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Bodies Drying Too Fast... Fix End Grain Cracks?


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Hey Guys!

Welp... I blew it. I bought and processed more wood than I needed. I was reorganizing the shop when I noticed some gnarly cracks on the end grain. What would you all suggest to halt or at least slow down the drying process? These bodies are far too beautiful to go to waste. They are all one piece/super light and resonant alder, swamp ash and pine. A couple of the cracks go front to back and go about 1" into the body. I was going to start wicking CA in to those cracks and then coat them with something. But I don't know what to use that will allow me to finish them later without much hassle.

Suggestions? Comments? Criticisms?

Respectfully,

Unc

Edited by Uncle Os
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This may seem like a stupid question,but you did seal the end grain with something like lacquer after processing,right?

Keep them out of direct sunlight of course,away from vents,etc...i store mine in a closet with the end grain sealed and I rarely get splitting except once on some sapelle I bought on ebay..

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If it is split, write it off even if they close up. I wouldn't want to be in a situation whereby I was routing previously split end grain....at the very least you will lose a big chunk of your guitar body and at the very worst the router will make you lose a big chunk of your own body. End grain splits are pure loss in my book.

Latex paint, wax (or lacquer as Wes mentioned) will seal up the end grain and prevent uneven moisture loss. Dip it up an inch or two. I've never had to do this myself however all the wood I have ever bought from raw has been sealed properly with either latex paint or wax and the lack of loss in those pieces was obvious. It worked.

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Thanks Fellas!

I'm on it like white on rice! :o)

Yeah... It's my fault. The lumber came from the beach area when I got it home, I set about makin' the bodies. They are cut and routed but not sanded. I will most likely toss the one that's got that deep crack.

Thanks again. :o)

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You should realy be monitering & seasoning your timbers after you get them. I store all of mine for 16 weeks minimum in a room set aside for the purpose of drying wood. Then I move pieces I want to use out to the work area for 2 weeks before I start any work on the guitar.

Before I had the workshop I used to store timbers in a closet at home. All of the end grain was given a coat of poly varnish before it was stacked away.

Id say rip these bodies along the splits & set them aside for about 6 weeks or so. Then make them into neck thru guitars.

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If I know the wood's dry, I don't seal the end grain over whatever's been slapped on there by the sawyer. I occasionally slap on some latex paint (whatever I have lying around) if I'm forced to cut new rough boards to length for transport and/or storage purposes. There will be occasional splits, generally in areas of the board that had small fractures there to begin with. I tend to mark off 2" past wherever I can see the split going, and cut that off and ditch it. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't; my limba is still being stored outdoors in it's rough-cut stage, but has been essentially air drying for an extra 5 years now. African mahogany, sapele, cedrella and bubinga boards, ditto. Only one of the African boards has a big split in it, but had it when I bought it (couldn't pass up under 2 dollars per board foot for largely quartered African...), few others have minimal checking.

Buy boards in the rough? Expect to lose several inches at each end. I won't build a body with cracked wood.

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The first thing I do when I get new wood in my shop is cut off any checking and cracking. That's the only sure way to stop it. Then, like everybody else said, I paint the ends.

I used a piece that was checked once because I wanted a certain style (still in progress). To stop the checking I saturated the cracks with thin CA and inserted dowels in the back to block their progress. It's then going onto a solid piece to further stabilize it. It's been stable since I did that. I'm taking my time with it, just to be extra safe. If the checks spread even a hair, I'm tossing it.

Edited by NotYou
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