Shards and splinters

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
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Mark Wybierala
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Shards and splinters

Post by Mark Wybierala »

Long story short. Client broke their trussrod on a solidbody neck-thru bass of some value. Client attempted to remove fretboard. Client broke off a part of the section of the fretboard between the nut and the first fret splitting this section with the grain. I have the surface of the fretboard and the remains of the base of the fretboard. Client attempted to reglue the pieces together using gorilla glue. There is no damage to the fretboard above the first fret slot. The section between the first fret and the nut has a clean top surface and if I can get the pieces to mate, there's a chance for an invisible repair. An exact replacement replacement of the trussrod is available from LMII.

I have cleanly removed the entire fretboard from the neck using a steam iron. I couldn't have been luckier to get such a clean removal. The gorilla glue repair came apart also. I used my new cappuccino machine to remove all of the gorilla glue residue from the clients misadventure. Now I have two clean surfaces and they don't exactly mate well despite there being no glue residue -- its close but not quite a closed joint.

I don't believe anyone will have an awesome solution but I gotta ask anyway. Does anyone have a suggestion for putting together a fractured joint when the splinters don't totally line up? My approach will be to use a brand new exacto knife to slowly carve suspect offending shards until I can get a closed mating of the pieces.

Barry Daniels
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Shards and splinters

Post by Barry Daniels »

What kind of wood?

This is not a structural joint so removing splinters to get a better fit is perfectly acceptable. The goal would be to make the joint as invisible as possible.

Oh, you should charge double for fixing his foolish repair attempt.
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Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1362
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Shards and splinters

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Removing offending splinters is perfectly acceptable in this situation as Barry mentioned. When regluing I like to use a gap filling glue (epoxy) if much wood has been removed internally to get an externally looking "tight" fit. If not too much wood is missing then hide glue or CA can make a strong repair. If I was in the business I would be inclined to charge "time and material". The additional time may cost the client more than double, or it may work out to a little less. In either case a fair price is paid and received.

Mark Wybierala
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: Shards and splinters

Post by Mark Wybierala »

I like using the stewmac black CA for rosewood fretboard repairs and I was gonna use this by default but the mention of epoxy is probably a good idea. I can tint the epoxy a dark brown or black and I think its more suited. There is enough thickness to the upper side that will actually make leveling possible.

I initially had my doubts about taking on this repair but even with the complications caused by the client, its going well. I drilled six tiny alignment holes prior to removing the fretboard. I had no idea what kind of trussrod lay underneath the fretboard but now that I have it removed, it matches up perfectly with what LMII can make for me in a custom length -- lucky as hell. The only tedious risk is the line of finish repair between the fretboard and the maple neck because the factory finish is a moderate thickness polyurethane but I'm feelin perky. I scored the margin before I removed the fretboard so there wasn't very much lifting of the finish at the margin. I should get a very clean joint and I'll drop fill with CA.

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Bryan Bear
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Shards and splinters

Post by Bryan Bear »

I'm not of any help but am just curious about the Gorilla glue. I know that Gorilla (as a brand) has a line of glues of just about every type but when I hear Gorilla glue, I think of their polyurethane (PU) glue. Do you know what type of gorilla glue they used? I don't think there is any way to reverse PU glues so I assume it was another type of glue under that brand. But. . . I ask in case my assumption is wrong and there is a way to reverse PU and I just don't know about it.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Chuck Tweedy
Posts: 1141
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:25 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Shards and splinters

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Second Bryan's question. I noted right away you said "The gorilla glue repair came apart also." as if it were a given. I would have expected that it was PU glue, which would have to be swan apart or "broken". Assuming it was PU - as Bryan said, Gorilla is a blanket brand now.

Also, second the recommendation for epoxy. I was once prep'ing to install a cocobolo fingerboard, and dropped it on the cement floor. The corner of the board shattered (bridge end). I swept the floor and sorted through the dust to collect all the pieces. Figuring it was worth a shot because the board has an intricate in inlay, I tinted some epoxy and reconstructed the board as well as I could. There were some missing bits, but coco is pretty dark and forgiving - AND the gaps are with the grain. It was/is a virtually invisible repair even through it was a disaster when it happened.

Third point - does the machine still make a good cappuccino? :-)
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

Mark Wybierala
Posts: 464
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:14 am
Location: Central New Jersey

Re: Shards and splinters

Post by Mark Wybierala »

This was a problem that I thought was a bigger problem than it ended up being. :D

I've always looked at a botched joint as something that was permanently ruined. Tickled pink that my new thriftshop cappuccino machine saved the day. The gorilla glue was the ugly bubbly stuff that makes a mess and has no place in instrument repair. It looked like the glue was poured on and there was no attempt to clamp the joint. The pieces actually came apart when I was using the clothes iron to remove the fretboard and this was also the first time I'd used clothes iron to remove a fretboard which although took time, worked flawlessly. My initial quote for the repair included replacing the fretboard.

Using the cappuccino steam thingy, it did a wonderful job of just softening up the residual glue gobs in between the quite chaotic shards of rosewood (unknown species) with the help of a toothbrush. No trace of glue remaining.

The only problem I have now is that being used to drinking a full 8 cups of coffee in the morning, I suffer from caffeine excess when I drink the same quantity of espresso which I find to be an unpleasant experience but difficult to avoid.

Clay Schaeffer
Posts: 1362
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Shards and splinters

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

My Father told the story that when he was in Italy he ordered a cup of coffee. They brought him a cup of espresso in a demitasse. When he saw the size of the cup he said "You better bring me a couple more of these" . He said after he finished the first cup it satisfied his need for coffee.
https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/s/demitasse-cups
Or:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/celadon-dragon ... Swhr9cPTSh

Smaller cups will allow you to still drink 8 cups.
If it is the acid that gets to you, I found adding a dash of Irish whiskey and making a caffeine/alcohol "speedball" helps cut it. :lol:

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