Hello from new member and I need help with cracked guitar

Hi all,

My name is Nick, in Crete, Greece, and my guitar cracked while playing ~10 days ago.

Guitar is a Takamine EC132S, circa 1984-5. Laminated rosewood back and sides, solid cedar top. It's been in its case for years and I started playing it again few months ago. It really is a beautiful guitar....

Have not left guitar in cars or excessive heat, but I've ran it through some quick temp/rh cycles lately... house, pub back yard, pub inside etc....

all the jpegs are of the guitar

Have binding separation, top separating from side s etc.

No sinking in top or back, and no fret protrusion....

Have put a sandwich bag/sponge in the sound hole, one in the neck for about 1 week now, but I dont see any progress closing up the gap at the lower bout. Maybe I need to do the "Hesh" bag treatment?

There is also a small crack at the waist that you can see in one of the photos,2nd one I think..

Anyway, I've built one guitar years ago, per Sloane, and I''ve got some parts waiting to become an archtop.

My environment year round is pretty humid, so I' kinda stumped as to what happenned. All I can imagine is the Sahara based dry winds that we have around the time this happenned.

Annual average humidity here ranges between 40- 65 year round....

Anyway, help please, and again, hello to all, I've learned alot from the site

Please, dont recommend "just take it to a luthier" as there is not much choice at the time 



Tags: Takamine, cedar, cracked, humidity, top

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It looks like the top has come loose from the kerfing, which is the (probably) mahogany lining attached to the sides inside the body. After cleaning out any old glue surface from the top by reaching into the guitar with a small spatula with adhesive sandpaper on it to get in between the top and the kerfing nice and tight, I'd use another small metal spatula to spread wood glue in the crack and around all the loose pieces of binding. After cleaning the excess glue, first I would use binding tape to bring the area with the binding loose into proper, tight alignment. Then I would use spool clamps to bring the sides, kerfing, and top into position tightly, making sure the sides have come back to their proper shape. Clean up any squeeze out, let it dry, further clean up and possibly finish touchup, voila!

Right, Chad, that's the way I'd go, although I bet you could get by just fine without trying to clean out old glue.  We often reglue these without much fuss.   

While you're at it, get a mirror and look inside for any broken bits of kerfed lining or loose braces. This guitar looks to me like one that received some kind of blow, possibly while it was in the case, that jarred the glue joints loose in  the area.  That could explain the crack in the side as well.

Thank you both Chad and Frank for your answers,

I need some more enlightenment...
I forgot to mention that the the side of the guitar has also caved inwards on the top side, starting where the crack is and stopping where the top begins to pull away from the side. I marked it here..

I think that I would need to first pull/push the side outwards first (how???) Turnbuckle from the inside? fearing I might push the opposite side out.
Or maybe try and make a big clamp only from the damaged side and a caul that has the shape and curves of the waist/bout between the pushed in area?
This caving in kind of explains to some extent the gap between the sound board and sides as the waist caved in the bout kicked out...

1. Should I humidify with the bag before I continue
2. What glue should I use. I need something that wont set very quickly. I have white PVA
3.Do you think binding tape is going to budge this thing enough to close it up

I'm sounding anal about this, sorry I've never dealt with something like this before..
Thanks again
Humidifying will not likely accomplish anything in this case, especially considering you description of your local RH. This is a glue failure situation more than a dryness situation; its hard to speculate without seeing it in person, but it could have been an impact as Frank noted, or inadequate gluing, or both. Pva type glue, i.e, titebond original, will be what you want as long as its a low creep formulation. As to whether or not binding tape will do the job, that depends on how much force is required to keep things in place, but if the sides are that distorted, I think I would want the security of clamps and cauls as necessary. Do a dry run and make sure the tape wont allow any movement. You have the right idea about using shaped cauls to bring things into shape. The turnbuckle from the inside will also help. The force required to push the side outward seems risky, you could support the opposite side from the outside with another clamp and caul arrangement to avoid unneccesary stress to that area. Could be a bit of a trick to set up depending what you have on hand, but its better safe than sorry if you arent certain.

This may be obvious to you, but if there is still tension on the strings that is causing the distortion in the sides. With the strings off, pushing the distended lower bout in will probably make the waist area come out to meet the top edge. You should not have to push the caved in area at all, or only with your hand inside the box until you get some clamp pressure on it.


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