Can You Fix a Broken Guitar Body?

can-you-fix-a-broken-guitar-body

Damages on guitars are unexpected and sometimes lead to breakages. Expensive ones may withstand some light drops. Once they sustain cracks, it may affect their sound quality. If these circumstances occur, can you fix a broken guitar body?

You can fix a broken guitar body depending on the severity of the damage. Most cracks are repaired using water-based or wood glue, and epoxy adhesive. Other damages require expert help from luthiers.

Guitar’s body may break due to dropping or wearing out over time. It can result in the total impairment of all the parts and impact the sound quality. The repair is sometimes crucial but you can manage some of it. In this article, we will discuss if you can fix the broken guitar body and the methods to do it.

Can You Fix a Broken Guitar Body?

You can fix the cracks in a guitar body. The process requires you to close the affected area. Extreme damages are difficult to repair on your own unless you have the proper knowledge.

a broken acoustic guitar leaning on a tree

The acoustic guitar body is vulnerable to damage since it is made of wood. Some people tend to get rid of their guitars due to their broken bodies. Going to a professional to fix it is costly, but you can repair it on your own depending on the intensity of the damage.

Wood glue works on the huge cracks in the guitar body. Old cracks, on the other hand, are hard to close using glue. Most likely, the parts that you fixed are visible after the complete repair.

Cleaning the guitar before fixing it is important to see the whole damage. These are more visible after removing unnecessary dirt or dust.

Scratches are also common problems that guitar players often experience. You can solve this by using nail polish with its brush. You can smoothen the uneven edges by sanding them.

Painting the fixed parts can fully revitalize the features of the guitar. The paint will cover the affected areas you repaired. Make sure you choose the fitting colors to paint it.

Some guitar damages are extreme which is hard to fix on your own. Without proper knowledge and tools, repairing it on your own may add more damage to it. Professional help from a luthier is recommended to ensure the safety of fixing your guitar.

My Recommended: 3 Best Glues for Guitar Body Repair

Does a Crack in a Guitar Affect the Sound?

Cracks can highly affect the guitar sound. The guitar body aims to amplify the vibration coming from the guitar’s bridge. Once there are deep cracks, the sound transmission will have less resonance and sustain.

playing guitar with broken body

Acoustic guitars are prone to sound problems due to cracks. Although electric guitar sound is transmitted with the use of pickups, there are possibilities cracks might influence the tone. It will depend on the area of the damage but it won’t drastically affect it.

Locating the cracks can specifically help you in determining its extremity. There are parts of the guitar that can impair sound quality. Other dents may also look like cracks which may not affect the sound transmission.

Severe cracks that visibly hit the internal parts of the guitar require an in-depth fix. These are difficult to repair unless you know how to do them.

How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Broken Guitar Body?

The cost of fixing a broken guitar body can differ depending on the damage and the repair shop that you’re going to. On average, the cost would range from $30 to more than $500. Here’s a table of the different guitar body damages and their corresponding cost for repair:

Acoustic Guitar Repair Rates

ServiceCost
Minimum Bench Fee$25-$40
Restring, oil fingerboard, polish & tune$25-$40
Set-up$60-$80
12-String setup$100-$120
Hand made bone nut installed$60-$80
Custom fit synthetic nut installed$20-$40
Hand made bone saddle installed$60-$80
Custom fit synthetic saddle installed$20-$40
Replace tuners$20-$40
Install an acoustic pickup$70 and up
Reglue bridge$150 and up
Modern bolt-on neck reset$230 and up
Dovetail neck reset using hot hide glue$400 and up
Brace repair$40 and up per brace
Crack repair$30 minimum and up
Heat press neck$70 and up
Fret level (includes a set up)$150 and up
Re-fret (includes a set up)$350 and up
Re-fret & bone nut (includes a set up)$430 and up
Re-fret w/ binding (includes a setup)$430 and up
Re-fret w/ binding & bone nut (& setup)$460 and up

Electric Guitar Repair Rates

ServiceCost
Minimum bench fee$25-$40
Restring, oil fingerboard, polish & tune$25-$40
Set-up$60-$80
Floyd Rose or 12 string setup$100-$120
Hand made bone nut installed$60-$80
Custom-fit synthetic nut installed$25-$40
Replace a pot, jack, pickup, or switch$25-$40
Each additional pot, jack, pickup, or switch$20
Replace tuners$25-$40
Complete rewire on a Strat or Tele type$100-$120
Complete rewire on a Les Paul type$140-$160
Complete rewire on a 335 type$180-$200
Rewind a single coil pickup$60-$80
Rewind both coils of a humbucker$100-$120
Wax pot a loose pickup$25-$40
Heat press neck$70 and up
Fret level (includes a set up)$150 and up
Re-fret (includes a set up)$350 and up
Re-fret & bone nut (includes a set up)$430 and up
Re-fret w/ binding (includes a setup)$430 and up
Re-fret w/ binding & bone nut (& setup)$470 and up

How to Repair a Broken Guitar Body?

The guitar body is a part that hugely contributes to sound transmission. This is where you strum the strings when playing it. Damages found in it can impair the performance of the sound. 

In making repairs to a broken guitar body, you must observe extra caution. The following are the following steps.

Broken old guitar lying on the concrete

1. Clean the Guitar’s Body

Before starting the repair, ensure the whole body is clean. Use a wax and wipe to remove the dirt, especially on the damaged areas. It allows you to see the depth of the damage and needed repair.

2. Repair Body Wings

In repairing the body wings, you must carefully apply wood glue to them. Ensure to compress it so it won’t split while drying the glue.

The common cause of a broken guitar body is by dropping it accidentally. The body’s wings aim to maintain its shape which is important to fix it right away.

The repair of the body wings does not apply to thick and huge guitars. Smaller types such as most 18-fret guitars, Parlor guitars, or others may need this method.

3. Fix the strap buttons

Strap buttons where you attach the guitar straps sometimes wear out over time. The usual problem is it loses and it is difficult to screw it back. To fix it, you need to glue a piece of wood that you can insert into the hole of the buttons.

After the wood is glued, proceed to screw the bolt in the specific area for the strap button. It will help to tighten the loose screws for the buttons.

Avoid not screwing it up too tense as it can result in damage again. Remember to use screwdrivers suitable for the method.

4. Repair the bridge holes

You can fix the bridge holes by following the steps in fixing the loose strap buttons. This problem doesn’t seldom happen. For guitar tinkerers, it can happen if they accidentally damage the Tune-O-Matic.

5. Fixing the neck joint

Use wood glue to attach the cracks or cuts. Damages in the neck joint can lead to complete breakage. Make sure to check them and apply repair methods similar to body wings.

Guitar neck joints work to connect the body and neck. Acoustic guitars are usually molded from the shape of their body to the neck. Electric guitars generally have screws to attach these parts.

Damages at the bottom of the screws in electric guitars require a proper solution. You can still repair it or just proceed to replace it.

Conclusion

Guitars are made in a variety of styles. Some affordable types are susceptible to cracks once you drop them. Other branded guitars are made with durable materials that can resist damage. Ensure that you watchfully follow the fixing methods or ask for assistance from a professional.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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