Hi, I’m new to the forum. I’ll try to make this short. I’m not a Luthier. However I am leaning. Presently building a Stewmac ES335. I just purchased a project Gibson LG1. It appears it had dried out to the point that the string tension caused the neck to collapse forward collapsing into the sound hole. I did remove the pick guard while humidifying. I have a room I keep at about 45%. I felt removing the guard would allow better expansion of the wood. I would like help in this process restoring it myself. I hope you all are okay with this as I’m very handy and learn by doing. I’m sure there will be mistakes made along the way due to inexperience. I’m willing to take the chance. I will send pics if I can figure the process on the forum.
Thanks for the input and help

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Well as usual when I join a forum I can’t figure how to post pics. So need help there too.



Hi Alex, From looking at your photo, I reckon the most moisture used in this job is going to be sweat and tears, hopefully no blood. In my experience this type of damage is the result of the guitar being dropped, and it’s a fair bit of surgery needed to effect a good repair.

Having done this repair many times in the past I can visualise the amount of work needed in your guitar. 

Not knowing your skill level or what tools and machines you might have, and, not having a view of the inside of the body, it would be hard, I think, to advise you of the best approach. The top is obviously damaged, and so might the neck block and upper bout braces. I would also check the top bracing throughout the guitar as a drop, if that what caused the neck issue, can also break braces loose.

sorry to sound so negative, but that’s my experience. Good luck.

I just enlarged the photo and it looks like the back brace has come adrift, as I suspected


Hi Taff, yes the brace has come loose. I have some tools. I am willing to get whatever I need. The neck block seems good. The neck appears stable. Where would you start? Would more in side pics help?



This I think is similar damage, photos are a small selection of about 50 odd taken of the full job, just to get you started and planning your own approach.

The neck was pushed back, and this changed the scale length, so as I could not move the neck I repositioned the fingerboard to a suitable new position.

Removing the board allowed access to the damaged area.

This is all removed and rebuilt inside…

Extra bracing was required to add support…

And the neck block {that was part of the neck] was modified…

New top timber was glued into place…

Then the new fingerboard was fitted and set up to suit the scale length…
Body repairs and a new bridge…well that’s another story.
You will have to get the old grey matter working to evaluate your job and work out the best method for you.
Cheers Taff

Taffy’s repair is very informative.  See also this tutorial from Frank.

The main point is that your biggest issue here is not that there are cracks in the soundboard.  Rather, it is that there is a major disruption of the structure of the body with loose braces and a disrupted neck-to-body angle. 

Thanks Mark, I think between the two I can figure this out. I hope everyone is willing to walk me through if needed. I actually did think about clamping it down and bringing it into position but was concerned. Now I will give it go. I will need guidance on bracing around the neck area. I don’t know it there was more braces in the are other than the one that’s come loose. Franks idea looks like the way to go to strengthen it. I will begin this weekend. 


Yes, good luck Lex, that's how I first got started in Lutherie I did two years or so of repairs I got to learn how guitars work and then started building.

Not all repairs follow the same procedures. Here are two more different approaches that I have used that best suited different guitars. You might find them handy. These were not expensive guitars and of course, this is not the full story.

And on a 12-string with the extra tension

Okay, I have clamped the lower bout of the guitar down and pulled the head piece with a clamp as described. I feel confident the neck is in alignment. The scale length is spot on. My question is do I start with putting the brace back or glue the cracks. on each side of the sound hole first. Also the wood crinkled around the sound hole as seen in pic. when a clamp it it goes together nice. I did remove the trim around the sound hole to get that glued better. Hopefully I can reuse it. what plastic is the sound hole trim made of? I need to soften it and shape it.

Please tell me what glue I should use. too many to choose from. I hope I don't impose on you guys in helping me do this 

Thanks so much



I would glue things with Titebond Original.

The plastic of the rosette might soften with acetone, but use a low concentration initially and brush it onto see what happens.  If you soak it in acetone you might find that the whole thing dissolves!

Hi, another way, I would try is to cut a circle template of the size of the inner diameter of the channel in the top then slowly reform the rosette by pushing it around the template whilst heating it with a hair drier. A heat gun may be too much heat. 

I must say I have not done this myself with the plastic you are working with. Oh If you need to flatten at the same time I place a sheet of glass on top and heat through that.

Good luck Taff


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