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Lester Bailey

Cracked Ends

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My Wheatstone Aeola has quite severe cracking on the ends almost entirely only veneer deep. I was not to worried about this until I recently lifted it out of the case in my normal manner of pincering it between my thumb and forefinger and broke abit of fretwork with my thuump. I am now mor circumspect of how I handle it but would like to improve both the sablity and the looks of the ends.


So how do I reinforce the end where the cracking is worse?

How do I fill the cracks to improve the appearance?

Edited by Lester Bailey

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Lester, What is done is to give the ends a "glue bath". The ends are removed from the instrument , all hardware and baffels if any are removed, including bushing material. Then the ends are saturated with either bone/ hide glue (which are the same product with different names) or a thined epoxy( which can be tinted depending on the wood species) that will stabilize the cracked areas and after that treatment has dried the broken or missing parts can be glued as necessary and the end sprayed or french polished.I have not given a detailed explaination here, just a basic outline. Unless a person has done lots of work with glue and wood its a task best left to a professional wood worker.

As an aside some of the concertinas with ebony ends are infact just that , ebony. What has been done is to use 3 layers of material about 1.5 mm thick and these are glued with the grain opposed to make a laminate, on the raised end instruments it seems possible that the layered ends were turned and then "fretted". The ebony does tend to crack after about 80 years and the "glue bath" is the only method I know of to cure the problem. AW

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