Split Top

Even if it ain't broke you can still fix it.
Post Reply
John Reid
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Split Top

Post by John Reid »

I just glued a western cedar top. No braces yet, just the top wood. That went very well, but after I realized the wood has a split in it along the grain. I made a drawing that shows where the split runs. The split will definitely run into the top area. I’m looking for suggestions for what to do.

I thought about trying to separate the split and put glue in, but I doubt I can get glue in the crack where I want it most – the end of the crack where it will actually be part of the final top.

My best idea, so far, is to cut the top along the split using the band saw, and cut the whole length of the piece. Then smooth and joint the two pieces back together. Does that sound ok?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
tippie53
Posts: 6759
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: Hegins, Pa
Contact:

Re: Split Top

Post by tippie53 »

tite bond should get it
apply glue work it in with a credit card like a squeegee across the grain and tape closed
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com
MaineGeezer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: Split Top

Post by MaineGeezer »

Do as John suggests. Also flex the crack, as much as you dare, as you squeegee the glue on the crack. That will help work the glue into the crack.

It probably also wouldn't hurt to put a small cleat across the end of the crack, but if you glue it well you shouldn't need one.
Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion
John Reid
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Re: Split Top

Post by John Reid »

Ok, I followed those instruction. I glued the split as best I could using a card to squeegee in the glue. Then I put my wife’s credit card back in her wallet. 😊 I did take note of the location of the split figuring I might add a cleat later after thicknessing and bracing.
John Reid
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Re: Split Top

Post by John Reid »

Thought I’d give an update on the split.

After thicknessing the top last week, I noticed another split on the mirrored side. I should have thought of that earlier. I glued that as well and it seems to be fine now.

Yesterday I was just about to glue on the braces and I decided to checked the two splits just to be careful. I tapped the wood and heard a not-good rattle. Sure enough I found a split. This split was an extension of the original split that had moved farther into the lower bout.

I glued that last night and it looked, and sounded pretty good this morning. I just glued the braces before lunch.

Might still do a cleat, but haven decided yet.

Again, thanks for the input.
John Reid
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Re: Split Top

Post by John Reid »

I decided to add a cleat on one side. This side had a more obvious crack. The glue (TBO) seemed to work on each side, meaning when bent, I no longer saw a crack opening, and when tapped, I no longer heard a rattle. On one of the sides the glued crack can still be seen with a loupe, and that made me nervous, so I added the cleat.

I’m a bit away from closing the box, so if anyone wants to tell me the cleat is a bad idea, I still have time to remove it…
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
MaineGeezer
Posts: 1581
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:14 pm

Re: Split Top

Post by MaineGeezer »

I think it will be fine. It's off to one side and shouldn't have any noticeable effect. (Note, however, that is just my random opinion with only my dubious intuition to back it up.)

I might make it a bit wider and a bit thinner, if I were doing it, but it ought to be fine as is.
Don't believe everything you know.
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion
Post Reply