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Thread: GLUE for fixing cracks..

  1. #1
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    Default GLUE for fixing cracks..

    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.
    Samantha

  2. #2
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    okay got my brother's camera here is the crack on the side...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Samantha

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukuleleblues View Post
    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.
    Samantha

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    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.

  5. #5

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    +








    Disclaimer - this is just a joke.
    Last edited by deach; 09-27-2008 at 12:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    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......
    UWC; only those who have not been can rationalize not going.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    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.
    Samantha

  8. #8
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    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

  9. #9
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    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
    Last edited by acabooe; 09-27-2008 at 02:03 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukeninam View Post
    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!

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