View Full Version : Cracked Body Point Gibson F-2
My grandfathers 1912 Gibson F-2, which I inherited last year has about a 2 inch crack from the body point nearest the tail piece, heading toward the neck, with the grain of the top. This mandolin sat in its case, in an attic in Connecticut for the last 20 years, but seems otherwise in good shape.
Is this a big problem? Common? Should I do anything about it? Money's real tight this year, so I'm hoping to defer a trip to the luthier's.
I'll take those questions in a different order;
Yes, That is a common place for a crack to develop from variations in humidity.
Is this a big problem?
Probably not, yet. 2 inches is getting into the range where you should keep an eye on it and...
Should I do anything about it?
...if it shows any signs of misalignment, or is getting any longer, get it fixed. You really should get it fixed now by someone who is experiences with crack repair. It shouldn't be too expensive to get it glued and stabilized. Finish touch up can cost a little more, but can be put off 'til later if necessary, but the sooner the better.
Be careful not to get anything in the crack - no polish, dirt, wax, - anything that would cause problems with regluing.
Consider putting a dampit or something like that in with the instrument. The biggest reason it cracked was because the wood shrank from getting dried out.
Certainly look into getting the rack reglued by a competent professional. As mentioned above, the finish touch-up is nice but not essential. Keeping the crack from lengthening is important. (While you're getting he thing reglued, have the luthier check the brace, glued to the top just south of the soundhole. If it's loose, it too should be glued. This is essential to keep the top from collapsing and maintaining the integrity of the instrument.
Money shouldn't be too tight to keep this instrument from ruin. The whole job should run considerably less than a hundred bucks. Remember, you're only taking care of this mandolin for a while. It's your responsibility to pass it on to the next generation of players.