Repair Spotlight: Gypsy Braces

Repair Spotlight: Panel Door
The Repair Shop sees their fair share of instrument disasters. Dropped, kicked,   water damaged, dried out are just a few of the many maladies that can befall a perfectly good guitar. When this particular Gypsy Jazz acoustic showed up in the shop it provided a new level of challenge in exactly how they were going to not only gain access to the top crack, but also how to get inside and clamp the braces. On a traditional dreadnought style guitar, the sound hole provides access for luthiers to make such structure repairs. But on a "Petite Bouche" guitar there's no way to stick a hand or clamps inside to glue things up. After sizing up the repair it was determined that taking the back off the guitar would be prohibitively expensive. As an alternative the decision was made to cut a panel to gain access to the damage. Here are a few photos documenting the process.

Part I: Plan of Attack

Repair Spotlight - finding the braces
Repair Shop Luthiers Mike H and Matt H discus the best plan of attach for repairing the guitar.
Repair Spotlight - Templating the Cut
A template is laid out on the side of the guitar for where the access panel will be cut
Repair Spotlight - Plunging the dremel
A dremel and Stew Mac jig were used to cut/drill the proper depth
Repair Spotlight: Access Panel
The rough opening is made allowing access to the damaged guitar

Part II: Glue it up

Repair Spotlight: Cracked Brace
Here is a close-up on the cracked brace that need to be clamped and glued (not the green arrow for reference)
Here are just a few of the various custom made clamps that the Repair Shop utilizes when fixing up a crack
Repair Spotlight: Fixed Braces

Interior shot of the clamps as the glue dries 

Part III: Finishing detailsRepair Spotlight: Finished

Once the glue had dried, and clamps removed work began on dressing up the access panel and making a pass at making it blend as best as possible which included lacquer pens to color the raw wood to match the side.Repair Spotlight: Finished Patch
A close-up on the panel reinstalled with the lacquer pen used to blend the wood grain so that the cut doesn't jump out as much
FInished up crack repair
The finished panel and top crack on display
Repair Spotlight: Top Crack
The closed up top crack
Repair Spotlight: Panel Door
The finished side panel with lacquer pen wood grain


Repair Spotlight


Scott Vickroy

March 30 2016

Never a doubt, I would trust them with any repair.

Matt K

April 01 2016

Thanks Scott!

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