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Thread: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

  1. #1
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    Hi folks. So I just finished reworking my bridge on my mandolin, thanks to all the advice received on the previous thread. I feel like it came out pretty good.

    I was cleaning up the mandolin getting ready to put the strings back on and try out the bridge, when I discovered this. Can anyone tell me how serious this is? Should I not put the strings back on? I am so bummed - I have only had this mandolin for two months, and it hasn't fallen or anything, so I'm assuming it was there all along.

    Sue
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  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    Without knowing what the neck joint is it's hard to tell how serious the situation is.
    What brand is the mandolin? (That might let us know what kind of neck joint was used.)

  3. #3
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    It's a Kentucky KM200S 1998.
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; May-07-2020 at 8:26pm.

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    If there appears to be a crack or movement along the sides, it would probably indicate the neck is moving. The crack or separation in your photo is at the joint where the maker used a heel button instead of extending the back over the heel of the neck. It may be more of an aesthetic issue than functional. How does the instrument fret up the neck (all of the frets)? If there is movement from the neck joint, it usually affects the fingerboard/frets.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    It's a Kentucky KM300S 1998.
    Sorry, I couldn't see the thread title while I was reading so I didn't know what kind of mandolin it was. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what neck joint was used in a KM300S. The cracks appear to be in the finish and appear to be caused by slight movement at the neck joint. It may not be a problem or it may indicate potential trouble, depending on the joint.

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  7. #6
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    There is a bit of a crack on one side (the E string side) but not the other. I tried to show it in the first picture, but it's pretty slight. I really had to use magnification to fully see it. It's really just kind of a line, not really separation. Second question is a little hard to answer. I have the strings and bridge off right now, as I was sanding down the bridge to correct for a high action. Before I took everything apart, the intonation seemed pretty good, but I didn't go way up to the last frets.
    Thanks for your input

  8. #7
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    It's a Kentucky KM300S 1998.
    Fat fingers. It's a Kentucky KM200S not Kentucky KM300S. I fixed the other reply

  9. #8
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    That model Kentucky doesn't have the neck joint riser that you typically see on a dovetail neck joint. I would suspect it's not a dovetail and may even be even held by a couple of dowel rods. This model could hold up for a good while or could fail given the right environmental conditions. I know for a fact that many of the economy priced instruments use the dowel joint method. They often fail if they take a hit and the string tension will pull them apart. I would keep an eye on your neck to see if there is any more movement after you string it up. Play it as long as you can and start a replacement fund. Good luck!
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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  11. #9
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    Thanks for your insight, Jim. I suppose I shouldn't be fully surprised. I previously saw a post where a KM-140 was fixed with a big screw, and I actually bid on Ebay on a KM-150 that had been fixed similarly. I will hope and pray that this does not progress rapidly. I'm glad that the action should be much lower when I put things back together, and the strings I have to put on are light. I imagine dry humidity at this point would be bad? Luckily summer is coming and woodstove season is about over here in New Hampshire.

    One thing I have to say is I am learning alot from this mandolin.

  12. #10
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    Sue, You're welcome. Glad you're excited about learning. Extreme dryness is not good for instruments, causes wood shrinkage that can affect joints, wood cracking, etc. I guess it's not good for humans either. I hope it all goes well with your mandolin!
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  13. #11

    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    KM-140 was fixed with a big screw
    I had fixed a few (mandolins and guitars) that have loose neck joint by putting a screw from inside thru the headblock and end with the neck joint (make sure the screw does not pop outside). This was done by removing the end pin, then use a long screw driver to drill a hole in the headblock ready for the screw. Finally put in the screw !!! Tricky but can be done without having to remove the back or remove the neck from body.

  14. #12
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: KM200S - Is this crack serious?

    After putting the strings back on and playing for a few hours, the crack looks unchanged, which I am happy about. Hopefully it will continue that way. I'll be keeping an eye on it. Any repairs involving screws, either from the inside or the outside, are way out of my league.

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