Crack Below Left F-Hole

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Jewbass, Apr 29, 2012.


  1. Jewbass

    Jewbass

    Apr 30, 2009
    New York, NY
    On a gig tonight, there was a tune in which I used the lower half of my bass (2008, Emanuel Wilfer, bought at David Gage in NYC) as a percussion instrument. I obviously got a little too invested in the music, and this small (at least I think it's small) crack formed instantly on my bass.

    Photo on 2012-04-29 at 01.45.jpg

    Since David Gage isn't open tomorrow, I have to wait until Monday to get it repaired. I have a few questions about the repair though, and I would like to get them answered asap:

    -- How bad is this crack in context?
    -- How much will it cost (if my insurance can't cover it) to have it repaired?
    -- Will the crack be visible after the repair?
    -- How often does this kind of thing happen?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. Not being a smarty pants here but the danger of this sort of thing is always there when misusing instruments, a little patting on the shoulder of the bass perhaps but right on the belly?!? Asking for it. A good luthier will fix it, it will show as it ages, luthiers are busy fixing, repairing instruments and I would charge double for being so s invested. Reminds me of a girl at college bending a sterling silver flute while quite invested.
     
  3. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I'm not so sure your slapping caused this, or that it would not have happened anyway. This is a very typical crack, caused by top shrinkage.
     
  4. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Jan 24, 2002
    Frankfurt, Germany
    NS Design Endorsing Artist
    1. This one isn't too bad. It should be possible to cleat and clamp it without removing the top, though they may want to open part of the rib's seam to reduce tension. Any crack that can be repaired without top removal isn't all that bad.
    2. That's up to the luthier, and you'll need to ask him. I've heard NYC prices are about double what they'd be elsewhere, but you're probably looking at one or two hundred dollars.
    3. That's also up to the luthier. If your luthier is skilled and cares, it should be nearly invisible. If any wood splinted off, it may be more visible. As the repair ages, it may become more noticeable.
    4. F-hole cracks are very common. It's the most delicate part of the top. Almost any old bass you see will have at least one.
     
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Bass makers could take a tip from mandolin makers on this topic. Most of your better mandolins have a cloth reinforcement patch on the f-hole from the bench. Its a great idea. ;)
     
  6. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    +1.

    Jake, would you advocate a prophylactic opening and reclosing of the seams in that area after a few years on new instruments? It seems like any new top is going to shrink across its width in the first few years, and hence be under lateral tension. Doing this might not only prevent these cracks, but also help open up the sound.
     
  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I remember reading on this Forum many years ago a post from a Northeastern US luthier who did exactly that: opened up the top seams to allow the ribs/belly to relax into their new positions.
    I often do this with the basses that Long & McQuade imports directly from China. The wood is perhaps not as well seasoned as it should be and the re & re helps it adjust to the new climate.
     
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 25, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.