I got a damaged Taylor 110 on eBay for a low bid.  The hunk of top was missing.  Replacing the missing piece seems pretty straight forward.  I've built 8 guitars, but haven't done any repairs like this.  I have a plan how to add a new piece of spruce, but i thought maybe someone more experienced with repairs like this might have some advice that will save me a lot of time in cutting and fitting the new piece.

The side, binding, and purfling are not damaged and the braces are all still tight.  The top is loose for a couple of inches in each direction from the break.

I thought that I would cut the broken edge straight down the next dark grain line to give me a straight edge to match to the new piece.  I should be able to find similar grain width on some scrap spruce that I have.  Then just cutting, filing, and sanding till the piece fits into the binding curve.

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I'd look for a similar grain and colour match, thickness and then match the outside curve.Match the finish and then trim the straight inside edge to fit. Glue in a few cleats to support the patch (I use a plug cutter to make small round cleats) when the cleats are dry glue in your patch. 

There is an article in the current issue of American Lutherie with a small mention of a similar repair. I think the real "problem" will be finish as the Taylor finish is UV cured. Scott Diburro has a good reputation for major repairs on Taylor guitars. You might want to contact him in regard to finish work.

Thanks for your input.  Good advice about the cleats, John.  And Joshua, you were right about the color match problem.  putting in the patch was the easy part.

The amber tint in TruOil got me this far, but I can't get it closer in color.  I've tried other finishes.  I can get the color but not the dark or I can get the dark but not the color.  Maybe I'll just have to sit it out in the sun for six months.

Looks really good. You could try padding amber shellac. 2 pts alcohol to 5 pts shellac from the can. I know the stuff in the can is frowned upon but if you need a smaller amount right now it rocks. 

That's a nice looking patch, Dan!   If it were mine, I'd leave it alone and do the "6 months in the sun" thing.

Truth be told, I really like the look of a visible and proper repair.... it's a fine reminder of what happened and how you corrected it.

 Dan,you did a terrific job here! Something you could do,if the axe is not in immediate need, is to mask off the entire front of the guitar except for the one new section, and then place the axe in a sunny window with maximum sunlight exposure for a few weeks. 

You made a realy nice job of that repait Dan. Bill................

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. In a few years you probably won't notice and you did such a good job that you will need the "before" pictures to prove you actually repaired it.


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