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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:58 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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I noticed a dent in the top of a guitar that I was working on this evening and did the old dent fix using heat and steam. The dent is history but it occurred to me that perhaps some folks would like to see a quick and easy method to fix dents.

Although my dented top was fixed before I had the idea to show how I did it I decided to recreate the dent and walk us though what I did.

Here is a scrap spruce top that I often use to test ideas. You need a soldering iron and having a flat paddle like thing (FPLT) helps distribute the heat and not make a new dent....... and works great too. I keep some distilled water in the shop at all times and we will use it here although distilled water is not a requirement. Also a straight edge, pencil, and a small, clean.... piece of T-shirt material and you are all set.

Attachment:
DSCN3116.jpg


Now we need to make a nasty dent so this should be fun to do.... :D

Attachment:
DSCN3117.jpg


This looks nice and destructive.

Attachment:
DSCN3118.jpg


Since we will be covering the dent with a damp cloth it's a good idea to make some cross hairs so that you can correctly locate the soldering iron once the dent is covered with the dampened cloth. Make very light pencil lines and Bob's your uncle.

Attachment:
DSCN3119.jpg


Next I dampen the cloth with water and I want it moderately damp, not soaking wet, but with just enough water to help make some steam when heated.

The damp cloth is correctly positioned and the soldering iron is lightly pressed onto the cloth at the intersection of our cross hairs.

Attachment:
DSCN3120.jpg


With light pressure on the soldering iron and the paddle thing flat on the cloth I held heat for 5 seconds until I saw and heard some steam. I removed the soldering iron and cloth, checked the progress, and repeated this two more times.
Attachment:
DSCN3120.jpg


We now can see that the dent is mostly gone other than the dirt that remains from the screw driver.

Attachment:
DSCN3123.jpg


A quick, 10 seconds or so hit with the ROS and the dent is gone.

Attachment:
DSCN3124.jpg


To be continued.......


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:59 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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And here is the top with no dent:

Attachment:
DSCN3125.jpg


Thanks for looking! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:43 pm 
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Koa
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Very nice, Hesh, and very reassuring, too. I'd have sworn you broke some of those fibers with your screwdriver, but you made the whole thing disappear. Great. Thanks for posting this.
Patrick


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:07 pm 
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Koa
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GREAT Tutorial !!!! I have 2 tiny dents on one top, will try this ! Thanks alot for this !

Lars.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:04 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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You are very welcome guys - thanks for the thanks! :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:33 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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And you don't NEED to have a soldering gun to do this. I have lots of clothes irons that I buy at garage sales for like $2 that I use for things like this and for applying iron on wood tape to plywood edges when I make cabinets. Anything that gets hot, soldering gun, soldering iron, hoppy iron, clothes iron, etc will work. Just don;t get caught with your wife's clothes iron...you've been fair warned!

Shane

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:45 pm 
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Western Red Cedar dream come true!

Nice tutorial Buddy!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:00 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Right-you-are Shane my friend but my soldering iron feels more macho to use than a clothes iron....... :D

Lance bro when I built with WRC I ended up with 2 little dents and for the life of me I have no idea how it even happened..... The stuff dents just looking at it...... :( :D

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Nice pictures. I never thought about using a soldering iron though. I just use a little portable clothes iron. Much more precise with a solderer I see. I discovered also that steam and iron help at removing water stains after bending sides. This surprised me at the time and I think I posted it a while back wilth pictures. I just finished my third guitar and the Walnut looks good.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:30 am 
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nice to have a pic tutorial for this! thanks Hesh [:Y:] does that work just as good on finished wood?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Quote:
Right-you-are Shane my friend but my soldering iron feels more macho to use than a clothes iron.......


Ah yes ... nothing like the good old Binford 9000 to get that testosterone coursing through the veins! [:Y:]

Thanks for the toot Hesh. As always, top drawer!
Cheers
Rick


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:00 pm 
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[quote "does that work just as good on finished wood?[/quote]

I am wondering the same thing. I have a dent in the binding on the back that you can only find by rubbing your finger around the guitar. However, I would like to use this method if it will work on finished wood as well as unfinished wood.
Chuck


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Sorry Olivier and Chuck I did not see the question from back on the 6th.

I don't know if this would work on finished wood having never tried it. Perhaps someone who has will weigh-in here and help us out.

My guess is that it would create other problems messing up the finish but again I don't know.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:04 pm 
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It can be done, I think it was Dan Erlewine that demonstrated it on one of the StewMac vids or in one of the Trade Secrets Volumes. You remove as much of the finish from the dent and surrounding area as possible then do the old steaming trick, does involve matching and finish repair of course, which you would have to do anyway because the finish has been damaged by the dent, but it can be done. I don't think a shallow dent with no visible damage(or minimal) to the wood is done this way, I would just do a drop fill in this situation.
Going back to Hesh's example on bare timber,if there are no fibres damaged I'll also just put a small drop of water in the dent (enough to cover the area)with a pipette and let it dry out, if that doesn't work it's out with the steam.
But thanks for taking the time & effort Hesh, great Tutorial with excellent clear pictures [:Y:]

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:04 pm 
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Mahogany
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Ok, Just thought I'd double check my info & it was Dan Erlewine but it was in his book "The Guitar Player's Repair Guide" DOH, I knew I'd seen it somewhere.
He also recommends that if the finish has a small crack or break in it to use a syringe with a fine needle & inject water into the crack & let it soak into the wood underneath. Then go ahead & steam the dent out, this method eliminates the need to do more touch up work post dent.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Thanks for that Nick my friend! [:Y:] [clap] [clap] [clap] [clap]

It's always my intent when I post these stinkin things... :D to have everyone that wishes to do so add value and you just did that very nicely!

Great post!

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