Soundboard crack! Is it as bad as I think?


  • Participant
    occalichika on #223721

    OK, so about two weeks ago I purchased a beautiful used older 38 string Tripplet harp. I thought I was thorough before I got it to check for cracks on the soundboard, but today I noticed that there’s a HUGE horizontal crack below my G3.

    Is this the death of the harp?!

    I can’t hear any buzzing or anything that might suggest that the soundboard is compromised.

    Should I go get it evaluated for a repair? Or is this just a normal thing that happens to older harps.

    I included photos of the crack. Yes, you can see light through it. 🙁

    Thanks for the advice.


    Participant
    occalichika on #223722

    Sorry. I added a photo here.


    Participant
    occalichika on #223723

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    Participant
    occalichika on #223724

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    occalichika on #223726

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    Participant
    Talfryn on #223738

    Hello Occalichika
    This is certainly not the death of the harp, although it does need dealing with, it can be repaired. I would suggest you contact Tripplet directly for advice on repairing it and either get it repaired directly with them or another experienced harp maker.
    It could be that the glue between the slats/planks which make up the sound board has separated or that the soundboard has split parallel to the wood grain. Either way it can be repaired by someone with experience.
    The crack is running parallel to the main stresses in the sound board, which means it is unlikely to destroy itself, but the crack will grow along its length, so it needs to be repaired.
    To give you some idea of how a solid soundboard is made Sligo harps have an excellant description http://www.sligoharps.com/5book.pdf. I have used this for personal harp projects myself.
    Good luck, but don’t loose hope because it can be fixed…

    Talfryn


    Participant
    Biagio on #223750

    This is not at all uncommon, and yes, the split is along a glue line. If it disturbs you the fix is easy: either epoxy a strip of thin fiber glass on the inside (inexpensive) or have a repair person glue in a thin shim (much more expensive). It does not look bad but it is never a good idea to diagnose just from a picture, so by all means have a qualified harp tech examine the harp. There may be other defects that you did not notice.

    This is probably an older harp as Triplett, along with many others, nowadays cover the SB face with a thin hardwood veneer. While that may possibly prevent such cracks (but probably not), the main reason is because harp makers got tired of explaining that such are to be expected and may actually improve the tone. Don’t panic: there are beautiful harps 50 or more years old with such cracks.

    Biagio


    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #223982

    If the light is shining through, that is not good. I would show this to the manufacturer.

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