Doh! Ding Repair Advice Needed...

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Doh! Ding Repair Advice Needed...

Post by T-10 » Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:12 pm

Last night, I put my LS85F on, then removed the guitar cable from the amp to do a tune-up. Somehow I managed to knock the headstock with the metal cable-end thingy. Not very hard. In fact, I thought "hope that hasn't scratched at all". Unfortunately the black surface of the headstock, near the 'D' tuner has kind of shattered.

Now the tears have dried (mostly anyway), I'm looking at advice on how to put it right, preferably from personal experience. I don't want to pay for a professional repair either.

One piece of 'the surface' came clean off, although I managed to find it. Part of the bit still attached is cracked, as I think can be seen from the photos, but it would be a bad idea to try and lift it to reattach properly as it's stressed as it is (A bit like me!).

Thoughts I've had are:-

Sneak a bit of glue under the ends of the attached bits, and glue the separate piece back on. I'm thinking that 'normal' glue would be better than super glue as any overspill would make things much worse.

I've then considered 'rubbing' some black paint into the cracks, while obviously making sure the excess is quickly removed from the surface. I've also read somewhere that a black felt-pen can be used for such things.

The edge is down to the wood, so masking that off and carefully applying paint appears to me to be the option.

Then whether or not to apply lacquer.

I'm open to any thoughts and advice. I know guitars are for playing and will inevitably pick up knocks, but I'd like to tidy this up as much as possible.


PS. Sorry about the stretched text.

With missing piece in place:-
Showing bare edge:-

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Post by fartoomany » Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:11 pm

Personally, that is so minor I wouldn't bother, its probably going to be the first of many if you intend to play it a lot. If you have never attempted any sort of repair before, my advice would be to leave well alone, you may end up making it worse.

I have repaired similar defects before using black paint and superglue with mixed results. I know superglue and nail varnish are quite popular for repairs. Basically you apply it in a number of layers to fill in the defect, then rub it back with very fine wet and dry (1200 grit or higher) then use a polish (like t-cut) to bring it back to a shine.

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Post by bruceboomstick » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:22 pm

I had a similar ding to an Ibanez SA headstock (and a Jackson come to think of it). I repaired both with a halfords black touch up stick - it's like gloss paint in a pen. On the 'nez that was sufficient to improve the look. On the Jackson I went over it with a thing coat of polyurthane clear varnish (applied with a kids style paint brush) - it took about 3 coats to bring up to "level". In both cases the repair was noticable, but not as noticable as the ding.

I would say that it's worth bearing in mind that a repair that goes wrong is often worse than the ding and if you come to sell later a visible repair can be more detrimental to value than an honest ding.

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Post by Alpedra » Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:52 pm

In 10 years that ding will be the less of your worries.... just do what the guitar was made to... play it :wink:

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Post by TUNAFREAK » Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:31 pm

I know how it feels. I changed out my tuners on my brand new ES 155 natural vintage and while pushing out the old bushings, I cracked the Laquer around one of the pegs. It is much worse than yours. That was about 3 or 4 months ago and it does'nt bother me as much now. The very best way, and the way I will have mine done is to refinish the whole headstock. It will be the only way to match the body of the guitar. Take it to a trusted Pro. I am very carefull with my guitars, they go from the case to my hands and back to the case, it works!

Mark :D


Post by buckwild » Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:02 pm

That could easily be fixed with a simple drop fill.

I would use this method and supplies from SewMac ... &clk=48418

Also, remember that the LS-85F is not a lacquer finished guitar, which is another reason I'd go with the brush on superglue drop fill method. Honestly, I would just leave that one alone but if you want to fix it I'd go with this method or have a tech do it.

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Post by hawkeye2u » Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:41 am

I know the feeling, my Lp Jr fell one night, I thought I'd just caught it but no there is a ding in the back, oh well guitars age and so do we
I'd just fill your cracks up with a Black marker pen, thin, no one will know but you.
Ive done that to my MIJ 57RI Strat 3 tone SunBurst, I know the defects are there, but everyone that sees the guitar tells me what a great looking 96 Strat , very well kept!!
Let the lady age with dignity

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Post by marcusnieman » Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:12 am

Sell it! :wink:

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Post by T-10 » Thu Mar 29, 2007 1:38 pm

Thanks for the replies and advice.

I'll have a proper look at it at the weekend, and decide whether or not to have a go, and what method to use.

If I don't post an 'after' photo, you'll know it didn't go too well :(

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Post by Canterbilly » Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:33 pm

I think Fartoomany has the best idea. Carefuly apply a little (very little) super glue to set any loose bits and then build up the finish with several thin layers of nail varnish. Once the finish is built up polish it using very fine wet and dry and finish with T Cut or similar. The key to this type of repair (any type) is to go SLOWLY and not rush things. Good luck.
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ding repair

Post by vaporboy » Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:14 pm

I repaired two dings worse than yours on a PRS - first I chipped the loose pieces out of the area using a plastic toothpick, then using 800 grit paper (tiny piece) feathered the edge of the area. Then I applied some red marker (it was a red guitar) to the wood colored substrate to get close to the original color (in your case I'd probably use black paint or black marker. Then each day in the morning I would put a tiny coat of laquer (I used nitro) until I was sure it was at least up to the original surface (don't worry if the edges are proud). Then I took a stick with 800 grit wet/dry paper (tiny piece) gently sanded it flush (I actually do this wet but be careful). Finally I take metal polish (Brasso) and polish the area - it is an almost invisible repair. Stevie Ray would have laughed at all this though !!!!

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Post by T-10 » Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:57 pm

It's been a while, but I've eventually just finished the repair. Thought I'd post some pictures for anyone who was curious to how it turned out.

I decided to firstly remove the the loose bits, which made things look a lot worse. I toyed with not reattaching the loose bits, and just repainting, but decided to reattach them with superglue. I then went through a process of painting black car paint into the cracks and wiping the excess off until built up enough.

I then put several layers of clear nail varnish on, rubbed down with wet wet'n'dry which I'd glued onto a flat surface, and finally T-cut down.

It was never going to be perfect, but I'm quite pleased with the result. It actually looks much better in the flesh than on the photos, because the camera flash has highlighted the original cracks under the varnish. It's a lot less noticable in normal lighting. Anyway here goes, starting with a photo after breaking the loose bits off...




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Post by BillyWizz » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:53 am

We use a Poly filler for repairs like that. It usually costs around ?35-?60 according to where the chip is and if it has run along under the finish.

Personally I would leave it. Virgins are better when broken :lol:

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Post by Silver » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:14 am

In my opinion, that kind of wear (result from the regular use) gives a character to any les paul. If I were you, I would leave it as it was...

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Post by ilovemystrat » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:40 am


that dent is unnoticable compared to the damage i've seen on tokai les pauls in tokyo!

looking at those double cut Tokai Les Paul Juniors

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