"crackle finish"-crazing due to moisture

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by lowphatbass, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I have a 20 year old carved Meisel, model#8954. 12 years ago it got wet while in storage(I was out of the country and the bass was moved to "barn"!!!)When I got to the bass the cordura bag was still moist, upon opening it I found that the back was seperating on the shoulders and lower bouts..I quickly reduced the string tension and relocated the bass to my house. I had the bass in and out of the bag to dry-out slowly over a month or so. The bass seems to be stabilized now but the finish is crackled along grain lines all over the bass. You can feel the cracks in the finish, they cover the bass completely and are quite pronounced. I have had lots of advise over the years, but since I don't have a luthier I can trust and am new to this site I ask..........
    .....what would you do?
  2. I don't think there's much you can do short of total striping and re-varnish.
    Try to post a picture.
  3. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I'll try to get a photo up soon...The bass acually sounds great!!The crackling worries me for the future
  4. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I wouldn't worry about the crackle too much unless the finish just starts falling off. Some prize cracle in an old instrument, and some makers put a crackle affect into the varnish to simulate an old appearance. Though yours must have been caused by the moisture, it is often caused by adding a coat of varnish to one that is not yet dry.
    Some varnishes can be partially "refloated" to get rid of the crackle.
  5. Check the Pollman site.....Link is in the thread on Pollman basses under the Basses Forum. As Martin mentions, they are doing the new "Kraeckley"(or some such German spelling) varnish that probably costs an arm and a leg to add on to a bass. Be happy!
    They use the German word Krakele
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    My friend and client, the luthier Jonathan Cooper, does amazing things with instrument finishes. He can make a brand-new instrument look 100 years old very consistently.

    Check this almost-bass a/k/a cello for finish crackeling effects.

    Or this soprano-bass a/k/a violin for finish distress techniques.

    Then of course, there's my bass on the bench at Upton's showing some serious crackle-action.

    I've often thought that distressing finished instruments must be a cool way to spend time. (Sure beats sitting at my desk at ten of eight with another several hours of paperwork in front of me.)