Fretboard cracks

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Simon Booton-Mander

Post by Simon Booton-Mander » Thu May 17, 2007 1:15 pm

Hi James,
what sort of price are we talking about if I get a Luthier to do the work?

Simon Booton-Mander

Post by Simon Booton-Mander » Thu May 17, 2007 1:33 pm

Here is a pic of my 3 Lamaq's, all three together have cost me under £100.
All solid tops. Not bad. I will probable sell the middle one to pay for the work on the Ebony fretboard work that needs to be done on the right hand one.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

nickl

Post by nickl » Thu May 17, 2007 10:45 pm

If it doesn't buzz and it isn't uncomfortable to play, I would just play until it becomes a problem.

Simon Booton-Mander

Post by Simon Booton-Mander » Thu May 17, 2007 10:51 pm

Nice Idea, but the frets catch my hand on any sliding notes or chords.

Dan Kellaway

Post by Dan Kellaway » Thu May 17, 2007 11:54 pm

To repair that by removing all the frets and glueing the ebony before replacement is basically a refret plus an hour or so.
I charge around $300 AUD for that sort of job but I'm a fair bit cheaper than the boys in the city.
Some of them are double that, but probably around $450 would get it done most places.
Best of luck.

User avatar
James Lister
Luthier
Posts: 7357
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Post by James Lister » Fri May 18, 2007 8:00 am

Hemiola wrote:To repair that by removing all the frets and glueing the ebony before replacement is basically a refret plus an hour or so.
I charge around $300 AUD for that sort of job but I'm a fair bit cheaper than the boys in the city.
Some of them are double that, but probably around $450 would get it done most places.
Best of luck.
I make that about £125 for the repair option, whcih sounds quite reasonable. I would probably charge around £200 to replace the fingerboard, but that too is probably on the low side of what you would get quoted. The hardest bit to predict is how much time it takes to tidy up the finish where the fingerboard meets the neck and soundboard - I'm guessing your guitar has a lacquer finish, which is much harder to touch up than French polish.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

Simon Booton-Mander

Post by Simon Booton-Mander » Fri May 18, 2007 8:43 am

I don't think I will bother. By the time I have spent the money needed to do it up, I would have spent the money needed to by a Alhambra 4P or a Admira Soledad, which is what I am aiming to get. I will probably sell all three guitars and by the one guitar I really want, either of the above.

I put new strings on the guitar yesterday to check out the tone. It is OK and admittedly better than the CL55 (which is the middle guitar in the photo) but not as good as my CL54 which is the beautiful Cedar top jobby on the stand. I think I will be able to sell all three for around the £250 mark.

I might even wait until my BDay and see what the wife chucks into the kitty and get the Alhambra 5P Cedar.

Thanks for all the advice though James and Dan, it has been very useful in making up my mind.

I will sell the new one separately as a project for someone to take on. Once this guitar is repaired it retails at £379, well at least it does under its Guvnor GCD754 guise, which is the same guitar.

Simon Booton-Mander

Post by Simon Booton-Mander » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:49 am

I just discovered that there is another way of dealing with this. You can leave the guitar for a month while you gather all the supplies needed to do the job on the cracks, by which time they have closed up all by themselves...no? Well that is what has happened.

Most of the cracks have closed up so much you can not see where they were and the very small amount that you can just see is not worth worrying about.

Is this normal??

Dan Kellaway

Post by Dan Kellaway » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:30 am

It's mostly to do with relative humidity. It would have been quite dry when you got the guitar or it came from a much drier place than yours, but in the meantime it's either got damper where you are or simply aclimatised to your environment which is higher in relative humidity than the place the guitar was bought from.
If the latter is true and you don't intend to travel with the instrument then wait a little while longer before gluing up those cracks with CA and you should have a stable guitar.
At any rate this would indicate that most of the movement is happening due to the relative humidity rather than the wood shrinking from curing.
My suspicion here is that the wood may not be Ebony but there is another timber the name of which I forget, but a lot of black wooden flutes and clarinets are made of it, and it is somewhat unstable which means that it will expand and contract much more than Ebony. If this is so you may find that even if you fix it to invisibility , next summer it could open up again. So maybe you should just play it and watch to see what happens paying attention to how the humidity has been.
Good luck.

User avatar
James Lister
Luthier
Posts: 7357
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Post by James Lister » Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:36 pm

I'd agree with Dan that it's a relative humidity problem - it's certainly been very damp here in Sheffield for the last couple of days. Ebony does shrink quite a lot - especially if it's not quarter-sawn.

The stuff they make black wooden flutes out of is called blackwood (at least it is here in the UK). I've never seen it used for a fretboard though.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

Return to “Luthiers”