Crack Repairs – Repairing Wood Cracks in Guitars

Wood is the most common material for guitar construction. A few particular tree species such as Ebony, Maple, Rosewood Mahogany and Spruce have long been staples within the industry. The type chosen for a particular task is based on a combination of factors such as: availability, tonal qualities, aesthetic beauty, workability, tradition, strength, and durability. 

As with anything made of wood, if they are to last, guitars require care and consideration to protect them from damage. Wood cracks can usually be attributed to one of two main causes: Impact (such as a drop or hit) or humidity issues. While the causes may be simple, the variation is nearly endless. The following is an overview of the common ways that wooden guitars can crack and corresponding methods of repair.

Acoustic Strap Buttons

A guitar strap allows the player to securely position the instrument in a comfortable spot without the need to physically hold it. They can be useful whether playing seated or standing.

Strap buttons are the connecting points that let the user easily secure and/or remove the strap as needed. Each guitar strap needs needs two points of contact. On an acoustic guitar, these points are typically the endpin and either the headstock or the heel.

Electric Guitar Neck Shims

When performing a setup on a bolt-on necked electric guitar, shims are a way to quickly adjust the angle at which the neck joins the body, facilitating the desired action adjustment.

We commonly find improvised shims installed in the neck pocket. They range from purpose-built plastic shims to a hodgepodge of items like sandpaper, cardboard, and/or guitar picks. In our shop, we prefer to make make full length, angled, shims.

Telecaster 3 Barrel Saddle Upgrades

There is an easy upgrade option that can dramatically improve the intonation of 3 barrel saddle equipped Fender Telecaster guitars without significantly altering the look or originality of the instrument: Compensated 3 barrel saddles. Compensated Telecaster saddles overcome the limitations of shared saddles in one of two ways. While each string will still not be individually adjustable, the strings will sit at predetermined intervals, much like a compensated acoustic guitar saddle, that are much more conducive to accurate string-to-string intonation.

Routing Guitar Bodies For Electronics Installation

Electric guitars typically have openings in the body to accommodate the electronics. Manufacturers will typically remove only as much wood as is necessary to accommodate any factory variations of a given model. For example, the above guitar features 3 pickups in an HSS configuration, blade pickup selector switch, volume and tone controls. When modifying an instrument’s electronics to fit custom specifications, it is sometimes necessary to alter the existing cavities, or create new ones, to accommodate the new components  

Sunken Jack Syndrome – Gibson / Epiphone 335

This Epiphone 335 model guitar came into shop with the output jack stuck inside of the body. The nut and washer that had once secured the jack to the top of the instrument had come loose allowing the jack to drop inside. In shop, we call this “sunken jack syndrome”; This happens fairly frequently on hollow body and semi-hollow guitars such as the venerable 335 model produced by both Gibson and Epiphone, as well as various other similarly styled models including many of those made by Gretsch Guitars.

Shielding an Electric Guitar

“Shielding” is tool that is used to reduce electromagnetic interference, or “EMI”, in your guitar’s signal. Since most electric guitar pickups are by definition “electromagnetic transducers”, EMI is a frequent cause of unwanted noise in the guitar’s signal chain. Guitars with single coil style pickups are especially prone to these issues.

Gibson Hummingbird and J-200 Pickguards​

The pickguard art featured on the Gibson Hummingbird, as well as the “flower and vine” pattern used on the J-200, are defining features of the respective models. Originally the most expensive guitars in Gibson’s catalog, their unique pickguard’s make these instruments instantly recognizable.

In part due to the flexible material used, these pickguards are more likely to lift and curl around the edges than other modern pickguards.

Sign-up for our Mailing List


* indicates required