Guitar Repairs

How To Repair A Cracked Electric Guitar Body

Most electric guitars are made of several thin, strong pieces of wood laminated together to create a single, solid piece. The neck, or the part of the guitar that holds the strings and is attached to the body by means of a metal truss rod, can be made out of many types of wood. This means that repairing an electric guitar isn’t always as simple as taking it off and replacing a broken piece. In order to prevent such problems, one should know how to repair an electric guitar without breaking it.

Materials You Will Need

Just a few things!

  • wood filler
  • glue
  • sandpaper

Check Out This Video

Inspect The Guitar For Cracks Or Damages

As soon as an electric guitar is purchased , it should be inspected closely for any defects or cracks in its body and neck before playing it because these structural flaws could lead to serious damage if left untreated. Look for cracks in the body and on the neck that have been caused by (or may have been caused by) dents or dings. Has the guitar sustained any other damage? Are there any noticeable cracks in the wood that have been caused or worsened by previous repairs?

Sometimes even if a guitar is sturdy, it may suffer from structural flaws, and minor cracks can be easily masked and not readily visible to players. In such cases, while playing the guitar, a hole may appear and prove to be irreparable. The best way to find out if a guitar has structural cracks or not is to take it to an expert who will be able to tell you about the condition of your electric guitar. Also, if you know someone who plays in your band, ask them if they have any spare guitars that you can borrow for a few days.

Fill In Cracks With Wood Filler And Sand Them Down

If the cracks are small and not too deep, you can fill them up by using wood filler. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the patch after filling up the cracks. If there is a hole in your electric guitar, you can fill it up with wood putty and then sand it down to an acceptable level of smoothness. You can also use a wood-filler kit to fix cracks in your guitar, which you buy at any hardware store.

Glue The Broken Piece Back Into Place

In the event of a large crack, you need to reinforce the broken pieces by gluing them together. If the neck or any other piece of wood has broken off from your guitar, it needs to be glued back into place. You can use any strong glue to reattach these pieces: wood glue, epoxy glue or superglue are all good choices for this purpose. Just make sure that the pieces are aligned properly before applying the glue.

Sand Down And Smooth The Guitar With A Sandpaper

In case the damaged body is smaller than a panel, you can fix it with sandpaper and give it a smooth finish. It’s also possible to use epoxy or super glue to reinforce the remaining piece of wood and prevent further cracks from appearing on the guitar. Apply the epoxy or glue very well so that it distributes throughout the area in which you want to fix.

After the repair, you should sand down the area using medium-grit sandpaper. Smooth the surface using a fine-grit sandpaper. However, if this doesn’t yield satisfactory results, you can use a compound and sand down the repaired area of your guitar in a circular motion for about five minutes to fix its imperfections. Use a dry cloth to keep dust off the repair. Then buff off any dust with a soft cloth slightly moistened with water or alcohol.

Let dry.

Using a pick, play the guitar very lightly over a glass plate to see if it has bounced back to its original straight shape. If there is no change, you’re good to go. If you can hear it bouncing back and forth, you have not fixed it right and you will need to do this again with more wood filler or glue.  A humidifier may be necessary to help speed things up here.

Additional Tips

Be careful not to use too much wood filler or glue, as it could accumulate around the cracks due to air movement from playing it. This would allow the cracks to grow bigger. Use wood glue or epoxy glue instead of superglue for this purpose because they do not dry up so quickly and are strong enough to keep the cracks bound together without using excess amounts of paste.