Ouch - a nasty one! Best you can do is what you suggest, I think. I always make my side cleats full length between the linings so they resist pressure on the side, and I make them about 5/8"wide, spaced appropriately to support the repair.
Touchup is nasty piled on nasty because the finish is so thin as to be nonexistent, so I try to make sure there aren't expectations of good appearance after the job is done unless the entire side gets sanded and refinished. That's difficult to justify because of the price range of the guitar.
Can be carefully glued back together. I would add a matching verticle brace (or 2) to have something to glue to (proper placement would aid best alignment, you may not need cleats), Clamps, heavy duty magnets, to pull /push it all back to origional. Tightbond would be my choice, you will need time to precisely position/clamp the breaks to origional position. CA to fil the cracks at the end, after chip replacement and staining the bright wood in the cracks to match (that would be fun!?#$). Razor blade levelscrape, light sanding on CA only. I would not attempt to refinish. It will never match. Break fix ifor play with min. blemishs is the only option. Should not be all that noticable at the end. $200 apx 4 hrs. If you want it to disappear, refinish sides, add $200.
This kind of guitar with this damage end up on eBay as Luthier Project guitars. Thats where I get instruments that I learn on.
Thanks guys for the input. I think titebond might be best, because there are quite a few pieces and I'm definitely going to need time to position them. any ideas for the best wood filler if there ends up being a missing piece or two?
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