Ok, super-newbie question here.
I have a Lucero LC100 classical acoustic. It had 5 holes on the top (not going all the way through, more like divots. I "repaired" it by just mixing paint and filling in the holes, and then coating it with super glue and sanding it down. It's obvious, but decent and I am semi-happy as to how it came out.
But I started to wonder if I could have done a better job if I had the sawdust of the same wood that the top was made out of. I did some research, and found that the top was made out of spruce. They sell some at Stew Mac, but they also sell some at home depot. If I had bought either of these sources of wood, sanded it until I got some sawdust, maybe mixed it with some kind of glue and filed it in the holes, would the sawdust from home depot and Stew Mac be the same? if not, would their being very noticeable differences in the colors of the spruce?
It is nearly impossible to fill spruce with anything and have it not be obvious. If you have it smooth now, that's all I would aim for.
yeah, I'm not going back and re-doing it. I wanted to know for future projects. so your answer would be "no two spruces are the same" ?? does this apply to all wood types or only spruce?
Even if you had wood from the exact same piece that needs repair, it will still stand out like a sore thumb. Not just spruce, but any light colored word. You can hide repairs in dark and grainy wood to a degree.
To be more specific: if one simply mixes sawdust with glue, to fill damage or a void, it will usually be obvious. It will appear darker, or very dark, under finish( this method can however, work well around inlays, on a fingerboard, in a dark wood).
If one inlays, or splices in, a new piece of wood, to repair damage, that can look good, depending on how good a match for color & grain one is able to do. But, the appearance of the patch will likely change under finish, so one has to anticipate that, by testing with finish.
Such repairs are usually not simple...
Most woods have a range of color even in the same board.
Before you start looking at filling holes/divots next time, you might want to spend some time reading up on dent repair in wood. Soft woods, like spruce, have grain that compresses easily but can, sometimes, decompress with some help. An age old technique for dents (not chips) is to steam them to raise/ decompress the grain. It might not get things back to how they were but it often pulls the grain up enough that the fill work isn't so great.
FWIW, you didn't say what brand/model of guitar you were working on. If it happens to be valuable, taking it to someone with experience in repair would probably be better in the long run than learning as you go. On the other hand, if it's not a valuable instrument, there is a LOT of information out there that can be used to educate yourself on what to do and what not to do, starting with Franks' other site; Frets.com.
Last thought; Dents are almost inevitable when a guitar is used. Unless they are really bad, you might consider just leaving them as part of the instruments history.
basically the proper way to do such a repair is with a solid "plug" of the same wood. Never mix sawdust with glue to repair anything valuable or collectable. Visit your local charity shop or pawn broker & buy a couple of cheap guitars to learn on.
I don't have time to detail the method here so find a local antique restorer or better still experienced luthier to pik up some tips.( arriving with a few beers can help extract information).
You have the right attitude in seeking advice before rather than after costly mistakes are made. The contributors to forums like this will also provide invaluable advice.
cheers from Kiwi.
Wood from each tree and each piece of the same tree will be different!
If you noticed guitars on TV, half of the top doze not match the other.
That is because the wood reflects the light so each dent filled with sawdust will not reflect light right,
This guitar is not mine for keeping. I bought it very cheap (like $20) or so and I wanted to make it cosmetically pretty as I intend to take it to Guitar Center and hopefully get credit towards the guitar I do want.
I wish I had heard about the steam/decompression trick before I started working on it. It sounds like this guitar might have been a good candidate for that technique! From all the research I've done, it seems nearly impossible to make a flawless match when it comes to cosmetic damage on acoustics. I will have to look into the "plug" technique for future projects.
I have been getting my hands on cheap acoustics that I'm sure most people have never even heard of (they are low quality) and I am just experimenting as I find it fun to try to make them look nice and function well.
thanks for everyone's informative responses.