? Try the macro setting next time. It often has the symbol of a flower.

jayp9095 years ago
I just found an old acoustic in my garage today that I got like 6 years ago at a thrift store. I'm figuring on doing some sort of project with it but upon inspecting it I noticed the back was coming off, low and behold two hours later I'm dicking around on instructables and came across this. Thanks man.
duck-lemon6 years ago
meh
adrewmc (author)  duck-lemon6 years ago
Meh? please use fully formed thoughts in responses.
sorry my brother got ahold of my computer (i'm on auto login on instructables) "meh" is what i say alot at home i guess he thought it would be funny. sorry ~duck-lemon
adrewmc (author)  duck-lemon6 years ago
It's cool.
Ah Yes the old glue controversy.. Well what was used before titebond. Hide Glue requires a Hot Pot. Well since this is not a $2000 guitar and its Yours. So what if you used a little bit of Elmers all purpose. I remember when Elmers 1st came out with Elmers Wood/Carpentry glus, and then a few years after that then came Titebond. Many years ago when I was Young and had little money to afford all the Tools or enough to maybe pay someone else, I Confess, I did it. I used Elmers glue to do some acoustic repairs. and I also Built an Electric Solidbody using Elmers and Pipe Clamps to glue the wings on the body. It held just fine. Maybe not the Best way but it was allright for me. Bottom line my friend, You did a Good Job for yourself. Others maybe would have done it differend, better or whatever??? Lert me know if you would sell your little alvarez. I got one of them and would like to have a back up. reply to donsjohns@yahoo.com Take Care and God Bless...
It seems rather irresponsible to put out an 'ible of such low magnitude, tsk tsk. No clamp cauls? Elmer's? Only spreading glue on the outside of a joint? Doesn't bode well for repairing a guitar of any price range. To anyone attempting any amateur luthier work, might I suggest projectguitar.com ? You have to be careful with regard to what's on here.
adrewmc (author)  guitarman63mm5 years ago
Hmm... "edge that is sticking out" that sounds an awful lot like gluing the joint. and since when is a bond not a bond? it has held perfectly well and has played beautifully so why waste time doing something that is indistinguishable from an easier way?
Sounds on awful lot like you missed out on a shop class or two! A joint is supposed to be perfectly planed and cut to get the best resonance and most durability. If you only smear school glue on the outside of a rough joint, it won't sound correct, and it is asking to just crack again. It's liken to covering your car's engine in oil, rather than putting it in the correct tank. It's not a waste of time to do something the correct way. It's VERY distinguishable to tell when someone has done a poor job, especially with woodworking and the aesthetic properties of it. A bond is a bond. A bond is a weak bond when you fail to prep the joint and use the correct glue and methods, which is what you've exhibited. Presumably, you're young, so I can't hold you to much of anything, but honestly, don't give impressionable people advice on something you appear to know little about. I don't know how I could word that more politely, but regardless.
This is good instruction. There are one or two things I'd do differently I think. My suggestions would be to use titebond original, and make sure you use calls on the clamp so that you don't dent the guitar, or scratch the lovely finish. Alvarez makes a great guitar though I have to agree. :)
emilyguitar6 years ago
It's a good instructable, but I would personally not use Elmers. I'm sure it works fine, but for my own guitar I would suggest maybe Titebond Original or another similiar glue, just for peace of mind.

I glued a guitar headstock with Titebond and it's holding up, so I'm sure that it would hold up on the back of a guitar.

=)
zipykido6 years ago
Are you sure that elmer's glue doesn't react with the wood at all? I'd hate for my guitar to start discoloring because of the chemicals in glue.
adrewmc (author)  zipykido6 years ago
I have had it glued for three weeks and it doesn't. The only discolouration that occurs is the dried glue which is easily removed with a pick or even your fingernails.
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