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Author Topic: Water Damaged D-03 Repair  (Read 440 times)
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« on: April 07, 2010, 07:29:06 PM »

Hi everyone,

I've acquired a heavily damaged D-03e for a great price (free!).. and here's my attempt to fix it.

Background:
This guitar was originally purchased by my church several years ago (2005?) for worship purposes.  When it was only a few months old, the closet in which it was stored flooded in a nasty storm and it got heavily damaged.  The storm occurred sometime in the middle of the week, and by the time anyone could get to the guitar on the weekend, the damage had already been done.  The worship leader at the time concluded that it was hopeless and just stored it away.. and actually bought a replacement D-03e.  So this damaged guitar was stored in a closet for close to 4 years (untouched after the storm) when I discovered it maybe a year ago.  While cleaning out this particular closet, another pastor found this guitar and was going to throw it out.  I intervened and asked if I could keep it, and he said sure, why not. 

So for about the past year, I've had this guitar in my possession without a clue was to what to do with it.  In the past year, I've tried to contact Larrivee to see what my repair options were (couldn't get a hold of them), emailed several luthiers to get some suggestions, and even asked for some help on this forum... and in the end, I concluded that it would be VERY expensive to fix this guitar professionally.  If this guitar were a car, it would have easily been totaled.  So my options were:  A) throw down and get it professionally repaired ($$$)  B) toss the darn thing  C) ebay and sell as is... or D) just attempt to repair it myself.   After a lot of online research and reading, I decided to just attempt the repair myself.  And so here we are.

I've been working on this guitar as a fun little project for whenever I have spare time.  In the past two weeks, I've made a lot of progress... and unfortunately, I didn't think to document all this fun until I was well into it.. so I do not have any before pictures..   Anyway, I'd like to post my progress here on this thread, not only for fun, but also to get help, suggestions, and constructive criticism to help me along the way.  So in the following couple of posts, I'll post up what I've got going so far.  Feel free to chime in to offer help or suggestions, or just to comment with whatever else.


-dan

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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 07:49:24 PM »

So here's a list of all the damages when I first got the guitar:
-severely dehydrated (top sunken, back flat, fret ends sharp, etc)
-top/back separated from the back (treble side, lower bout)
-loose maple binding (mostly along the lower bout)
-loose bracing EVERYWHERE (top, back, w/ one tone bar actually detached)
-finish damage around the rosette


Re-hydration: (no pics, sorry)
For the past 6 weeks or so, I've been re-hydrating this guitar with cups of water (yes, actual cups of water!).  I placed two plastic cups of water (cut down in height to fit inside the guitar) inside the soundhole and another cup near the headstock and left it in the case in a safe location that no one can knock or move.  At first, the guitar was severely dehydrated.  The top was all sorts of warped with a sort of waviness you could feel across the top under the bridge.  After a couple weeks of hydration, the waviness was less pronounced and the gaps of separation of the top/back and sides were starting to close up a bit. 

Back removal: (no pics.. I don't know what I was thinking)
Due to the severe dehydration, many of the braces inside were loose.  The ends of the X braces were loose, the 3 out of the 4 back braces were very loose and rattly, and one of the tone bars (I think that's the correct name) actually came detached from the top.  So because it'd be impossible for me to reattach all these braces through the soundhole without the proper tools.. I figured it'd be a whole lot easier with the back removed.  And with the back/side separation along the lower bout of the treble side, the entire back coming off didn't seem like a terrible idea.  So I did some research on how to remove the back and found that all it takes is a little heat.  So I took a hair dryer and started heating the edge of the the back of the guitar, starting at the area that was already separated.  When I felt the edges were adequately heated, I started lifting the binding away from the body, and to my surprise, it began to separate like butta!  Once the binding started pulling away, the back also separated from the inside kerfing.  Overall, this process was trouble free.. but there were a few instances when the binding wasnt heated enough and started to crack as I pulled away. 

That is all for now.. to be continued soon...
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 08:30:53 PM »

Sounds like you did all the right research and are moving along just fine.Go out and buy some closepins so when you reglue the kerfing you can use them like a clamp.Buy a bottle of wood glue its yellow.Before gluing dampen the area's that are to be glued with a little water then apply glue,as the water evaprate's the glue will wick into the wood giving you a better glued joint.
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