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Disaster cracked top and back!
Author
Post
sprouseod

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 17
Well I am just getting started on my 1st build SM OOO, Sitka top and RW back and sides. Today as I was starting to glue the neck and tail blocks, I was reaching for a clamp and knocked off a large metal file which proceeded to fall on my top and back. The top was split from the top left, a centimeter or so from the center seam, all the way down to the sound hole, then picked up at the opposite end of the sound hole and moved another inch or so. The back split from the top left, again a few cm from the center seam, down about 5 inches.

Are these repairable? if so how?? What is this going to do to the sound and strength of the guitar? Should I chalk this up to experience and call Stewrt Mac in the AM and order another set?

Thanks
Richard


Jan 28, 08 | 5:52 pm
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
I would certainly try a repair. Your best bet is to get some hot hide glue and use it to glue the cracks. Whatever you do, DON'T TOUCH THE EDGES or sand around them. You want to keep those cracked edges as clean as possible prior to glue up. On the back it isn't as important as the crack will hide well, but any dirt in the joint will show up. If you don't want to try hot hide glue, I would use LMI white. Don't use CA on the top as it will discolor (yellow) the spruce and you will see it forever.

As for the sound and strength, you will never hear the difference as long as the joint is repaired correctly. It will be as strong as the center seam. I would glue in some cleats to strengthen the repairs.

All is not lost, I have seen some posts of really bad breaks being repaired almost invisibly. You might want to check out Ted's blog. He had a catastrophic disaster on his last build where he had to make some significant crack repairs after the body was built. The repairs are hard to see now. Also, go to Frets.com and read some of Frank Ford's articles regarding crack repairs. He has a huge amount of very good info on the subject.

My Blog

Jan 28, 08 | 6:14 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Richard -- Sorry this happened! I agree with David. Try the repair just the way he describes. Also ditto on www.frets.com Frank Ford is "the man" when it comes to repairs.

Bill

Jan 29, 08 | 5:44 am
sprouseod

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 17
Thanks for the info, I think I am going to attempt the repair. I have a couple of questions. First, how much pressure should be applied when gluing the two pieces back together? My thoughts were to clamp one side down with a large caul and several large clamps. Then butt a 2x4 against the opposite edge, apply the glue and use the 2x4 to push the two sides together and clamp. Will this apply enough pressure or should I use a wedge shim as described in Cumpiano's book when joining side?

Also, currnetly I only have yellow tite bond glue and generic white wood glue. will either of these suffice?

thanks again/

Richard

Jan 29, 08 | 6:52 am
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Hi Richard,

If I understand the problem correctly -- you can use a set up like this

http://www.kennethmichaelguitars.com/JointingToporBackhalves.html

Disregard the sanding stuff, but -- the release tape, wedging/clamping method and the support bar are the important considerations. Without all these elements the plate will bow under any pressure at all and the joint will fail or be visible.

Ken

Jan 29, 08 | 1:22 pm
sprouseod

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 17
Well, here is what I ended up with. The top crack seemed to close OK but you can still see a faint illumination line to the right of the center line where the crack was located. The back however did not close all the way. I tried to repair the two pieces per Ken's instruction, using the wedge clamping method. The problem I came across wash that the RW back took significant force to push the two pieces back together, and I could not get enough constant pressure from the wedge against such a thin piece of wood ( the back)

So here are my questions" Does the top look OK? Any suggestions on renforcing the cracked area? David mentioned useing cleats but I don't think I understand the concept.

2Nd what else can I do with the back?

Thanks
Richard





Jan 31, 08 | 9:42 am
sprouseod

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 17
For some reasons my pics did not post

here are the links

Top
http://picasaweb.google.com/sprouseod/Crack/photo#5161709273072904162

Back
http://picasaweb.google.com/sprouseod/Crack/photo#5161709264482969554

Jan 31, 08 | 9:44 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Richard -- Not all photo sites allow access to the photos from outside the sites. Picasa is one of them.

Jan 31, 08 | 12:18 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Hi Richard,
The way that crack spread out it appears to me that humidity is playing a role in this problem. So what I am saying is it is hard to say for sure that back has completely stabalized. All said, I would use CA to fix that crack. What I would do is place a shim about 1/8 thick under the area of the crack. Than hammer in brads or push pins around the edges the entire upper bout. The back should be on a piece of waxed paper. OK --- once the pins are in place slid the shim out from under, now push the back down flat to the bench/table. Removing the bow created by the shim should create enough tension to compress the split. It may take a little thicker, but start with an 1/8" Make sense? Once compressed apply some CA to the crack. The CA will also leech into the damage you cannot see.

Ken

Jan 31, 08 | 12:33 pm
sprouseod

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 17
Hi Ken, thanks for the response, I have already tried using the wedge and clamp, so now there is some dried glue in the crack, the pics you see are
after I attepted to repair it. Should I try and remove the glue, I used Titebond?

Thanks
Richard

Jan 31, 08 | 1:55 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
Yes remove the titebond first, apply a little heat and maybe mositure -- a blow dryer will work, The glue should sort of peel right off. Then clean it with lacquer thinner or acetone.

Ken

Jan 31, 08 | 2:27 pm



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