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Old 04-26-2015, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default Martin Guitar Crack Under Bridge

Hello guys!

Nice to meet you guys! I'm new and this is my first topic here.

I'm REALLY concerned about my guitar and I want to share my doubts with you, looking forward an answer that can help me.
Two months ago I bought a Martin DX1AE, used from eBay. Apparently the guitar was perfect, and I really think it was. I have been busy, without time to play and to be honest, unfortunately, I played five or six times in two months.
I live in New York City, in an apartment with the AC always on. Concerned about humidity, i bought an Hygrometer and an Oasis Plus Humidifier.
The guitar is always protected by the case, and inside the case the humidity is 30%-40% and temperature 60F-70F, even with the humidifier.
Ok, there we go.
I opened the case and found a "crack" in my guitar, under the bridge. As I said before, without time to play, just opening the case to put the humidifier, I never saw the crack before. Yes, Im disappointed about that and blaming me for being stupid.
In my guitar, under the bridge, there are different shades of wood, masking the crack. Probably the crack enhanced during the last days and I just realized now.
I'm attaching pictures, and my questions are:
1 - Of course, but, it is really a crack, right? (i dont know why but i'm trying to close my eyes for it)
2 - Is it a severe crack?
3 - At the time, I have no money to pay a luthier. Could I repair by myself?
4 - Could you guys, suggest me the best type of glue to do it?

*Sorry, I posted the links because the imgs are more than 600px wide.

All help is more than welcome, I really need to repair it as soon as possible.

Thank you so much to read my topic and please apologize my english, this is not my first language.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:24 PM   #2
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Judging from the apparent filler in the crack on the closeup it appears to be an OEM crack in the joint or the Ebay seller tried to hide it .I would contact Martin and find out who is an authorized Martin repair person in your area and have them check it out. Martin might step up but probably not since it is an Ebay sale.
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:34 AM   #3
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The crack is right along the seam where the two halves of the "bookend" pieces of the spruce top were joined. With that in mind, it's not so much a "crack" as a "separation" ... probably from shrinkage due to exposure to excessively dry conditions. This is easily remedied with a slow and patient re-humidification. I know you own a Martin, but Bob Taylor has an excellent series of YouTube videos showing exactly how to accomplish what your guitar needs. Here's a link to the two video series ... Best of luck!



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2011 Eastman AC812 OM
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Last edited by Blackville; 04-27-2015 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:45 AM   #4
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Well, boy-howdy!, am I confused!

You bought this guitar TWO months ago?

You live in New York City?

And you ALWAYS have the AC on?!

Which New York City are we talking about where you are running the AC in February and March?

After two months of you not noticing it's certainly too late to go back to the seller for any recourse.

A case offers no protection from the humidity effects unless you have a humidifier inside the case and you are constantly checking and refreshing the moisture content. In a worst case scenario, humidifiers inside the case may actually cause too much localized humidity.

I'm going to assume you and I are both talking about the NYC that resides in the NorthEastern portion of the US of A and you've been running the heat over the last two months. Forced air heat is more drying than cooling so this is the most likely culprit in your situation. Recommendations vary but generally if you are keeping the humidity in the area of your guitar in the 35-60% range, there should be no concerns over wood shrinkage/expansion. However, any significant temperature change could affect the top plate if the guitar was not given sufficient time to acclimate itself to the new temperature. Once a crack appears it will tend to become larger over a very short time.

As stated, the separation appears to have occurred at the joint between the two bookended pieces of wood which make up your guitar's top plate. This is not a manufacturing defect IMO. It is a reflection of handling by the owner. That's not an indictment of your handling, just a cause.

You cannot really repair this yourself. Not unless you're the type who likes buying all the tools to do, say, a valve adjustment yourself. The repair must be done from the underside of the top plate and most of us just don't have the tools or experience working by way of mirrors to do a good job at such a repair. The top plate will need to be clamped, cleats installed and then re-glued together. This is a fairly common repair for any technician. Stewart MacDonald has the tools for this sort of repair if you want to try it yourself. After you buy everything though, you'd probably be better off just handing the guitar to a tech to do the job right.

Ask around at any competent guitar shop for a suggestion of a reputable repair tech. Several of the chain stores may have a tech on hand. Cracks/separations are generally repaired according to the length of the crack. A two inch crack is cheaper to repair than a seven inch crack. Fortunately, there's little work to be done to the top plate's front so you'll be saving some money there. Discuss with the tech the amount of cosmetic repair you desire.

You're looking at approximately a $150-225 repair (guessing at NYC costs) and you'll be without your guitar for about one week average. Since this is a separation along the entire distance between the bridge and the tailpiece, this could be a situation where it's not cost efficient to repair the guitar. Ask for an estimate of costs before you hand anyone your guitar. Estimates must be done in person, they can't be honestly done over the phone or via email. This is a common enough problem that it shouldn't take much examination by the tech to give a reasonable quote for the repair. And, of course, tell the tech to call you before doing any repairs beyond the crack itself. You don't want to go out to pick up your guitar only to find the tech has also repaired a cracked headstock that you didn't realize needed repair. Not saying there are disreputable repair techs, just that a repair tech can - and should as a service - spot problems you don't immediately notice. If they begin fixing everything on certain guitars, you'll quickly exceed the value of the instrument.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:11 AM   #5
Franks repair
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Default repair

really look for a qualified repairman.hydrate water and hot hide glue ,clamp for an invisible tightbond or elmers glue good luck
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crack, glue, guitar, martin, repair

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