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I recently purchased an Ibanez prestige S1220 body and there seems to be a crack on the surface that runs through into the body cavity. It seems stable enough for now although I worry for the future, I fear it may enlarge or even cave in the whole pot. (see picture)

Any advice on reinforcing the area around the pot, possibly from inside the cavity?

I was just going to cover the whole mess with a decal until I realized that it cracked through, I'm sure it happened because of the thin profile of a saber or someone over tightened the pot or both...

Thanks for the help


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Welcome!   :)

Have you had a look at it from inside the control chamber?  If you can take a photo, that would help.

With just that one photo to go on at the moment, I would say it's hit something or been hit hard by something quite thin.  If so, you will probably see the whole sunken bit of wood protruding the other side.

Two bits of good news if it is - first is that it is very unlikely that it leaves a critical structural weakness.  Second is that it should be reasonably straightforward for someone who knows what they are doing to fix it...and reasonably invisibly.

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Sorry for the late reply, and thank you.

It is cracked through into the control chamber although I can't get the pot out of the way for a picture without a deeper socket. Which I will be attaining tomorrow. Yeah I can see it protruding on the other side with part of it cracked through.

I read that I can use a solder iron and water to expand the the wood making it less visible, will this work for my circumstance? Also can you tell me an estimated price a professional will charge for a service such as that?

I will post more pics asap

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Don't even try to wet it and heat it - will make it harder for the wood to be re-aligned.  It is clearly an impact, where the pot washers and nuts held fast, so the wood had to give, which means that once pushed out flush with top, it will virtually disappear.  

This is actually a simple fix.  First remove the pot of course, then get a C clamp (deep enough reach - 3" or so throat depth) with two pcs of soft wood about 2" square x 1/2" thick (vary according to length of crack).  Then sandwich the split wood area between the two wood protector blocks (one inside, one outside) and do a test press with the C clamp.  This will tell you if the splits will re-align - 90% chance that it will.  If not, you may need to razor slice a few slivers from the back (I would assess it, then do that anyway from the back).  

Then mix epoxy (not five minute, because you will need time, unless you are well prepared and did a test press) or wood glue and syringe it into the open splits.  I get syringes all the time for stuff like this, but if the splits are open enough (you may need to re-push the cracks open) you might be fine just rubbing wood glue over it from both sides.  

Then cut a couple pcs of plastic from a ziplock bag and cover the wet glued surfaces, add the wood blocks, then press flat with the clamp. When dry, the plastic peels off, and water with a touch of alcohol will remove the wood glue from the face, and leave a slight trace of crack which can be darkened with a brown magic marker.  

You could always add a super thin pc of plywood to the inside for added strength, but the pot will be lower.  Trying to think of a thin strong material here that glues well if you don't use epoxy, like a couple pcs of wood veneer, but you may not want to track that down.  Personally, I would use thin single ply cardboard like the bottom sheet off a paper writing pad, because the glue will soak into it forming a fiber-reinforced composite - real strong and stiff, then re-drill the pot stem hole.  

Don't use epoxy like I mentioned because it will be impossible to remove from the face finish after it hardens.  Wood glue should be fine, as it will dissolve later while leaving the finish intact.  The finish on those guitars can handle straight alcohol.   

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