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Thread: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

  1. #1
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    Hey y’all, I just recently got this new Kentucky KM900 from the Mandolin Store back in November, and I just now noticed some finish cracking at the fretboard joint, it just appeared..
    This mandolin hasn’t been subject to any extreme temperatures or undue stress.
    Just wondering what it looks like to y’all, and if it might be worse than just the finish.
    I have a pickguard that I am planning to install, and also a truss rod cover(which would include plugging old holes and drilling new holes), so my question is, with it having a 1 year warranty, should I postpone any modifications for a few months to see if this changes any before I void the warranty? Thanks in advance, Jesse
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    2017 Kentucky KM900
    2018 Tyler White custom F5 #17 coming soon!
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  2. #2
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    Cracks like that at the neck joint are not a good sign. It could be from over-humidification, but likely it is an indication of a moving neck joint. I'd contact TMS and have it replaced under warranty.

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  4. #3
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    Ditto. I don't like to see potential signs of movement, especially near a neck joint, especially on a 4 month old mandolin.
    I don't like the 1 year warranty either. I'd try for a return immediately. I recommend that you do not modify the mandolin in any way.

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  6. #4
    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    I would return/exchange that. Not a good sign at all.
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  8. #5
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    I agree that is a sign that neck joint may be moving. But it can be result of low humidity when the board shrinks more than neck underneath and thick finish will crack. Also the unfinished fingerboard support may be more sensitive to chnges of humidity and shrink faster than neck/board and cause such finish cracks.
    I would have a very close look all around the neck joint and check straightness of the fingerboard at the joint. Has action changed since you got it?
    Adrian

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    I am going to agree with Adrian. This is most likely humidity related (if it is only happening at the fingerboard and not the neck joint). It is not uncommon to get finish cracks like this as the mandolin changes due to humidity levels.. The finish on these master models is very brittle. If it was purchased in November, that is enough time for this to start happening. There is some checking at the 11th fret as well. This part would not be related to the neck joint moving.

    That said, I don't normally see them this severe and with the finish actually chipping off. Enough so, that I would want it inspected at the very least.

    In your case, I would get this addressed before doing any upgrades to the mandolin. Saga is a fair company to deal with, but no sense making changes to a mandolin that may need to be replaced.
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  12. #7
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    I will look at it more to see if there’s other cracks, I think there is some on the other side that is maybe half as bad as this side, but I will check when I get home. Thanks for the info guys, I already emailed The Mandolin Store about it, going to send them a picture of it soon and see what they say about it. Thanks for all the help guys, I appreciate it!
    2017 Kentucky KM900
    2018 Tyler White custom F5 #17 coming soon!
    2012 Huss and Dalton RD-M

    https://www.youtube.com/user/kinmanknives

  13. #8
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    I wouldn't rule out moving neck joint. Here is pic of failed neck joint on F-9 I repaired. The cracks under fingerboard went down to fret 7 or so and the finish was kind of leathery, not brittle. At the body-neck joint the cracks were just faint lines but the neck projection dropped down to unplayable with strings on (and went back up with strings removed) so the neck joint was definately not solid.
    Years ago friend had expensive mandolin that developed (repeated) serious problems with neck joint and visible clue was fingerboard bulging up at the joint - in his case the joint opened completely and even when reglued (under warranty) it popped open again month later. Once the neck joint wants to go there's no way to stop it, perhaps HHG would hold better under such stress.
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    Adrian

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  15. #9
    Registered User Jesse Kinman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    I got the go ahead from The Mandolin Store to ship it back to Saga, they will inspect it and go from there. Thanks for the help guys, I wasn’t sure how bad it actually was, and it’s really cool to be able to show it to people on here and get second and third and fourth opinions. I love this cafe!
    2017 Kentucky KM900
    2018 Tyler White custom F5 #17 coming soon!
    2012 Huss and Dalton RD-M

    https://www.youtube.com/user/kinmanknives

  16. #10
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finish cracking at fretboard joint on my Kentucky KM900

    I can give you 2 or 3 more of my opinions on this if you think it would help!
    Hope they get it sorted for you to your satisfaction.

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