Body blank checking/cracking advice

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Meatrus, Nov 30, 2012.


  1. Meatrus

    Meatrus

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,548
    Location:
    England
    Ok, so I bought these two 3" thick slabs of cherry with the intention of making my next bass with, soon after receiving them I noticed they started to check. I kept an eye on it and they got worse to a point, but then seemed to stay the same. By this point they had reached the section I would have been using for said bass. So I put them in my garage and wrote off using them.

    That was about 3 months ago, now I'm planning on building a guitar, which has a smaller body, so I thought I could dig them out and see if any of the cracks would be present within my template. But when I got the wood out of the (damp) garage the cracks had completely healed up to the point where they are invisible. So, I'm guessing after bringing them in the house they are going to open up again as they dry out a bit. This was last night and they haven't opened up yet.

    My questions are these. Firstly is this a sign the wood is not yet fully dry? When I bought it I was told that it had been air dried for around 5 years. Secondly is there any way I can use this to my advantage (them opening and closing)? I was thinking of marking all the cracks when they next open up then putting the wood back in the garage so they close up, then injecting CA into the area to hopefully hold them closed.

    Thirdly, may new cracks form, or were these most likely old cracks which first happened when the wood was dried? If there's a chance of more just appearing after I have worked on it for a month I would be happy to just scrap it. Or cut it into laminates.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,508
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Most likely at 3" thick they are still drying.

    The cracks may open back up, I would almost count on it.

    The perfect reason to spend $35 on a simple digital moisture meter.

    Trying to glue checks closed is usually a wasted effort, checks are the wood releasing tension through drying, so it is usually a good idea to leave them and cut around, but note where the main checks are, this could continue after cuttng the body shape.
     
  3. Meatrus

    Meatrus

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,548
    Location:
    England
    Thanks, I definitely should buy a moisture meter, one of those things I keep forgetting I need! They have begun to open up again as expected. I'll wait and see how bad they get then see if I can get my template on an area without any, or in line with any. They are at the ends, so I'm guessing if he had waxed the ends it may have been ok. Unfortunately one runs the full thickness! I thought gluing them may not end well and didnt really want to, so I'll forget that idea.
     
  4. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,508
    Location:
    Southwest Michigan
    Disclosures:
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Wax or anchor seal could have helped by allowing the ends to dry at the same rate as the rest of the wood, but that's next time....LOL

    Good luck with it ;)
     
  5. Register to disable this ad

Share This Page