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Repair Rib Crack without taking the top off?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by threetone, Feb 12, 2018.


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  1. threetone

    threetone

    Sep 27, 2011
    Europe
    Hi there,

    My trusty carved bass has gotten damaged in the lower rib section.
    Is it possible to repair it without taking the top off?

    My luthier say no, but maybe someone here has seen it done through the F hole?

    thanks for the insight!

    View attachment 2912383
     
  2. I just had a nasty group of C-bout cracks repaired by my local luthier. He fished linen through the f-hole and did a very tidy fix without pulling the top.

    See this thread: S.O.S. luthiers! Damage prognosis...

    It might be trickier to reach the lower bout, but I wouldn't think it would be completely impossible. Probably worth taking a shot at it. Disclaimer: I'm not a luthier, nor do I play one on TV.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
    Rodger Bryan likes this.
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    ?? I guess it depends on what kind of repair. I've had cracks like that repaired with linen with the top on, I don't know if you can do cleats with the top on. Where are you?
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    If the crack won't go together cleanly because one side the rib was pushed to a different height and it can't be finagled back into position, that may require top off. I've been living with a crack like this for years, and it is stable. My luthier advised waiting for another top off repair to fix it.

    I've had rib crack repairs top on, so yes, it can be done in some cases.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  5. If nothing else, you should stabilize it (like RIGHT NOW) before that crack travels down the lower bout.

    A small amount of thin HHG knifed into the crack will give you time to ask questions and think about the answers.
     
    csrund likes this.
  6. Maple

    Maple Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I have something like that at the end pin block that I'm keeping an eye on and will need to repair shortly.

    The Chuck Trager book says to take the tension off the top and see if the crack goes back together first. If so, you can drizzle a runny mix of hyde glue into the crack. It also says that vibration from playing the instrument will wear down the mating surfaces over time -- resulting in a poorer fit.
     
    csrund likes this.
  7. threetone

    threetone

    Sep 27, 2011
    Europe
    Thanks for the reply guys, great info.
     
  8. lurk

    lurk

    Dec 2, 2009
    If you're near NYC take it to David Gage. His shop is often able to fix rib cracks and even some top cracks with the top on.
     
  9. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Some luthiers use thin wire to pull the crack together and attach a cleat. Some are using magnets. I couldn't get the image link to open so I don't know how bad it is, but I think that most bass specialists do this. Often the repair won't be as optically perfect as if you remove the top, so it becomes a trade off. How precious is the instrument and how bad will you feel about a scar, vs. how much money you want to spend?
     

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