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ukeninam
09-26-2008, 12:20 PM
Is there a brand or type of glue for fixing cracks? Not to put together but maybe to fill?? I just noticed on my old harmony uke there is a crack on the side. i'll try to borrow my brother's camera tonight to show you where it is. Its an old plastic fretboard uke but I still like it.

Should I even attempt to fix it? It seems like an easy fix.

ukeninam
09-26-2008, 01:45 PM
okay got my brother's camera here is the crack on the side...

ukeninam
09-26-2008, 03:00 PM
When you squeeze the top and bottom together can you see ithe crack contract then widen when you let pressure off of it? When you play it and fret it, does it widen/contract (probably kind of hard to see).

nope it doesn't contract or open when I apply pressure and take pressure off.

Pete Howlett
09-26-2008, 03:34 PM
Get or make a simple spool clamp - rub glue into the crack then squeeze the sides together making sure you push the two pieces together to get a match. Inside you need to 'patch' it. The best stuff for a simple repair like like is brown gummed tape that you have to wet in order for it to 'stick'. As it dries out it shrinks and helps to 'hold' it together. You may sneer at this but there are many backs of pictures over 100 years old that still have gum tape gumming them.

deach
09-26-2008, 03:50 PM
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1302/4819541/11668864/336191287.jpg

+

http://www.listen-up.org/kitty/beads/tea/sharpie1.jpg






Disclaimer - this is just a joke.

salukulady
09-26-2008, 07:45 PM
Get or make a simple spool clamp - rub glue into the crack then squeeze the sides together making sure you push the two pieces together to get a match. Inside you need to 'patch' it. The best stuff for a simple repair like like is brown gummed tape that you have to wet in order for it to 'stick'. As it dries out it shrinks and helps to 'hold' it together. You may sneer at this but there are many backs of pictures over 100 years old that still have gum tape gumming them.

Okay, here's another one for you. I have a mahogany Ohana Tenor I got a great deal on because it had a small split in the back. I took it to a luthier and he said to let it be for a while. Said the wood had not completely dried before they built it. Said if it really bothered me to let it sit for a year then fill the crack with filler and brace it from the inside with a popsicle stick.
Here's my question. It's been almost a year. The crack does not affect the sound and does not bother me in the least. It doesn't seem to have gotten worse. Should I leave it alone or attempt to fix it. My instinct says to let it be, but I know wood changes with age. We live at the beach, so it's well moisturized in the ocean air so I don't think it will dry any further. Thank you for all the great info......

ukeninam
09-26-2008, 09:43 PM
Get or make a simple spool clamp - rub glue into the crack then squeeze the sides together making sure you push the two pieces together to get a match. Inside you need to 'patch' it. The best stuff for a simple repair like like is brown gummed tape that you have to wet in order for it to 'stick'. As it dries out it shrinks and helps to 'hold' it together. You may sneer at this but there are many backs of pictures over 100 years old that still have gum tape gumming them.


do I apply the glue (i read up to use hide glue?) clamp, stick together wait to completely dry, then patch the inside. Or do i apply the glue and patch the inside at the same time?

Also what brand or what kind of glue to use. I know I have the gummed tape im sure its the same thing I use to pack up boxes.

acabooe
09-27-2008, 01:21 AM
To Salukulady,

If it doesn't bother you, and it doesn't effect the sound, i would suggest that you leave it alone. If it aint broke ( so that it effects performance ) don't fix it.

To Ukeninam,
Check out the video on this page, it might help you.
http://www.ukuleleguild.org/luthiers.php#video
This is a vid showing how to fix a crack.

Also the thing that Pete was talking about ( spool clamp ) can be seen here
http://www.hanalima.com/sessiontour/week6.2.shtml
Basically, a spool clamp refers to a threaded rod with two rounded wooden blocks, two metal washers, and a wing nut. It is used for clamping ( obviously ) in a vertical fashion, usually when gluing the sides to the soundboard, or the back board to the sides. you can make one for very cheap.

