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1960 Gretsch 6120

I am in Wichita, KS and have a Gretsch 6120 that has a crack that has been repaired fairly well, but wondered if it is possible to completely repair it when it is not visible at all, and the cost associated with this, is this something you could do? If not, do you know anyone who could, and what it might cost? I am attaching a few pics (macro) of the area Thank you for your time,

It seems, from the pictures, that the problem is that the crack is darker that the surrounding mahogany. That can be caused by lots of things. The bare wood may have absorbed finger oil before the crack was glued. It is very difficult to resist running a finger back and forth over a crack. Or, more likely, the glue was too dark. For whatever reason, the dark crack shows through the clear finish and looks bad. And, the crack is probably that same color all the way down. Stripping it, sanding it and refinishing it wouldn't fix it. Refinishing the instrument with darker stain would work, but it would be crazy. This is a 1960 Gretch! It's color and original finish is part of its collector value. The only solution is to get down to the bare wood and cover the crack with opaque, color matched paint, and then paint in grain characteristics. It is possible to basically paint a picture of uncracked wood over the crack.

The sad truth is that wood is made up of a stack of translucent layers. If you slice wood thin enough you can see right through it. Iridescence is the quality of wood wherein, as you look at it, you are seeing through the surface to varying depths. So the look of the wood changes as your angle of viewing changes. So, a near perfect painting viewed from one angle will be less perfect from another angle. The very best job that can be done will earn praise of the repair from the viewers. It will not completely fix the flaw. No one will be fooled into thinking that it never cracked. The one shot at improving this repair, gluing the crack with carefully color matched glue, is past.

I wouldn't promise perfection and I would charge you $300 to $500. And it might take me 6 months to get it right. My recommendation is to do nothing. The guitar plays well and the crack is strong.

Steve Mason