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Thread: Crack in top - Tenor Englemann Spruce

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
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    54

    Default Crack in top - Tenor Englemann Spruce

    Hey all, just looking opinions on what might have gone wrong here. I built this last year and just the other day I noticed two cracks running from the bridge to the tail. It almost looks like the cracks are on the same growth ring of the wood.

    Based on the location I think the rotation of the bridge may have caused the cracks. I may have made the top too thin.

    My plan is to either use Titebond or hide glue for the repairs. I may place some small cleats on the underside for strength.

    Thanks for your attention.

    Attachment 117743

    Attachment 117744
    Last edited by Pat Eaton; 05-07-2019 at 08:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    New Zealand
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    Your attachements are invalid.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dponeil@xtra.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
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    Here are the pictures.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4

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    That sure looks like bridge forces were helping it crack. Is there something we can't see that would prevent the wider base portion of the bridge from distributing some of the tension out past the narrower top portion of the bridge?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Cairns, Australia
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    Looks like a crack right along the grain. A likely problem is that it was always there to some extent when the instrument was built and only showed up after it's been strung up.

    You will need to add cleats to the underside for any sort of peace of mind. HHG would be my choice for repair.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    2,725

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhnmdahl View Post
    Is there something we can't see that would prevent the wider base portion of the bridge from distributing some of the tension out past the narrower top portion of the bridge?
    First of all, you have my condolences. Those are nasty cracks alright... As the poster said above, curious that the cracks are under the pedestal of the bridge and not the wings. Maybe the reason is that most people just clamp the pedestal portion and let the wings go unclamped... You said that you thought you over thinned the top. How thick was it at final thickness?. How about a picture from the side of the bridge rotation? Regardless, you are going to have to cleat, sand, fill and re-finish. You could just try cleating and drop filling but...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Abbotsford British Columbia Canada
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    Thanks for the responses. I believe the final thickness was about 1.7mm.
    I agree the cracks look so similar that they may have been there all along.
    I am guilty of only clamping the thicker portion of the bridge and not the wings.
    Lesson learned.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Stockport, Cheshire.
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    I'm wondering whether humidity has played a part here. Either humidity was very high when the top was glued on, or the current humidity is very low. Or a combination of all the above.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Australia.
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    If the wings are not separating from the top, I think that these cracks would most probably have been present prior to book-matching and glue up. If the grain line count is the same from the centre line to the crack on each side, I would suspect a natural flaw and certainly no build error.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
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    311

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    Is the sound board arched? If so is the bridge flat? I saw similar cracks when replacing a bridge on a VitaUke with one with a flat base.

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