Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

  1. #1
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Posts
    2,481

    Default What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    This little devil reared its head today as I was shaping the outside of my #12 back plate. It is about 3/8" long and goes all the way through. This part of the plate will be glued at the tail block, which is 3/4" deep. So the entire crack will be covered by the block, and then some.

    I was thinking about cutting it out with a coping saw and just use maple filler. Or should I just leave it? Mostly worried that it may open up years down the road...


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20180202_141142.jpg 
Views:	237 
Size:	533.5 KB 
ID:	164586

  2. #2

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Not to be too harsh, but its clearly a defect on something new. Doesn't a new owner deserve the highest quality you can achieve, which may mean replacing the entire piece? I realize its an expensive alternative.

    On the other hand, if it could be glued seamlessly I would think that it would be okay, but a repair with some filler doesn't seem appropriate to me. Other opinions will differ of course.

    But would you buy a new front door with a patched in piece?

    Just my $.02, since you asked.
    Play it like you mean it.

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  3. #3
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    The piece itself has a unusual and beautiful curl to it so I'd prefer using it and make it aware to the future buyer. I recall a mando built by Gilchrist or perhaps Monteleone, where the back plate wasnt wide enough so he glued on an entire section. It was obvious, but he didnit because the piece was unique.

  4. #4
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    University Place, WA (with no university and very little place)
    Posts
    4,074

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    No filler. No way to mask that. Another piece of maple, carefully matched might fly. Or some superglue wicked into the crack. But let us see the entire back so we can make an informed judgement on whether it is worth keeping.
    Sounds like you've decided to keep it, but if you're making this for someone, it's his or her call IMHO.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  5. #5

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Fill it (perfectly) and then make it a dark sunburst. It won't show. That's what the "big boys" do. My friend works at Gibson and he says ebony finish guitars always have tons of filler................FWIW.

    (not exactly a comforting thought, is it?)

  6. #6
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,565

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Fill it (perfectly) and then make it a dark sunburst. It won't show. That's what the "big boys" do. My friend works at Gibson and he says ebony finish guitars always have tons of filler................FWIW.

    (not exactly a comforting thought, is it?)
    It doesn't look like crack (caused by mishandling etc...) but something inherent in the wood. Is there a pin knot to the left? Would you consider knotty pine low quality wood because of all the "defects" and of couse it needs some filer around the knots as well... I would give it my best try at closing it or filling it with tiny sliver of matching wood. Don't use CA, it will create black line. HHG should do well and the nmoisture will help close the gap. Still could be a blonde as well...
    Adrian

  7. #7
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Thanks all. I cut it with a coping saw and worked in a tiny sliver. Worked out pretty good. Thanks for all the tips.

  8. #8
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by billhay4 View Post
    No filler. No way to mask that. Another piece of maple, carefully matched might fly. Or some superglue wicked into the crack. But let us see the entire back so we can make an informed judgement on whether it is worth keeping.
    Bill
    The board is from a hard maple crotch so that may explain the little knots and defects. Very “topographical” look to it. I stained it earlier to see how the crack would look before trying to fix it. Adrian, you are correct, it is a little pin knot. Several of them through the board.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0EBF7FC9-9FCF-480D-8F1A-C337B1AC45AE.jpeg 
Views:	175 
Size:	643.5 KB 
ID:	164589

  9. The following members say thank you to fscotte for this post:


  10. #9
    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    University Place, WA (with no university and very little place)
    Posts
    4,074

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Fish scale. No wonder you wanted to keep it. Thanks for the pic.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

  11. #10
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,187

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    I agree with Bill - that's a wonderful piece of timber there,i'd have kept it myself - as long at the customer is aware of what you've done,i don't see any problems. Minor defects like that make a piece of wood very unique & 'personal' to me, & i wouldn't hesitate to accept any instrument built using such wood - it's very beautiful !,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  12. #11
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Oxfordshire, England
    Posts
    657

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by fscotte View Post
    The board is from a hard maple crotch so that may explain the little knots and defects. Very “topographical” look to it. I stained it earlier to see how the crack would look before trying to fix it. Adrian, you are correct, it is a little pin knot. Several of them through the board.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	0EBF7FC9-9FCF-480D-8F1A-C337B1AC45AE.jpeg 
Views:	175 
Size:	643.5 KB 
ID:	164589
    That’s a beautiful piece of wood. If it were going to be mine I happily accept the minor defect.

  13. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,267

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Since the crack is glued to the block it shouldn't present any problem, that is a gorgeous piece of wood and totally worth the effort.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  14. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by fscotte View Post
    This little devil reared its head today as I was shaping the outside of my #12 back plate. It is about 3/8" long and goes all the way through. This part of the plate will be glued at the tail block, which is 3/4" deep. So the entire crack will be covered by the block, and then some.

    I was thinking about cutting it out with a coping saw and just use maple filler. Or should I just leave it? Mostly worried that it may open up years down the road...


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20180202_141142.jpg 
Views:	237 
Size:	533.5 KB 
ID:	164586
    Stupid question: What's the relative humidity level in your shop?

  15. #14
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Zanesville, Ohio
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    It's not a humidity issue. And Adrian guessed right, its a pin knot and that "crack" is part of the knot.

  16. #15
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: What to do about crack on edge of maple back plate?

    For future reference, the better grades of hot hide glue don't show very much . . .
    Fillers are not adhesives and are not reliable when used in such a manner. If well splinted and glued, it should hold for 100 years or more.

    I agree, that's a lovely piece of wood.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •