Sent over from Bassanova, this BSX electric contrabass had crack issues due to dehydration shrinkage – most seriously to the neck pocket and block (which makes for structural weakness), but also the top and fingerboard as well. Interesting and unusual for me, it was a good experience and the bass turned out very well.
Here you can clearly see the damage caused by the curling neckblock and outer ‘ears’ being spread outward after the neck was inserted – this was caused by shrinkage due to dehydration. Unseen in this picture is another crack in the neck block itself farther down.
This chip out of the face also occurred at this time.
After gluing and clamping the fractures, the inside walls of the pocket were shaved to accommodate the neck with enough clearance to allow full movement for adjustments.
A long, 25cm crack in the fingerboard was also discovered. This a very common problem with ebony.
This is where it pays to keep scraps and offcuts of nice woods to have on hand. I extracted my ebony dust for the repair from an old violin fingerboard, using a basic flat mill file.
After cleaning out the crack thoroughly, we pack it tight with ebony dust before saturating and sealing it up with CA glue.
Then careful sanding and re-radiusing the area, it leaves a solid and practically invisible repair.
After finishing the pocket repair, there was a remaining, ugly, finish-stress crack on the face (upper left) that although not affecting the playability, was just unsightly.
A closer look at this finish ‘ripple’.
After color-matching as close as possible. The whole area was then oversprayed with satin poly to blend in with the original finish as best as we could get here.
The area where the big chip was.
And the area where the pocket and lower block cracks were. This repair was an interesting departure from the usual solidbody guitar repairs…