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Possible ebony fretboard crack?


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hi there

i am new here and please forgive me if this post is in the wrong section. I was recommended the site by a friend. Basically heres my problem, i have a bc rich nj deluxe with an ebony fretboard and last night i noticed a "crack". Im not sure how long its been there. Or if its developed over time. its not wide open or in need of filling but its there none the less. Ive included some pictures for you to see.

what do you reckon? does it require attention? whats the verdict?

many thanks in advance and all help appreciated

IMG_1178_zps9b690f55.jpg

IMG_1177_zpsf9dc3d58.jpg

IMG_1176_zps8ebc916b.jpg

Ive been told to maybe to apply super clue to it and sand it down? But theres no gap with which to put the glue.

all help appreciated!

cheers

connor

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Water thin CA (super glue) will wick it's way into hairline cracks like that. If you pour a little into a container it will last for a while before getting hard. Use a fine point paint brush and literally paint it into the crack. The hairs in the brush will get hard in seconds but it will still carry the glue. Then you can sand or scrape it smooth after it dries. That should hold the crack together and keep it from spreading. I must say that is a very odd direction for a crack to run in any fretboard as they tend to run with the grain. I don't suppose that ebony is a veneer?

SR

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Hi there, thanks for getting back so soon. Is it per chance that the grain on mine goes horizontal instead of vertical? A friend of mine said the crack was a natural fissure in the ebony and nothing to worry about at all. I don't think it's veneer though if I'm honest couldn't be 100%. I'm not so sure on the super glue thing as the is no gap with which to the super glue to go? Naturally wood moves and if super glue is put on it surely that will cause problems?

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CA glue is used all the time to fill cracks and fissures and checks. It won't stop the wood from moving normally and if you dug deep enough you can find examples of it being used in minor faults in fretboards in here.

Looking at your shots again, that looks like a hairline crack in a knot in the ebony, exactly the kind of thing we would wick some this CA into. That goes most of the way across the board. I'd be a bit concerned about any big truss rod adjustments.

I'd like to hear some other opinions on that aspect of it.

SR

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Hmmm your scaring me now mate. The guitar has been kept in a case, never dropped or hit. It's kept beneath my stair case. Do you think this occurred by humidity temp. I won't be making any big truss adjustments anytime soon. In applying the glue, how much do I apply ? There's no gap as I said with which it to sink into? Do I just apply glue, let dry and sand? Should I oil the fret board ?

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Hmmm your scaring me now mate. The guitar has been kept in a case, never dropped or hit. It's kept beneath my stair case. Do you think this occurred by humidity temp. I won't be making any big truss adjustments anytime soon. In applying the glue, how much do I apply ? There's no gap as I said with which it to sink into? Do I just apply glue, let dry and sand? Should I oil the fret board ?

Changes in humidity, more or less, is what makes wood move. As the wood absorbs moisture it swells and it shrinks as it dries....so technically it is the changing moisture content of the wood that causes movement. If that indeed is a knot, the crack has probably been there all along and just become visible over time.

You will see the crack get wet as you wick in the thin CA. You will also see a little sit on the surface of the crack which will probably sink in as it wicks into the entire crack. Add a little more till it stops sinking in. After it cures you can sand it flush or use a single edge razor blade to scrape it flush.

I like to oil my boards as the oil will help slow down the exchange of moisture in the wood. Ebony is somewhat oily by naure and very dense so it won't soak up much......but I oil them anyway--makes 'em look pretty. :)

In terms of structural integrity, if that crack hasn't caused any problem so far, it probably never will.

SR

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Yes to all the above. do yourself a favor and pour a little glue into a container and use something with a fine tip to transfer it to the crack. Squeezing it from the bottle will get the job done quickly but you'll have so much more to clean up. Blocks are always best for sanding flat surfaces, but this is a small enough area that you could get away will just folding the sand paper into a small stiff rectangle and using that.

Good luck!

SR

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Agreed. First thing I thought was that it is a knot. All woods dry and live with the seasonal changes and knots do all kind of crazy things. If the knot is not sound, then it without a doubt needs stabilisation with CA as ScottR recommends. Use only a drip at a time, and apply it using a toothpick rather than the bottle applicator. You seriously do not want to be cleaning up CA spills....

Once you have this knot licked, get into a regular schedule of oiling the board.I do mine every six months using raw linseed (flax) oil. A q-tip dipped into oil, then dabbed once on each gap between the frets from 1st down is enough. Rub the oil in with a clean cloth so it spreads out to a film and remove all excess oil, then use a second clean cloth to buff everything up. That usually helps keep the wood happy. Do soak the cloths with water immediately afterwards and wash or dispose of them. Curing linseed oil can make cloths flammable.

Your board looks quite dry. A lot of fretboard "cleaners" strip the board of oils as well as gunk (I'm looking at you, petroleum-based cleaners!). If you're not in the habit of conditioning your boards, do the above process once a month for a few months then go to a six-month spring clean.

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Brilliant thanks, so I did just as you said, though I did use the needle nose applicator that came with the zap ca glue. I have to say I was skeptical but I applied it the length of the "crack" and let set for about an hour and half. I then sanded it lightly with 400 sand paper and then again with 1000 sandpaper. It has come up a treat. After this I oiled the neck. Naturally, there is a difference in tone of colour on the fret as I've just sanded it but it's filled the blemish good. I'll post a pic tomorrow. Cheers for the sterling advice \m/

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