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all. I am new to this exchange.

I recently bought a 7 string Cort guitar with a busted top (for cheap). I am hoping to repair back to playable condition. It is in good condition except what you see in the photos. Any ideas on the best way to repair? Should I just give it up?

I can do the electrical work (which is still functional). It's just the body damage. I would like to get repaired. If I reconstruct the body (glue what I can and fill the rest with wood putty), it would work but be very ugly. I am afraid I would have to paint the entire thing if I did the work myself.

Another option I considered is to just put a pickguard on the front. I would probably have to make a custom one.

Any thoughts?

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    It depends if you want a guitar in playable condition, or a guitar which look is also perfect. For the former there are a lot of ways to have the electronic working and steady on that, even if a bit of resin is involved. For the latter it is probably another matter... What do you want :)?
    – Tom
    Sep 28 at 20:19
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    I edited the post. The electrical still works and I put that together myself. The body work is a different story. I want the guitar to look pretty. It has a beautiful speckled red finish. I am afraid I would have to repaint the entire thing if I did it myself. That is why I am asking if anyone has any other options.
    – rfportilla
    Sep 28 at 20:33
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    Very big and fancy pots knobs?
    – Tom
    Sep 28 at 20:56
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    Show the underside of the damage!
    – fraxinus
    Sep 29 at 14:06
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    The guitar: "You should see the other guy!"
    – Tom
    Sep 29 at 18:30
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This is a relatively simple repair if you don't mind that the guitar doesn't end up looking the same as it did new:

  1. Drill out the damaged parts of the wood.
  2. Add a pickguard with the slot for the switch in the same position and the holes for the potentiometers in approximately the same positions. If you can't find a standard product that matches, you will have to make one (or have one made) from blank pickguard material (probably black for this instrument). If well made, it will look like it was meant to be there from the start. A custom one could cover as much or as little of the body as you like, as long as it covers the damaged areas.

Some guitars (e.g. my Danelectro baritone) already have the electronics cavity open to both top and bottom of the instrument like this, enclosed by the pickguard on top and a cover on bottom.

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  • Thanks! This is the conclusion I had pretty much come to before I posted. I appreciate the validation, though. If it was a beat up body, there would be no question, but the paint is really pretty.
    – rfportilla
    Oct 6 at 14:18
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I think Theodore’s answer of a custom pick guard is a good one but I have another idea that I think would also work. Maybe you can get two large washers similar to the ones used for the pickup switch on a Les Paul to attach over the holes and mount the pots on them. Find a diameter that covers the holes. This way more of the original finish would be visible. They can be the same color as the knobs or a contrasting color, say silver and black.

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  • Unfortunately, I don't think I can get washers big enough. The damage goes about 1-1/2 inch out. That would be a really big washer. Thanks anyway
    – rfportilla
    Oct 6 at 14:21
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By far the simplest will be a pickguard. It can be whatever shape and size you think fit, and colour and material will be choices too. The damaged area looks pretty flat, but if the pickguard needed to go close to the edge, it could have a spacer under it at the point it gets screwed onto the body.

The existing holes could then be opened up to allow the body of the pots and switch to fit easily, all of which I guess is accesible from the back. You could even move the switch and pots if needed, with any extra holes made then covered by the pickguard.

At the same time, maybe consider some alterations to the controls - phase switching, tandem pots, etc. With those pups there will be many options, and another switch or pot won't go amiss, surely?

Consider either leaving the damage, or filling it in - there may be some gain to the tone one way or the other - albeit minimal.

To keep it as original as possible, John's idea of washers is the best - maybe carefully routing out enough depth for them - otherwise you'll end up painting at least the top of the guitar.

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