Phroedrick
Phroedrick
@phroedrick
4 weeks ago
50 posts

cbrown:

The break looks pretty clean to me, judging from the picture.  Since 80% of the wood is still integral with that big block thing, I'd be hesitant to cut off the remaining wood.

 

If it were mine, I'd just "freshen up the edges" of the fracture, fashion a bit of wood to fit, and stain it a nice contrasting colour!  If it's an old instrument, dings and dents and cracks and repairs are just part of her life story.

 

As far as wood putty goes, I've had good luck using it to (functionally) restore a broken old oboe.  One of the ancient block-pivot kinds.  One of the blocks that held the key in place had been broken off. A glob of putty, a good bit of sanding and some dark stain at least allow the instrument to function properly, and from a distance the repair isn't terribly apparent.

Thanks. I've recently had a poor experience with water-based wood filler. It doesn't dry hard enough, as does petroleum based filler. I noticed this when I had to fill a misplaced hole for a fret marker. I filled it in with the water based stuff, and after it dried, tried to reposition the depression for the inlay and the drill slid off the harder wood and into the softer filler. Did this twice before discovering the problem was the porousness of the filler. What do you use?


updated by @phroedrick: 09/21/19 09:51:19PM
Skip
Skip
@skip
4 weeks ago
238 posts

You could just replace the bridge and not worry about the saddle.

cbrown
@cbrown
4 weeks ago
11 posts

The break looks pretty clean to me, judging from the picture.  Since 80% of the wood is still integral with that big block thing, I'd be hesitant to cut off the remaining wood.

 

If it were mine, I'd just "freshen up the edges" of the fracture, fashion a bit of wood to fit, and stain it a nice contrasting colour!  If it's an old instrument, dings and dents and cracks and repairs are just part of her life story.

 

As far as wood putty goes, I've had good luck using it to (functionally) restore a broken old oboe.  One of the ancient block-pivot kinds.  One of the blocks that held the key in place had been broken off. A glob of putty, a good bit of sanding and some dark stain at least allow the instrument to function properly, and from a distance the repair isn't terribly apparent.

Phroedrick
Phroedrick
@phroedrick
4 weeks ago
50 posts

As you can see by the way my responses are splattering here, I’m still learning how posting and response works. Thanks for your patience.

Phroedrick
Phroedrick
@phroedrick
4 weeks ago
50 posts

Skip:

My first thought was your second fix, but it may look a bit strange unless you match really well or contrast the repair material. Then I thought it may work better to completely replace it all the way down to the box with a similar piece depending on the difficulty of removing of the original.

Thanks. Also an interesting suggestion. Noted to Ken Longfield it may be Just wall art, given its age. Still, I’d like to keep its original integrity if I can. It’s leaning against the wall in the living room where I can look at it until it tells me the best fix. I know it sounds weird to say until it tells me, and still if I let a thing sit for awhile, I often end up seeing a direction that might never have come to mind.

Phroedrick
Phroedrick
@phroedrick
4 weeks ago
50 posts

Phroedrick:

I'm working on an old dulcimer, and the bridge/saddle are broken. The saddle is easily replaced, it's the bridge I'm thinking about before tackling it. It looks like there are two options. One is to use a wood putty to fill in the missing segment, an option I don't like for a few reasons. The other is to saw the broken section off horizontally and replace it with a single piece of hardwood cut to the correct width of the bridge and mounted back far enough to accommodate a new saddle of the same thickness as the original.

Anyone have another idea of something I'm missing. I'm new to working on dulcimers, and this is the approach I might use on other instruments I work on (classical guitars and ukuleles).

The dulcimer itself might be better as wall art and I'm tackling this more for the experience than out of thinking it's a great instrument. It's interesting, and likely not a great dulcimer.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions and comments.

Ken Longfield:

I, too, like your second option. Another, although I think it might require more work, would be to rout out a new channel for the saddle. It looks like you have plenty of material to work with. The saddle would have to be fairly tall.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

I like this option and will consider it. The dulcimer is an old one and I don’t know if it’s more wall art than viable dulcimer. Even if it is wall art, I’d like to preserve its original integrity if possible. Thanks.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 weeks ago
1,625 posts

Yeah.... if it were me, I's just make a new saddle and bridge. Better than trying to fudge something together that will look jury rigged...

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
4 weeks ago
609 posts

I, too, like your second option. Another, although I think it might require more work, would be to rout out a new channel for the saddle. It looks like you have plenty of material to work with. The saddle would have to be fairly tall.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Skip
Skip
@skip
4 weeks ago
238 posts

My first thought was your second fix, but it may look a bit strange unless you match really well or contrast the repair material. Then I thought it may work better to completely replace it all the way down to the box with a similar piece depending on the difficulty of removing of the original.

Phroedrick
Phroedrick
@phroedrick
4 weeks ago
50 posts

I'm working on an old dulcimer, and the bridge/saddle are broken. The saddle is easily replaced, it's the bridge I'm thinking about before tackling it. It looks like there are two options. One is to use a wood putty to fill in the missing segment, an option I don't like for a few reasons. The other is to saw the broken section off horizontally and replace it with a single piece of hardwood cut to the correct width of the bridge and mounted back far enough to accommodate a new saddle of the same thickness as the original.

Anyone have another idea of something I'm missing. I'm new to working on dulcimers, and this is the approach I might use on other instruments I work on (classical guitars and ukuleles).

The dulcimer itself might be better as wall art and I'm tackling this more for the experience than out of thinking it's a great instrument. It's interesting, and likely not a great dulcimer.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions and comments.

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