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I was performing this afternoon when I felt a sharp pain in my right thumb. I looked down, and there was a big hunk of wood (about half an inch long) sticking out from my right thumbnail. There was a similarly-sized hole inside the rosette, next to the soundhole.

Damage

The wood there is pretty dry and crappy. The rest of the guitar sounds great and looks fine, but I'd like to avoid this happening again.

My question: How can I repair this? What do I have to do to moisturize the wood in this area? I'm not concerned with how the guitar looks, but this damage looks like an accident waiting to happen again.

(The guitar is a Seagull "Grand" parlor acoustic. And yes, I finished the song, and managed to pull the splinter out while playing.)

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Congratulation for the feat of finishing the song in these conditions, and I presume without others noticing.

In complement to Faza's answer

If I interpret your photograph well, it means that you play with you right hand and your right thumb advanced over the rosette and the fretboard. Could be a good idea to train yourself to move your hand and arm a little toward your right and the bridge. It will help you avoid this unfortunate incident before having the instrument repaired and it is usually quite beneficial in term of power and articulation of sound when playing an acoustic guitar by uncovering the rosette and forcing a more deliberate action on the strings. There may be other little technique elements you could reconsider to make this kind of accident less likely (such as having the hand movements kept more parallel to the strings, retracting the thumb a little when striking with the full hand, ...)

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Maybe nobody would have noticed, but for me complaining loudly and frequently after the song ended. –  neilfein Jun 3 '11 at 16:07
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In order to fix this, you will probably need to take the guitar to a luthier and have him fit a "patch" over it.

If the reason for the damage is that the wood has become dry and brittle, you should probably invest in a guitar humidifier. There are a number of options available on the market - some are designed to be placed in the soundbox, others should be placed in the guitar case. Consult the luthier when getting the chip fixed.

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To follow up: I have been keeping the guitar in its case with a humidifier and have been moisturizing the wood, paying special attention to this area. Will have the chip looked at the next time I bring this guitar in for a setup. –  neilfein Jul 13 '13 at 18:23
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