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aharp

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Well, tell you what; what's causing that is plain to see. Your lacquer cracked and air got under it. You can see the crack lines right in the middle of the lifting.


This has to to with expansion and contraction of wood.

I have a Gibson J-185 finished in nitro lacquer that's about 12 years old. Ten years ago, I moved out to the CA high desert. I was at the beach. In the beach climate, there was no cracking whatsoever due to the coastal humidity. about 5 years ago, cracking started to develop on the top of the guitar, but no where else.

This is because the delicate spruce top began to contract with the dryness. Had I stayed at the beach, this wouldn't happen until much later.

Evidently, something about either your climate or that particular wood on that particular guitar caused it to expand/contract. The wood moves, but the lacquer doesn't, causing the crack.

This is my theory. I'd contact forum member @Freddy G for further on this, he may have a different theory.
 
Dave is exactly correct. That's why you see cracks all around the mother-of-pearl inlay as well. The wood shrinks and expands, but MOP does not.
 
Uh oh...could that seriously affect the value? Or is that only for vintage instruments?
 
It may affect the value if the refin is not done well. But if it is, it shouldn't affect value at all compared to the state of the finish now.
 
Good, my dad knows a guy in Kalamazoo named Pete Moreno, he worked for Gibson while they were still in Kalamazoo. We might take it down to him because he has a great reputation for restoring guitars to their original condition. Do you have a ballpark estimate for how much a headstock refinish like mine would cost?
 

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aharp
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