View Full Version : Best way to repair a big crack

11-06-2011, 07:29 AM
What's the best way to repair a crack like this, where there's a lot of separation?


I'm assuming you'd need to use something to fill in crack, but what's the best choice? Are there any things that should be avoided?

Note that in the image provided, someone has already attempted a repair (it wasn't me). :)

11-06-2011, 10:15 AM
If someone has already had a go at it and you don't know what was attempted, then my only suggestion is for a "V" shape sliver to by cut from the crack and a piece of matching wood shaped to fit the "V" glued in the hot hide glue. Then a reinforcement glued to the underside. In a spruce or cedar top this is pretty straight forward and a invisible repair is often possible. On something that figured and through the rosette is going to be near impossible however.

11-06-2011, 12:16 PM
From my reading (note, I am NOT a luthier, just a hobby builder and quite new at that) the standard fix is to humidify the uke until the crack closes (you hope), work hot hide glue, or maybe Titebond, into the crack, cleat, and hope it doesn't crack elsewhere when it dries out a little.

As you've already got some kind of glue in that crack, I can't see this working because the crack won't close fully. Filling, as Allen says, would leave a repair which is far more visible than the crack.

So if your only choice was me, I'd be working on cleating the crack to stabilise it, though leaving it visible. Because the crack is in the upper bout it shouldn't affect the sound much, if at all.

It's surprising how cracks are only a problem if you think they're a problem. The second uke I made was for a friend, and it had a figured and quite unstable top (well, what did I know about wood selection?). It suffered a hard 6 months of humidity extremes and he told me it had a crack near the soundhole. In fact it had four cracks, but he'd never noticed the other three, and it still played fine. So it's suitably cleated, he still loves it, and with any luck it won't develop any more cracks now I've told him why they happen.

Liam Ryan
11-06-2011, 06:49 PM
Where is that crack? Is a wider angle photo possible?

11-06-2011, 08:49 PM
Click on the image for a larger photo (and click on that one for an even larger photo!).

11-06-2011, 11:41 PM
Where is that crack? Is a wider angle photo possible?
If the crack is where I think it is..and the uke is worth it I would consider having an extended fretboard fitted right up to the soundhole..(Just an idea)