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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This guitar got dropped off today. It's well worn and not well maintained, but it's the owner's left nut and he can't be without it. Old & dry, the front brace let go and top gave away.
Gibson Classical1.jpg

In spite of the name on the headstock, it's not worth millions to anyone except to the owner/player.
Gibson Classical2.jpg

It's a 1973 Gibson C-0 or C-1 Classical. The model number on the ID tag has gone away.
Gibson Classical3.jpg

It's really not as bad as it looks. Just by taking the strings off it, everything almost went back where it belongs. The old girl has had a hard life, but at least she got played.
The good thing is that all the cracks are right around the sound hole area so they are easy to reach & clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You've definitely got some work ahead of you there. Haven't seen one of those Gibson classicals before.
This is the only one I've ever seen. It's always sounded great too, the guy has had it as long as I can remember.
 

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Almost anything made of wood can be fixed, lucky for those of us who like...ahem...wood ;-)

Cool guitar. Gibson has made some interesting stuff.
 

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I had a guitar in similar condition, watch for the neck block to be loose from the body. I was forced to remove the back to repair the neck block whose glue gave way over the years, could well be the same conditions that caused the bracing to give way.
Used to have an inexpensive Sony camera was great for photo'ing inside guitars + macro, sadly, like all things, it went south a while back. A great tool for investigative work.
 

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Geee ! Yeah ! It has really been played !
Look at the frets !!! Always played with nylon strings on ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had a guitar in similar condition, watch for the neck block to be loose from the body. I was forced to remove the back to repair the neck block whose glue gave way over the years, could well be the same conditions that caused the bracing to give way.
Used to have an inexpensive Sony camera was great for photo'ing inside guitars + macro, sadly, like all things, it went south a while back. A great tool for investigative work.
I've got a plumbing inspection camera I use and I've checked out the neck block and all the braces. Block and tail peice seem sound. The sides are in good shape. There are several cracks in the top, I'm going to start on the bass side and work my way over, cleating as I go. Way less bracing on the top of this guitar than normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Geee ! Yeah ! It has really been played !
Look at the frets !!! Always played with nylon strings on ?
Every time I ever saw the guitar it had nylon strings on it. I didn't think nylon could wear frets, but looks like I'm wrong on that one. Its going to need the first 6 frets replaced. I haven't measured them yet, but they are wide and low. Hopefully somebody is still making them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's what she's looking like now. Everything is back in place, the brace is re-glued, I glued some cracks, starting on the far edge of the bass side. There were 4 un-repaired cracks on that side.
Gibson Classical5.jpg

Next crack I do is the one close to the neck on the low E side. Then the three on the other side of the neck. The far one is long.........real long.
That crack running down the center of the top has been repaired at sometime in the past but was never cleated. I may do something with that later.
Not sure what to do with that area below the sound hole with all the strum-wear. There's a lot of wood missing. I might clean it up and put some lacquer over it to protect it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Following this thread with interest and admiration. Congrats!
This type of work requires skill, knowledge and a LOT of patience.
Well Dave, Word is getting out that I'm off work for a while, so friends are sending/bringing me their guitars all of a sudden. I guess they figure there's a chance they'll get them back in less than 9 years (my normal turn-around time). B#(*
No real skill, just patience and a love of wood.

I want so badly to sand this top and re-spray it. It would make those cracks vanish.....but I don't want to risk losing any mojo.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've decided to fix this crack in the center before moving on to the treble side. Two braces here running straight across from side to side. Top dried out, pulled away from them and cracked.
Gibson Classical7.jpg

I'm going to re-glue the top to the braces, and then work glue into the crack before clamping.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
when I got the light and mirror inside to start working on the center crack, I noticed the brace just behind the sound hole was split from about half way to the side of the body on the bass side.
Glued that up too at the same time and clamped them both.
Gibson Classical8.jpg

Wood heating is hard on guitars.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Curious on any tonal differences from pre repair to post repair.
well, the guitar was totally unplayable when I got it, so I have nothing to judge by. I'll do my best to put it back in playable condition without doing anything stupid that might affect the tone. That's why I don't want to spray a bunch of lacquer on it. There were so many cracks in the top, it felt mushy. With the top repaired and acting as one piece of wood again, the guitar has got to sound better than it has in a long time, "In my opinion".

The owner has 4 or 5 guitars. This is the only one that "looks" this way, because this is the only one that gets played. It's special. It means a lot to him, and that means a lot to me. He will have to be the judge on the post repair tone. I'll keep you posted.
 
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