Saddle Cracks – www.StringRepair.com

Saddle Cracks

  • By admin
  • - January 23

Seeing so many old and (even worse) new instruments with saddle cracks has given us pause to rethink one of the most overlooked areas of bowed instruments.  The concept is simple, and the result is traditional in appearance.  It is our intent to significantly reduce the likelihood of a saddle crack occurring in an instrument with this saddle installed.

Traditional saddles have squared off, 90 degree edges.  As the top shrinks (due to the nature of the wood) the shrinking plate meets resistance at the saddle area.  Inevitably the stress results in a crack at one of the edges of the saddle.  Our idea was to create a saddle that will not act as a wedge and thus split the top.  The theory behind our saddle design is that as the plate shrinks, the saddle will be forced out of the mortise or will shift aside.  At that point it is much easier (and less expensive) to refit the saddle than to repair a crack.

We HIGHLY recommend you elect to have a Preserve saddle installed while your instrument is in our shop, even if it does not yet have a saddle crack.  Consider it preventative maintenance!

In 2004 our revolutionary saddle design was acquired by Clef Music Manufacturing Corp.

Seein

Seeing so many old and (even worse) new instruments with saddle cracks has given us pause to rethink one of the most overlooked areas of bowed instruments.  The concept is simple, and the result is traditional

Seeing so many old and (even worse) new instruments with saddle cracks has given us pause to rethink one of the most overlooked areas of bowed instruments.  The concept is simple, and the result is traditional in appearance.  It is our intent to significantly reduce the likelihood of a saddle crack occurring in an instrument with this saddle installed.

Traditional saddles have squared off, 90 degree edges.  As the top shrinks (due to the nature of the wood) the shrinking plate meets resistance at the saddle area.  Inevitably the stress results in a crack at 


Mson S. E. Coiffier Paris

This old French bass has had some significant work over the years (re-grad top, back & ribs.  Thinner linings, neck reset with heel extension) but had managed to escape the common saddle crack until the dry, winter of 2005 perhaps due to some negligent oversights by the last bass specialty shop that performed some work (saddle was not relieved).

The top was carefully removed, the crack was aligned and glued with diamond cleats for reinforcement.  The saddle crack got dangerously close to becoming a sound post crack, so we decided a very non invasive sound post patch was needed.  This type of sound post patch is not inlayed into the top as a traditional sound post patch would be, but rather it is chalk fitted to the top and thinned out to about 1.5mm.  The skewed grain orientation and size of the patch helps to strengthen and redistribute pressure while still being thin enough to not take away from the basses tone.