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Repair Options - Crack on the top


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Hello All,

I am new member of the forum. I  hope this message finds you well. 

Could you please advise on the possible options to repair the crack in the top of the instrument? The crack is about 0.5 inch away from the sound post. I have removed the strings, not sure if sound post needs to be removed as well in this case. 

  

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Edited by Victor Dombrovskiy
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2 hours ago, Victor Dombrovskiy said:

Thank you for your responses.   Is the top removal would be absolutely required with this particular damage?   

Absolutely. Theoretically you could do it with the top still on, but that would be unreasonably tedious and would involve sound post towers and inserting cleats in through the f holes, which would take a considerable amount of skill and patience to do.

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It's nearly impossible to glue such a long crack in register without removing the top. And without being in register you will have varnish and probably wood damage very soon around there.

There's also a crack starting from the saddle pin which should be repaired and cleated from inside before it will become longer.

The sound post region seems to be less affected.

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9 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

Absolutely. Theoretically you could do it with the top still on, but that would be unreasonably tedious and would involve sound post towers and inserting cleats in through the f holes, which would take a considerable amount of skill and patience to do.

Sound post towers?

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I would say that the top needs to come off. That type of crack is often caused by shrinkage in the top. Notice how open the crack is at the edge? Almost impossible to close that with the top still attached. The crack also needs to be clamped and supported from the bottom to maintain the proper arching profile. Putting proper cleats on the crack is also very difficult with the top on.

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  • 1 month later...

There us a belief out there that removing a top is a big deal. Like open heart surgery. I suspect that many repairmen do it everyday without issue. I wouldn't worry about that, unless you want to repair it yourself and haven't removed a top before.

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1 hour ago, Nick Allen said:

Yeah. You insert a row of soundpost that level the crack while you clamp it from the sides while the top is still on. 

This sounds like a broad way to disaster. Beside that you need a lot of skill ( or luck) to get the crack in register with this method the glue might have geled before all towers are in place. A tiny drop might glue your towers to the belly, and there could be more accidents possible when I would think a bit longer about it.

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24 minutes ago, deans said:

There us a belief out there that removing a top is a big deal. Like open heart surgery. I suspect that many repairmen do it everyday without issue. I wouldn't worry about that, unless you want to repair it yourself and haven't removed a top before.

Yup, and people prove a lot of fantasy just to avoid a very common Action.

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35 minutes ago, deans said:

There us a belief out there that removing a top is a big deal. Like open heart surgery. I suspect that many repairmen do it everyday without issue. I wouldn't worry about that, unless you want to repair it yourself and haven't removed a top before.

Being able to remove a top, with little or no collateral damage, IS a big deal!

Sure, explosives will work for "disassembling" a violin, or even running over the poor thing with a lawn mower. :lol:

There is more than a subtle difference between being a "loo-theer", and a high-level "luthier".  ;)

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Having just removed my first top plate, under the watchful eye of a very experienced teacher and after watching him do it several times, I agree with the comments here. This is not a DIY fix.

Mine came out pretty well BYW but it was a school instrument removed from service.

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7 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Being able to remove a top, with little or no collateral damage, IS a big deal!

Sure, explosives will work for "disassembling" a violin, or even running over the poor thing with a lawn mower. :lol:

There is more than a subtle difference between being a "loo-theer", and a high-level "luthier".  ;)

How long are violin's supposed to last?  How long are we supposed to last?  My old neighbor was anxiously for a lung transplant so he could finally breath again while I was worried about my violin's A0's amplitude.

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