Crack in Lute Soundboard

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Moderndandy

Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Moderndandy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:43 am

Hello,
I was wondering if anyone could give me some guidance on a crack I hustled noticed on the soundboard of my Lute. It doesn't affect the sound but I'm worried it could cause problems if not repaired.
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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Guitar » Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:45 am

Looks like a fissure in the top joinery, not a structural crack.

Humidify it and see what happens.

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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby James Lister » Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:17 am

I'd certainly recommend getting it repaired, and soon if possible. Although it might never develop into a serious problem, it's easier to repair the crack invisibly if it's done before any dirt/grime gets into the crack.

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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby zupfgeiger » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:58 am

I'd subscribe to this advice. I once caused two cracks on the top of my new guitar. Two days afterwards I brought it to one of the most reputated luthiers to do a proper repair work. He did a good job, but unfortunately did not manage to make the cracks invisible.
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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby colin north » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:17 pm

Sorry, that doesn't look like a proper repair to me - ?
It may be glued, but cosmetically it's a disaster, especially on what looks like a good looking guitar.
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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby zupfgeiger » Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:43 pm

A misunderstanding. Of course the photo has been taken before the repair has been done! That's just the crack. This is another picture showing the top after repair. The luthier said that glue had filled the fissure and that therefore it was impossible to make it invisible.
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Andrea Tacchi, Enrique Garcia model, Spruce/BRAZ, 2016
Giovanni Tacchi, Daniel Friederich copy, cedar/EIR, 2017
Alain Raifort, cedar/EIR, 2004

Moderndandy

Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Moderndandy » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:05 pm

Thanks Everyone, unfortunately I only have one lute so Its a tough decision. The crack bothers me to look at but at least it hasn't affected sound or playability.


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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Dave1947 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:29 am

Sometimes it's a tough call as to whether to get a crack fixed or to just leave it and keep an eye on it. Just found a hairline crack in my 4 year old luthier built, favorite guitar. I will have him look at it and see what he says.

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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Guitar » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:00 pm

Repeat:
Determine if its joinery from a multi piece top or a 'crack'. There is a big difference in what that implies.

"Cracks" are mostly cosmetic and actually less scary than separating top joinery near the bridge which is a tension/structure issue. 4 times of 5, cracks are pretty meaningless. Yours appears to be the fifth time when it matters and cleatwork may be essential (whereas cleats are often superfluously applied to cracks that don't need them).

If you work fast, you're still in 'touchup' range where it can be mostly made to vanish without needing a complete refinish.

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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Guitar » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:08 pm

zupfgeiger wrote:The luthier said that glue had filled the fissure and that therefore it was impossible to make it invisible.


Blonde spruce is a pain in the *** when it comes to cracks, however if he flooded the crack with CA, it never stood a cosmetic chance.
With cracks like that, sometimes, the best course of action is to see where you stand with cleats and *not* flood the crack with glue if its appearance diminishes once seated on the cleats.

If that's the case, you can usually refinish the whole top and make it go away as long as you properly treat the crack void with a non darkening filler agent (and I'm being an idiot by posting this stuff out loud for free).

Finish repair, touch up, things of that nature are usually going to be outside the skillset of any given "luthier" and that includes builders. Not that they couldn't do it, its just that most don't know how.

Moderndandy

Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Moderndandy » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:59 am

Thanks guitar, I found a luthier who specializes in lutes and seeking out his advice.


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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby waitswatcher » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:08 am

I have a large crack on the back of my Panhuyzen. It is there for about 25 years and didnt change or expand!
Normally I would have get it fixed asap, but as the crack was already there when I bought it second hand, I just left it this way.

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Re: Crack in Lute Soundboard

Postby Michael.N. » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:35 am

Depends on the crack, the particular piece of wood and the environment in which it is kept. Some cracks will remain fairly stable, some will run, open up and become longer. I think the position of that crack on the Lute suggests that it does need attending to. At the moment it's probably the bridge that is preventing it from running any further. It certainly can become a structural issue given that the string tension is forcing that part of the soundboard up. It also looks a touch open, although it might close if it's been subject to low humidity. Otherwise you might be looking at a Spruce splint, which starts to get costly.
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