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Author Topic: Stabilizing/sealing narrow cracks  (Read 455 times)

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Jesse Smith

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Stabilizing/sealing narrow cracks
« on: June 15, 2018, 09:40:46 PM »

So my new "project box" (a Hohner pressed wood) has a very thin crack running lengthwise down the keyboard. I've seen keyboards where big chunks of the board have broken off around the keys and obviously I'd prefer if that doesn't happen. I don't think the crack goes all the way through to the full depth of the wood.

Does this call for wood glue like TiteBond, or would something thinner like CA (super glue) be best, so it can wick into the crack?

I suppose I should take the keyboard off in order to clamp it across the crack. Is that straightforward or do I need to watch out for anything?

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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: Stabilizing/sealing narrow cracks
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 10:05:22 PM »

I'd definitely take the keyboard off, to see the extent of the crack. I had a similar problem, and I glued a thin fillet of wood along the crack, on the inside. Where it coincided with the hole for the button, I cut round it to suit, after the glue had dried.

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Re: Stabilizing/sealing narrow cracks
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 10:15:07 PM »

Personally I wouldn't use cyanoacrylate for this job.  My first choice would be hide glue, but if you don't have the facilities for it then Titebond will be an excellent second choice.   You'll need to find a way of GENTLY opening the crack VERY SLIGHTLY in order to work the glue in; without seeing the job in the flesh it's hard to be more specific, but the adhesive does need to get right inside the split. Standard Titebond can be diluted slightly with water to help it run into cracks and crannies; not sure I'd try that with Titebond II, though! No reason why ordinary white PVA wood glue shouldn't work perfectly well, and it's easier to clean off surplus than Titebond.

Hope this helps
Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

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Kimric Smythe

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Re: Stabilizing/sealing narrow cracks
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2018, 07:45:57 AM »

Depends on the cyan you use, the regular stuff at the store won't work, you want the "gap filling" stuff from the hobby store and also use a piece of veneer preferably walnut if you can get it.
 The gap filling stuff will wick into the crack.
 Glue your veneer patch on the inside like the previous poster mentions and be sure the grain of the patch is at right angles to the crack. If you have to hold things in place use accelerator to get things going.
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Re: Stabilizing/sealing narrow cracks
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 08:55:33 AM »

I suppose I should take the keyboard off in order to clamp it across the crack. Is that straightforward or do I need to watch out for anything?
To take the keyboard off you need to remove the two long screws or bolts which are accessed from inside the treble end. These screw right through into each end of the keyboard. Sometimes these are sealed around the heads with wax or hot-melt glue to prevent air leaks, so you might need to remove that first.

The other tip I would recommend is to release the springs on the treble action first. It's not absolutely necessary but it does make the job easier and reduces the risk of misaligning the pallets. When the keyboard starts to become free, if the springs are not released first, all the spring tension from the key levers starts to push hard and obliquely on the pallets.

On re-assembly, work in the opposite sequence. Leave the reattachment of the springs until the keyboard is fixed back into place. The only downside is that old springs can sometimes break when they are being released or reattached, so make sure you have a few replacements on hand before you start the job (Charlie Marshall is a good source). 
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