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MY BASS JUST EXPLODED! Repair advice needed please...

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by mpoppitt, Jun 20, 2005.


  1. mpoppitt

    mpoppitt

    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    After finally retiring my CCB, and Picking up a used Norton prepped Shen 100, my bass exploded tonite at practice. I wasn't even playing; we were in-between songs, talking arrangments when BLAMMO! the TP cord let go, and sent the bridge flying.

    The TP cord on this bass is nylon, and it looks like it simply came untied:

    [​IMG]

    I never paid the cord much mind, except for noting it was nylon. the TP is a walnut Pecanic.

    So, can I just re-tie it? what are my cheaper cord options to keep the low tension I had?

    Now, the bigger issue is, upon landing, the bridge cracked along the treble side wing.

    [​IMG]

    Is this bridge now garbage? Can it be glued? Am I screwed?

    Also, is having the bass sitting with no string tension gonna mess anything up?

    ANY help will be appreciated. Time is a factor, as I have to have this bass up and running for a string of important shows the weekend of July 7th. I play western swing, and switch between slap and pizz about equally. I was running weed wackers on the D&G, and Obiligatos on the E&A. the wackers lowered the tension quite a bit, so what gives (or gave)?
     
  2. philly

    philly

    Nov 20, 2004
    nyc
    i'm sure you'll get advice from other with more experience than me but I have used braided steel cable (recomended by a few luthiers) as tailpiece cable for a couple af basses. You can get this cable at the hardware store and connect it using the U-shaped connectors commonly available where such cable is sold. It seems to be quite standard. I was recently at David Gages shop and several of the basses were rigged up this way. Check Gollihur's site -he has pictures of the same setup.
     
  3. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    mpoppitt -- shoot me an email (available through my profile).
     
  4. anhmytran

    anhmytran

    Jun 18, 2005
    Philly idea is what I want, but I cannot find the item sold
    in Home Depot. My cello tailpiece is different from yours.
    It is like Violin tailpiece. The cable is hidden undeneath the
    tailpiece.

    I have never use any bridge that has cracks. If you buy
    tools from Home Depot, you can make new bridges yourself
    easily. Home made bridges may not be as good as the best
    bridges in the world, but most of the times, they are not
    worse than these sold in other luthier stores.

    Please, don't take my words for that. Try and see yourself.
     
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    In your case, I'd slap a little tightbond in the crack and use a little masking tape to hold right 'til it dried. Tie the tailgut back with the right knot (a carrick) and you're back in business.
     
  6. mpoppitt

    mpoppitt

    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    Email sent, Brent.

    How exactly do you tie a carrick knot?
     
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
  8. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    The knot used originally was indeed a Carrick. I'd recommend checking the knot at each string change or during any other instrument adjustment.
     
  9. mpoppitt

    mpoppitt

    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    Yeah, I didn't even think to check it when I put the wackers on. I think I assumed the knot must have been heated, or melted to keep from coming untied. The wackers were on there for almost 2 months before this happened, though.
     
  10. 5_string_player

    5_string_player

    Jun 21, 2005
    you already probably glued the bridge crack, but I'm gonna tell you... always use Hide Glue whenever possible. Especially since the pieces fit perfectly to almost perfectly together, hide glue works best. I learned that from a Bass maker/repairer who's a friend of mine.

    After you glue it with hide glue, make it flush (don't take off too much if any. Take off as little as possible) and you won't even see the crack anymore.
     
  11. How come the cap of your bridge looks so straight?
    Looks like there's no curve at all.
     
  12. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I was going to ask the same hehe. That looks a little bit funky to me, but maybe it's just the angle or something.
     
  13. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    I could be wrong, but it looks like there are a couple of "blackout" boxes on the photo comp, hence the "flat bridge"...
     
  14. A narrow escape! You're lucky the flying tailpiece hit the bridge instead of hitting you. Think about how hard it had to hit the bridge to split it like that. Who was that who said he's wearing a helmet from now on?

    I'm sticking with the steel cable tailgut, just to be on the safe side.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Someone on here said there was a guy in Atlanta who got killed by a flying tailpiece when the TP wire broke. I thought it was an urban myth but he swears it's true.
     
  16. mpoppitt

    mpoppitt

    Mar 28, 2005
    Austin Texas
    I cropped the photo at the top.

    I hav'nt glued it yet, Brent said to use super-glue. I'm still trying to figure out a way to clamp it while it sets.
     
  17. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    A wedge inserted under the wing[where you would place an Underwood PU] may work. Shape it 10 degrees less than parallel. Not to second guess Brent but if the superglue fails then you have a problem. That crack looks like it will close up very tight so hide glue will likely work perfectly and you always have another chance.
     
  18. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    No worries, Jeff - I'm not a proponent of CA glue 'cept for very select applications. Based on the placement and orientation of what looks to be a very clean crack, I feel that that CA will fit the bill.

    Oh, and not a word about the "clean crack..." :p
     
  19. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Actually Brent I have had to deal with so many dirty, contaminated cracks in my day that the sight of a clean one just fills me with the desire to warm up my glue. Sorry, couldn't resist.
     
  20. I have no idea if it's true or not. It is a story that has been circulating here for years. I'm not taking any chances, myself.

    As for the validity of the story, that's not important to me. The possibility of injury is apparent. It's like a catapult with 200 lbs. of force and, depending on the TP, a half pound or so projectile. Even if all it did was give you a shiner, I would want to err on the side of caution. In this case it split a half inch thick piece of maple.