Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Are some woods more prone to develop cracks?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Are some woods more prone to develop cracks?

    Just held a gorgeous, two year old uke made of Ziricote, that I was shocked to see several cracks along its back. There were at least 4 visible cracks that could be felt as well as seen. Crack lengths were 7",5",4",1" long, along the length, with the grain. I spy another 1 or 2 that are shorter or just starting. I've attached a pic.

    I'm certain these were not there when it was built. The owner bought it new and has had the uke for two years in Florida. So it probably didn't Have a lack of humidity, actually it may have had too much. But, I don't know it's history. Maybe the wood wasn't completely dry when it was used. I don't know what the problem was and can only speculate. Interestingly, the spruce top on this uke shows no sign of any cracks. So, maybe the problem was Ziricote?

    This is got me wondering if there are some woods such as Ziricote that may be more susceptible to cracking over time? I suppose it might have something to do with the figure in some woods, or their brittleness. Are there woods that luthiers do not prefer to use for this reason?


    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Doc_J; 09-09-2016 at 11:37 PM. Reason: add photo
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Herts, UK
    Posts
    164

    Default

    my first thought looking at your photo was it looks like someone has sat on it or similar. However I'll play the "I'm no expert" card and see what the clever people say.
    Last edited by Andyk; 09-09-2016 at 03:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andyk View Post
    my first thought looking at your photo was it looks like someone has sat on it or similar. However I'll play the "I'm no expert" card and see what the clever people say.
    That thought hadn't struck me. The owner said it was in "pristine condition". So, my mind didn't even go that direction. Also the top and sides were without damage. The cracks don't show any light through them. There's no buzzes or unwanted vibration, the uke sounds great.
    Last edited by Doc_J; 09-09-2016 at 05:23 AM.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    central CA
    Posts
    631

    Default

    I've seen Bocote and Ziricote crack like that along with Brazilian rosewood. I have a dobro that is Brazilian back and sides and it is trying to crack. I've seen several Brazilian dobros and guitars that were cracked but this had no effect on tone. The stuff is just brittle and I've never bent it, I have some but am afraid to LOL, but I understand it is scary brittle to bend. I'm sure there are other woods that I am not familiar with that are along the same lines.
    My Real name is Terry Harris

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,075

    Default

    Hard to say if they are cracks or not. Hardly definitive going by a photo. The lower one doesn't seem to be following any grain line and it looks a little well behaved. It could equally be a long scratch or a finish crack. If the Uke was finished with Nitro I'd be thinking finish.
    Some idiot has also scribbled green marker pen all over the back of that uke. It obviously hasn't had a pleasant life.
    Last edited by Michael N.; 09-09-2016 at 05:57 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lake Villa, IL
    Posts
    1,552

    Default

    I have read that there are indeed some woods where it is a matter of when, not if, they will devolope cracks.
    Tenor Ukes
    KoAloha KTM-00
    Pono MTD-(All Mahogany)
    Big Island BI-MO-TR-(All Spalted Mango)
    Compass Rose Style B Tenor-(All Claro Walnut)
    Boat Paddle ML style Tenor-(Red Spruce/Cocobolo)

    Baritone Uke
    Pono MHBSSC-(Spruce/Mahogany)


    Tenor Guitar
    Ibanez AVT1-N-(Spruce/Mahogany)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado
    Posts
    2,574

    Default

    Brazilian rosewood, and Ziricote are the notorious ones.

    When I receive a set of those woods and see a crack, i don't even blink.

    Snakewood is cracky but that is more for decorative things, rarely back/sides.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Kapolei, Hawaii
    Posts
    2,002

    Default

    I stay away from anything spalted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    5,098

    Default

    All of 'em. They are treacherous and expose themselves either when you have got the finish on or when the owner leaves their uke in a hot car!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sheffield, England
    Posts
    68

    Default

    On almost all of the classical and acoustic guitar forums Ziricote is affectionately known as 'Mexican Crackwood'. I guess that is for a reason.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •