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Body splits - worth saving?


hankhill
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Polling for opinions here, and I hope I’m in the correct section.   I bought an ash telecaster bass body on FleaBay which was sold as road worn.  It’s not a genuine Fender body and was never described as such. I decided it would make a nice lockdown project as I have several Precisions but no Telecaster bass, and whilst I don’t personally like the “fake-relic’d” look I quite fancied a “genuine roadworn” style.   I already have a Genuine Fender 90’s Precision pickup going spare, and this body is routed for that, which is one reason I bought it.

Anyhow, when it arrived it was pretty crap, it looked like it had been painted with Dulux so I decided to strip it to respray.  Once I’d done that I could see a couple of gaps where the three district sections are glued together, see photos. The gaps don’t seem to move when I push on the body, although I haven’t pushed too heavily of course.

So, my basic question is, am I flogging a dead horse with this body?  I have already bought all the other parts; I lucked into an absolutely gorgeous unused Telecaster bass neck, its again non Fender but looks really nice quality.  I bought the other bits from Northwest Guitars.  So, I’m quite committed but I don’t want to spend a ton of time and money if this body is not worth it.

Would dripping some lightly diluted PVA glue into the cracks be a decent fix?  Or do I just fill, spray, and pray?

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Hi

Yes - it doesn't look like it is structurally unsound so I think it is eminently fixable. 

There a number of ways of tackling, but personally I would get a tube of thin superglue (not the gel type and not Gorilla - Gorilla thin cyano is still too thick - more like thin Bostik superglue you can get in Homebase, etc..  Any cyano will do but it needs to be that kind of thinness.) and use it to stop the two cracks creeping any further

I would then squirt it liberally either side of where the crack starts.  Capillary action will 'suck' the glue deep into the crack and this should stop the crack getting longer.  It will suck in quite a lot so I would go for a medium size tube rather than the smaller one.

Having stabilised the crack I would then fill with whatever is your preferred filler so that it doesn't show through the final paint finish.

 

 

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Strong glue and lots of clamps. Clamps everywhere, you can never have too many!!

 

seriously though, glue and clamp should be  fine, unless you just want to scrape the crack out and use wood filler, but I’d glue and clamp.

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It appears that body has been made from 3 planks glued together (common practice, especially for budget instruments). The cracks look to be gaps opening between the individual planks. Probably caused by the planks shrinking at different rates, glue drying out and so on. From the look of the woods, they are pretty different in terms of grain, density, etc. Strong glue, clamping etc should fix, but be aware there's a chance they could open up again.

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If there's no flex between those sections of of the body, it'll probably be perfectly fine, especially since the neck and the bridge are anchored to the same section of wood.

I'd get some slightly diluted wood glue and some veneer and fill 'em up. If you don't have veneer handy you can use stout plane shavings or just use sawdust for convenience. Filler will work too but like sawdust it won't be the same long grain glued to long grain strength.

 

If there is flex I'd open it up till you can thoroughly clean it, breaking it off if necessary, then glue it like you mean it!

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If not done already, get a syringe, full it with Gorilla Glue and squirt in down into the split/join, then clamp it up, wiping away the excess that might have come out.  Onece it's set up, fill the surface with Gorilla and some sanding dust, allow to dry and rub back.

To be honest, I think the stripping you've done looks brilliant as is and I'd just leave it at that.  Each to their own, I suppose.  Maybe just fill the scratchplate holes with the aforementioned Gorilla/dust.and put some faux-aged/rusted hardware on it.  Nice/manky rosewood Tele-bass neck, sorted.

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Thanks to all who answered. I’ve filled the splits with Superglue, drying as I write. But now, you’ve got me thinking... I was going to sand, fill, and spray the body with a rattle can, I fancied dark gray and I have some black carbon fibre effect vinyl that I could put on the scratch plate.  Now, I’m thinking of leaving the body as it is, as suggested. Decisions...

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I’d oil it and leave it as it is. 
 

OR 

get some nitro paint, mask off the edges plus say three inches in on all sides and spray paint onto the body 

like an anti-relic

Relic fans normally take paint off, you’d be putting it right back on ... keep going and it’ll get closer and closer to showroom condition :)

 

seriously you’ll never get this look again so I’d fettle it and fit everything and spend some time thinking exactly kind of paint it really needed 

Edited by Geek99
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Ok, one more question sorry.  Maybe this should be a new thread.  If I want to end up with a yellowed aged/vintage look, which would be the best option - Tru Oil, boiled linseed, Danish?  Or are they all pretty much the same thing? The wood is apparently Ash which I think has a more grey colour naturally. 

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Tru oil adds a bit of yellow when you put a few coats on. The three you mentioned are in the ballpark but all with different formulations and slightly different finishes. Here is a roasted maple neck I did before and part way through. Depending on how many coats you put on you get more or less gloss.

FCE3B1DE-C442-4EBF-8B60-D7AED7E37BA0_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.623469e34595683ef4048060fa7ec4cb.jpeg9C803057-1C47-464C-A14A-11C5E92B7C0B_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.e2bda0314d8567f032087b4ca52036b5.jpeg

Not great pictures, but you'll get an idea that the tru oil adds some vintage-ish tint.

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4 hours ago, hankhill said:

Ok, one more question sorry.  Maybe this should be a new thread.  If I want to end up with a yellowed aged/vintage look, which would be the best option - Tru Oil, boiled linseed, Danish?  Or are they all pretty much the same thing? The wood is apparently Ash which I think has a more grey colour naturally. 

Test it at the back of the heel where it isn't going to show, but I think you will find that you will probably need to stain it or add stain to the Tru-oil for the kind of colour you describe.  The Tru-oil (and any other oil) will darken the wood but won't change the basic colour tone.

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