When deciding to repair an instrument the first question or consideration should be, “Will a repair make this instrument viable again for playing?”
The next is, “Can I repair it to the satisfaction of the designer/builder?”
Finally, “What would be the least invasive method to fix this?”
The idea is to first and foremost, if at all possible, to bring the instrument back into a playable state.
Next, try to repair it in the way the builder would have done it.
No need to over-build it but in the spirit and approach of
the instruments design and function. Lastly, the consideration most put first is maintaining the original beauty when completing the repair. Sometimes an instrument is only beautiful when singing. However, if it plays well does it really matter what it looks like?
As an instrument ages it tells a story. Sometimes a “birthmark” or bruise can
be an identifying mark or a great story. Either way people still call and pay big bucks for “road-worn”, instruments. Or they want new instruments distressed to look old and used. Presumably, the player will seem more experienced with a well-worn prop. But, sometimes an instrument in distress needs some care. And beauty is not always a consideration in a case like this.
In fact, some of the ugliest guitars play and sound wonderful. The only way to make this guitar playable again is to repair the holes and wood rips after a careless Fed-Ex delivery. If we determine that it can be brought back to its former sonic charm, then we’ll get to work. We did.
Every instrument has its own story, so let your guitar create its own. In order of importance when restoring or repairing a musical instrument, try to be realistic when determining if it can be restored to a playable state.
Repair it in a minimally non-invasive way in keeping with the design and sound qualities in the forefront. The final touches are reserved for artistic and superficial finishing.
Bottom line. If there is a power blackout and you happen to grab a guitar
in the dark, and it plays, sounds and feels great. Do you really care what it looks like?
“Music, Take yourself somewhere else… in a different language….”
Now, it plays better AND sounds better. It doesn’t look too bad either. Would you be happy with this repair?