Taylor 514E Top Replacement

This Taylor suffered a terrible fate when someone fell onto it. It was sentimental to the owner and therefore worth it to him to repair so a new top was in order.


To keep it as original as possible and also more cost effective, a replacement top was ordered from the factory. Taylor guitars are so consistently made, that many years later, a replacement top is dimensionally as per the original spec. whilst it arrives as an over sized top, it’s bracing and sound hole etc are perfectly positioned as per the original.

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First the damaged top is pulled back into shape to allow an accurate template be made. This is going to be a “Drop In” top replacement – a technique that Bob Taylor himself detailed in an industry journal many years ago. It means that the old top is removed without disturbing the binding or side finish at all. If there is no side damage, there is actually no need to do any side refinishing. The top repair can be completely contained to the top surface only. It’s a great method I have used many times since this repair – not just on Taylors.

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Once the template is made, and the old top removed. The replacement top is accurately cut to the exact template shape. After dry fitting to make sure all brace ends fit perfectly into the linings and any adjustments made, the new top is glued in.

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A purfling channel is cut (the trickiest part) without disturbing the binding, and new purflings installed. The new top is now sanded, finished in the original factory UV cure thin flexible polyester finish.

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Lastly the bridge is fitted, and the NT bolt on neck cavity routed before the guitar is assembled and ready to go home to its family.