Hope this helps both of you.
Aloha
Bob

acabooe
09-27-2008, 01:47 AM
I thought of something else that you can do, but it is more involved, and shouldn't be attempted if you are unsure of your skills.

If you have an old Ukulele tuner lying around, you can drill a 1/2" diameter hole in a 2" x 2" x 3/4" block of wood on the top, going down through to the bottom. Then drill another hole in the side of the block ( 3/4" side ) to allow the tuner post to sit in the hole that was drilled vertically.
Now attach the tuner to the block on the side, and make sure the tuning post is protruding into the vertical hole and that the button is in a place where you can turn it without binding on something.

Next you wanna get a small piece of wood about 1/16" thick by 1/4" by 1/4" ( sometimes called a graft or a cleat ) .
Drill a small 1/16" hole through this small square wood.
Drill another 1/16" hole right through the crack in your ukulele.

Next, take a piece of fishing line about 1' long, and put it into the tuner post and tie a knot so that both ends of the string are coming out of the bottom of the little tuner block of wood.

What you want to do is put the fishing line into the hole in the crack in the Ukulele, an then bring it out of the sound hole. Pull tight and the tuner block will snug up to the Ukulele itself.Then put the fishing line through the tiny patch wood ( the one that was 1/16"x 1/4"x 1/4" ) and tie a bigger knot so the patch wood will not come off.

Finally you want to rub a drop of Titebond Original wood glue on the patch wood ( the side that will touch the inside of the crack) and then just turn the tuner and reel in the patch block until it is snugly against the crack on the inside. In 30 min to 1 hour, the glue will be dry, and the fishing line can be cut and retrived from inside your ukulele.

The patch block bonds to the inside of the crack to keep it from ever widening.
After the above is completed, putty the hole with wood putty and then do the superglue trick from the post above.


The purpose of the tuner block is that it makes like a clamp to hold the patch block in place where as most or all other clamps wouldn't be able to hold it.
If this is confusing, please let me know.

DISCLAIMER:
I have never attempted this maneuver, However it was explained to me in detail from my Ukulele building teacher Mike Chock of Hana Lima Ia. Again, if you think that you are gonna mess your Ukulele up more by trying this DON'T DO IT.


Hope this helps too.
Aloha
Bob

T@D
09-27-2008, 05:00 PM
Is there a brand or type of glue for fixing cracks? Not to put together but maybe to fill?? I just noticed on my old harmony uke there is a crack on the side. i'll try to borrow my brother's camera tonight to show you where it is. Its an old plastic fretboard uke but I still like it.

Should I even attempt to fix it? It seems like an easy fix.

ukeninam,
I don't have any repair experience yet but I think with care and the right approach simple repairs could be done on your own. I'm about to restore a Kamaka I rescued and found FRETS.com a great resource for repairs. What I've read is that if it's an old crack, using Titebond® glue will work best on a crack that may have some dirt in it. It cleans up with water and bonds wood very well. As Pete suggested a patch on the inside is a great idea to reinforce the repair.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

ukeninam
09-28-2008, 01:34 PM
ukeninam,
I don't have any repair experience yet but I think with care and the right approach simple repairs could be done on your own. I'm about to restore a Kamaka I rescued and found FRETS.com a great resource for repairs. What I've read is that if it's an old crack, using Titebond® glue will work best on a crack that may have some dirt in it. It cleans up with water and bonds wood very well. As Pete suggested a patch on the inside is a great idea to reinforce the repair.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!


Yeah i've been researching and asking a ton of people and everyone has told me any wood glue will be okay as long as I can clamp it somehow to hold together and to let dry for at least overnight. Hide glue is good to use because if you somehow screw up you can always unglue it and redo the job. Thanks for that awesome site I'm definitely going to start once I get the supplies and stuff!

Kekani
09-29-2008, 09:03 PM
Sammy (is that short for. . .),

Hide glue that any builder worth his (or her) weight is made from scratch. The liquid stuff in the bottle is crap.

As for wood glue, there are a LOT of builders that use Titebond. Do NOT use Titebond 2, or 3, ONLY Original if that's what you're going to use.

