93. Crack a smile

Worrying times. A crack has appeared in Carolan’s soundboard! It’s on the lower side of the upper bout, running from the edge of the inlay to the purfling. Instant guilt! Was Carolan left in the sun? Was is that moment when we were velcro-ing cameras inside Carolan and one fell off with an audible thunk?

A crack appears

So it’s off to our luthier Colin Keefe who carried out Carolan’s neck surgery back in Post 66 for some expert attention. Colin suspects that it’s probably a ‘drying out’ problem caused by lack of humidity and carefully applies some glue to repair the crack. His initial inclination is to also add some reinforcement under the soundboard, but this turns out to be infeasible in this small area. So we’re going to have to be careful – and watchful – and hopeful.

The crack repaired

We also mention Carolan’s wonky smile (see Post 75). While endearing, this has been causing problems when changing strings (the bridge pins tend to ping out and slap you in the face) and has also affected the consistency of the under-saddle piezo pickup too (with not all strings giving the same volume). Colin suggests it’s time for a new bridge which he duly crafts and installs. It’s a great reproduction of the original and suddenly the pickup is way more powerful and consistent.

A replacement bridge gives a brand new smile

The net result is Carolan emerges with new smile, but also a new line on its face. Time to get back into the musical fray scars and all …

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