View Full Version : f-hole cracks

Jonathan Reinhardt
Mar-21-2004, 10:52pm
After searching the cafe, I find little discussion regarding this. What might be the major factors contributing to this problem? Are certain mandolins more suseptible to this than others? Do other f-hole intruments experience this? (I don't think I've ever seen a fiddle or violin with obvious cracks.)

Michael Lewis
Mar-22-2004, 2:08am
There are a couple of reasons F holes can crack. First and most usual is impact to a "wing" of the F hole, this area is especially vulnerable if overly thin. The second is wood of the top drying out too much. It may have had too much moisture content when assembled, or coated with glue on the inside, or both. Glue can shrink as it looses moisture, causing the area to cup, thereby stressing the outside surface.

Mar-22-2004, 12:17pm
I've seen F hole cracks caused by grabbing the mandolin and pressing too hard with the thumb on the wing of the F hole. Also, you know how some people keep putting more and more stuff in the case? I've seen them cracked by closing the lid of the case with the strap laying on top of the instrument and last years set lists, festival fliers etc. etc. under the instrument.

I've seen violins with F hole cracks, and a few archtop guitars. It's not strictly a mandolin problem.

Darryl Wolfe
Mar-23-2004, 12:58pm
I agree with sunburst..the major cause of a real crack is handing the instrument to someone while you hold the neck. The natural reaction is to grab it with your thumb right on the f hole wing and grasp too hard.

Mar-23-2004, 1:07pm
I have a crack on the lower F-hole that happened because it was in a gigbag that got thrown in the back of a car.

Mar-23-2004, 1:24pm
I heard a guitar repairman say the luthier's favorite buddy is the gig bag.
Keep them in business fixing guitars...