Thanks to Rick Turner, I decided its worth it to spend the money on LMI glue. While I would love to crank up a batch of hide glue when its time, I simply don't build enough. The LMI is so worth it.

-Aaron

ukeninam
10-01-2008, 02:30 PM
yay I fixed it! I glued the crack and reinforced the inside with stir sticks that I took from starbucks :p hahha thanks for the advice guys!!

HumbleSounds
10-01-2008, 03:46 PM
Cool thread. Got a pic of the repair?

ukeninam
10-03-2008, 11:25 PM
Cool thread. Got a pic of the repair?

the pics aren't that distinct from the outside but I can assure you the crack no longer opens if you try to pull both sides apart. The interior shot you can see my cleats in there not that uniform but its hard trying to use just my fingers to push it inside and holding it down. I don't intend to sell it anyways but yeah gives you an idea. My very first instrument repair!! yay!

-Supplies Used-
=Titebond
=2 small bar clamps
=piece of fabric so that the clamps don't touch the wood directly
=stir sticks taken from Starbucks cut into 2 inch pieces and glued together for extra support as the sticks are thin
=scissors to cut sticks
=q-tip to spread the glue inside for the hard to reach places
=last but not least patience all in all with drying time 12 hours.

acabooe
10-04-2008, 01:55 PM
Great job Ukeninam
congratulations.

Pete Howlett
10-04-2008, 02:19 PM
Do you want me to be honest?

Great that you repaired the crack... however you over engineered the 'patches'. Two nicely shaped one would have been sufficient only one thickness. That you were opposing the grain direction is sufficient to creat a very strong mechanical repair.

I had a guitar that used to sit beside my bench which I regularly knocked off the wall. The usual damage from bouncing off the concrete floor before I could catch it was a split side. The repairs were done using brown gummed paper-based parcel tape that you stick in place by wetting the gummed surface. This guitar lived in all sorts of extremes (I once popped the front seam by leaving it out of its case in a very hot car) and never did the repaired cracks ever separate - the fingerboard shrunk and seeams went but those repairs held fast. Visually, the repair always looked neat and it adds no weight to the instrument.

You have done well never the less but a word to the amateurs out there - discuss this properly with a repair man rather than a luthier. And I mean a single person. You go all round the houses looking for advice and it becomes confusing - who ever in their right mind would suggest using a popsicle stick for a repair? I wouldn't take an instrument to this guy even if he was deemed to be top of his game! It is careless and condescending to advise anyone thus.

The best on line advice for ANY novice is at frets.com.

I AM NOT CRITICISNG YOU - YOU DID GREAT. NEXT TIME YOU WILL DO EVEN BETTER NOW YOU HAVE THE CONFIDENCE AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT TO DO :nana:

salukulady
10-04-2008, 02:44 PM
who ever in their right mind would suggest using a popsicle stick for a repair? The guy I went to.......next time I'll ship it to you......

ukeninam
10-04-2008, 02:53 PM
good to know for the next time (i hope there won't be) but it was definitely a learning experience. I won't be taking in repairs anytime soon :p hahaha but had I known one or two sticks would have sufficed I wouldn't have bothered with the other sticks. I would totally suggest anyone to go to a professional but since I was short on cash and expertise I decided to give it a shot and I'm happy i did.

Again thanks to everyone's advice I really appreciate the help!

T@D
10-04-2008, 06:43 PM
Congrats on a successful repair ukeninam. Good for you for trying!

You got a ton of advice here compared to what I've [not] gotten regarding my Kamaka project on another site. Must have been your charming smile :)

Play on!

acabooe
10-05-2008, 12:09 AM
T@D,
What is your question?
I'll do my best to answer it, if I know, and if I don't I am sure I know someone that could answer it.
Bob

Pete Howlett
10-05-2008, 03:57 AM
I know that when we first start out either building or repairs and are unsure, we tend to over do it. As time passes, risk taking is replaced by experience.

I admire anyone who has the guts to try... Despite it all, you did a fantastic job so three cheers for you.