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Free cello with belly cracks


krahnviolins
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Hello.

I have a friend who has been gifted a cello with some very serious belly cracks. It is a free cello from the local university. Unfortunately I don't think it's worth pulling off the belly and cleating the crack (and honestly that would be beyond my skill set). I was wondering about suggestions for gluing the cracks shut with some wood glue or epoxy, I realise this is unspeakable to many of you, so my sincerest apologies to anyone who might be offended. It's really about nothing more than getting this instrument to make noise again. I can carve bridges and set sound posts, have done seam repair with hide glue, but this is something I have not tackled. Can someone offer their guidance. Much thanks.

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Minimal intervention, and don't do anything irreversible - hide glue only, never epoxy - in case someone in future more skilled than you wishes to effect a decent repair.

Do you know what the cello is before proceeding? A badly cracked table doesn't necessarily mean it is either valueless, or without interest or intrinsic worth.

Perhaps some pictures might attract advice?

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7 hours ago, krahnviolins said:

Hello.

I have a friend who has been gifted a cello with some very serious belly cracks. It is a free cello from the local university.

Unfortunately I don't think it's worth pulling off the belly and cleating the crack

(and honestly that would be beyond my skill set).

I was wondering about suggestions for gluing the cracks shut with some wood glue or epoxy, I realise this is unspeakable to many of you, so my sincerest apologies to anyone who might be offended. It's really about nothing more than getting this instrument to make noise again. I can carve bridges and set sound posts, have done seam repair with hide glue, but this is something I have not tackled. Can someone offer their guidance. Much thanks.

1.  Oooh, cool.  Free is good.

2.  Why not?

3.  So take this gorgeous opportunity to increase your skill set.  For a starter go look at Roger Hargrave's bass-fiddle thread, a true store of lore on wrestling whales, then search the site for cello crack threads, popping tops on cellos, etc.

4.  Dear heavens, NO!   Fix it, don't vandalize it further.  It may be useful to recall that even supposedly cheap and minor fiddles, with occasional repairs, can outlast many human, and even national, lifetimes, and still produce thrilling music in the right hands.  We're temporary stewards, nothing more.

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53 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

 

4.  Dear heavens, NO!   Fix it, don't vandalize it further.  It may be useful to recall that even supposedly cheap and minor fiddles, with occasional repairs, can outlast many human, and even national, lifetimes, and still produce thrilling music in the right hands.  We're temporary stewards, nothing more.

Well said

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The question is only posited from the standpoint of an especially frugal Dr. Frankenstein looking to resurrect the dead. I have stressed that I will either finalize it's demise by destroying the instrument or make it temporarily playable, repaired is not the term i would use here. I would love to learn how to do this repair properly eventually, but unfortunately I know that cannot be today. I can hear a resounding "no dont." Which is probably the best advice. Haha.

Edited by krahnviolins
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If the cello was free to you and headed to the dumpster then by all means it is worth it to remove the top and cleat it.  What better way to improve your skill set?  Please do not stuff epoxy or wood glue into the cracks, it won't work and you've really ruined it at that point.  It's not really a matter of being offended but, imagine if this were a car repair forum and you said something like "my fuel line has a leak in it and I'm thinking about squirting some super glue on it and then duct taping it".  The experienced people would advise you against it.  Maybe begin here:

Good luck!

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