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Is this a crack? It's a crack, isn't it.

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by mfb, Sep 1, 2017.


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  1. mfb

    mfb

    Aug 11, 2017
    I've been extremely careful with this thing, making sure to store it properly, not bump it on things, etc. Well, I just noticed this near the scroll. I've have this bass for roughly two weeks.

    I'm not sure why the finish is turning up green in the pic, it's not that color at all.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Picton

    Picton

    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    Oh yeah. That's a crack.

    Sorry.
     
  3. mfb

    mfb

    Aug 11, 2017
    What kind of $ does that usually take to repair?
     
  4. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    That depends on how thorough you want to be.
     
  5. mfb

    mfb

    Aug 11, 2017
    It's a $650 student bass; I just want it to not break while I'm playing it.

    It is dangerous to play until I get it fixed?
     
  6. jlmorgan84

    jlmorgan84 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2014
    Seneca, SC
    You've had it for two weeks? Assuming it didn't take a fall or something can you return it? At two weeks a good dealer ought to either fix it or let you return it.
     
  7. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    There's a guy on talk bass named @james condino who is a bass luthier who might be able to answer. I echo thoughts that if you've had it for only 2 weeks, a return might be in order. Cool how the finish looks green. I'm starting to get way into colored uprights. So I think the finish is cool even if unfaithful to the original.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  8. mfb

    mfb

    Aug 11, 2017
    I bought it from an individual, so I can't go back and point to a crack; it wasn't there when I got it.

    Yeah, the finish looks cool in that picture, but the finish is actually a 'normal' color. For some reason my camera rendered that picture like that. I may have accidentally engaged one of the filters at some point.
     
    PauFerro likes this.
  9. bassfacer22

    bassfacer22 Supporting Member

    Ah, go use loctite 495 and Baking soda. :roflmao:

    It's what they do to repair chips in Carbon Fiber helicopter blades! Yes, think about that, glue to fix helicopter blades. It's $12-15 on Amazon.

    Actually I don't know how it holds wood, but it's like cement, so ... Imagine cementing your desk table top and legs together.

    It will be interesting to see how they fix that. (and what glue they use!)

    I know that feeling though, I have some cracks on a fingerboard just waiting for it to chip off someday..
     
  10. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    CA glue and baking soda wight work for chips, but not cracks. Does the crack go through to the other side? Extend to the peg hole? If not, then it probably will eventually, but you might as well keep playing until it does. Once it really starts to open up, you will need to remove the tuners and glue it back together. It looks to me like a fairly easy repair, but a luthier might still want two or three hundred I think, since he must make it look perfect to protect his reputation. If you have any friends with some woodworking experience, then together you might do a functional repair over a few beers:)
     
  11. Mister Boh

    Mister Boh Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2016
    Annapolis, MD
    Just don't use screws please. You'll end up on Condino's wall of shame.
     
    robobass likes this.
  12. Picton

    Picton

    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    If you can open up the crack enough to reliably get an even coating spread over both surfaces, yellow woodworking glue would work just fine.

    The glue is the easy part. Getting access to the interior of the crack... well, that's harder. No matter what glue you use.
     
  13. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Wood glue would work, but it's not so hard to learn to use hide glue. That aside, it might be better to just break things open enough that you can really get the glue where it needs to go. I bet that once the tuners are off, it won't take much coaxing to get the break open really wide. Then you need to figure out how to clamp it. Most of the effort in repairs like this is figuring out an effective clamping protocol. On really cheap basses, screws can be quick and quite effective. If you use a screw to pull the crack together, rather than relying on it for long term holding strength, then I don't have a problem. You wouldn't do this on a valuable instrument, but we don't have one here. Back to the glue, I suppose in this case wood glue is fine, but learning to do this stuff properly is both fun and valuable. Personally, I would drill into the tops of the cheeks, counter-drill to the crack, break open the joint, glue with HHG, insert and tighten down the screws, and remove them later. You can fill the holes if you want.
     
  14. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
  15. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Orrrrr you could use a thin hide glue, which, unlike CNA and PVA, doesn't creep under stress.
     
    Rodger Bryan likes this.
  16. mfb

    mfb

    Aug 11, 2017
    Thank you all for your responses!

    So, this is what I'm gathering from this thread and a few others on TB:
    1. Play it until the crack opens up a bit more, ease some hide glue or the glue from StewMac into it, then either release some string tension (to let the crack close a bit) or clamp it.
    2. Since it's a cheap student bass (Franz Hoffmann), taking it to a luthier may not be worth it.
    3. I was going to buy and replace the strings today, and that shouldn't be ruled out due to the crack.. it should be biz as usual.. until...
     
  17. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    Connecticut
    this:
    mfb, If you like the instrument and it is otherwise in good health, take it to a luthier (-edit- or if you're comfortable with doing the repair yourself :) ) who will do a hot hide glue repair. In 22 years of teaching orchestra in schools- every failed neck repair I've seen was one that didn't use HHG. A few exceptions were last-resort epoxy hacks on neck heels of really cheap basses. The risk is that if it does fail, it's toast.
     
    robobass likes this.
  18. bassfacer22

    bassfacer22 Supporting Member

    Would layering it a couple of times over prevent the creep? (from looking in :))

    I was thinking you could layer it a few times. Or does it not work that way.

    I'm sure it would look terrible, but it sounds like it's a student instrument and He will be getting another one at some-point in the future of 5-8 years I hope.
     
  19. mfb

    mfb

    Aug 11, 2017
    I went ahead and bought a Christopher today. It's what I was looking for in the first place, but got antsy and bought the other bass first.

    My plan is to get the crack fixed on the Hoffmann, and turn around and sell it, with full disclosure about the neck crack repair. The bass is in otherwise good condition, and I'm wondering what might be a fair price for it. Any suggestions?
     
  20. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    A buck fiddy?