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Thread: small crack at F hole, best way to fix ?

  1. #1

    Default small crack at F hole, best way to fix ?

    I have a violin that has a 1" long crack starting from F hole going toward the tail.
    The crack is visible it is tight, even a super thin razor blade can't get into the crack.
    I have a few options but don't know which one is best for this case.
    1) leave it alone (until it get worst, i.e. longer or wider)
    2) wipe HHG on the crack (open slightly by forcing a thin razor blade into it), then clamp tight?
    3) remove the top to fix this ? any need for cleats ?
    I appreciate all inputs before taking action.

  2. #2

    Default Re: small crack at F hole, best way to fix ?

    If possible, hot hide glue is the correct choice for violin (normally best for all acoustic instruments, expected on violin). Work out your clamps, then glue, clamp and you should be good to go. If it is a fresh crack and you get a good glue up, there really isn't a need for cleats.

    I wouldn't remove the top as long as I was able to work out the clamping (I have violin specific clamps though).
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  3. #3

    Default Re: small crack at F hole, best way to fix ?

    Thanks RF,
    I like this approach as it requires minimum effort. I have fixed seriously broken violins and cellos with HHG before.
    This one is much simpler.

  4. #4
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: small crack at F hole, best way to fix ?

    Good violin? Expensive violin? Only hide glue is acceptable. No need to open the crack with a tool, working with the instrument warmed, and in a warm place, there is plenty of time to rub, massage, pat hot hide glue into the crack.

    Cheap violin? Mass produced "VSO"? Just wick thin superglue into the crack.

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  6. #5
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: small crack at F hole, best way to fix ?

    If you flex the wood gently while you're rubbing, enough glue will penetrate. If you want to add a cleat, you can add it later.

    Most violin supply houses sell clamps designed for cleating through the f-hole. I use International Violin Co. Do not buy their 315 grade hide glue, it will set too fast. The grade 222 is ok to use. Do not use fish glue.

    Waiting to repair it until the crack gets larger is not a good idea.

  7. #6

    Default Re: small crack at F hole, best way to fix ?

    kkmm, the crack should be looked at from the underside with a scope or mirror to determine its length and any other problems in this region. Special clamps are make for cleats from the f hole or you may need to take the top off. Use HHG and open and close the crack letting it enter from the bottom. Several potions can be make to seal the top but not HHG.

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