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The Guitar Medic

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1996 Washburn D10S - Smashed Lower Bout

Another project I took on was a Washburn guitar that had been dropped and suffered what appeared to be damage rendering it junk. This guitar was a beauty and had a beautiful solid spruce top and solid mahogany sides and back. It is Washburn's most popular selling model, and this guitar retails for about $299--a great price as it is for a solid-top guitar. But it had what the previous owner likely considered to be catastrophic damage. I understand. Before I learned how to repair this kind of damage, I would have thrown it away too.
The challenge in this repair was the splintering and separation of the laminated wood from the binding. Also, in question: whether to make it simply playable, or restored to like new condition? These are considerations an owner must ponder when considering the cost and value achieved in a repair. After pulling out the wood and getting it back to its original position, restoring to like new sometimes may require stripping the entire finish off one side of the guitar and re-staining and re-laquering to obtain a new look. But a less expensive repair would be to attempt to match the existing stain and laquer in a localized area. In this latter repair the cost savings is significant, and the guitar is no less playable, yet evidence of the area of repair may still be evident (it is virtually impossible to do an extensive repair such impact damage and match the stain and laquer perfectly).
The repair is shown here in progress. I had the task of matching the stain of the mahogany wood to the surrounding area. I'd love to tell you how I did that, but save it to say that I was able to match it pretty close.
Below you can see the stained area ready to apply a coat of polyurethane. Application of lacquer is not feasible because although that is what the original finish was, trying to spray or apply lacquer over lacquer in a localized area simply is a recipe for disaster. Lacquer "burns into" itself when coating over a repair, so it can never be made even, and would make the repaired area stand out, when the goal is to make it unnoticeable. But consider that the guitar had a hole in it. Polyurethane over the repaired area is a great alternative to having a gaping hole in a guitar, and throwing it away. This particular guitar (the D10S) is Washburn's biggest acoustic seller, and it is popular because of the great construction, the fine woods used, the fine hardware used (such as Grover tuners) and the reasonable price (around $400 new).
ABOVE: With stain applied, the flaw has almost disappeared. I am always happy when a plan comes together. 

Below is the finished guitar, polyurethane-coated, buffed and polished. There is only minor evidence of where the damage was repaired. The digital photo could not really discern where the area was, but you can barely see it with the naked eye. This guitar now plays quite nicely and is enjoyed by Ken in North Carolina. Wow...I couldn't believe my good fortune to have this nice guitar!