Callier-Scollard Violins
Craig Scollard

50 E. Green St. Suite 142
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 795-2870

Mon, Tue, Wed 10:00-1:00.
Thu, Fri, Sat 2:00 to 5:00

Intercom Access Code, Press:
142 and then the CALL button:

Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass Crack Repairs

Violin family instruments have tops, backs and ribs that are fairly thin. These plates expand and contract with weather changes. If they are subjected to sudden humidity or temperature changes and the plates can not gradually adjust to their new size, cracks can develop. If you develop cracks that are adjacent to the saddle, most likely it's a sign that the saddle is a little too tight and it's not allowing the top to contract.

If your instrument develops a crack, it should be repaired as soon as possible. Be careful not to touch the crack edges with your fingers or get any dirt, rosin dust or polish into the crack.

Many cracks can be glued from the outside, especially if it's in an area without too much stress. One of the seams may need to be unglued before the crack is repaired. Sound post cracks or bass bar cracks usually need to have the top removed and patched.

Violin Repair: It's somewhat difficult to give prices without seeing the instrument. It it's possible to glue it from the outside the range could be between $12 to $40. If the top needs to be removed it's about $300 and up for a violin.

  1. Open the seam.
  2. Make a little mold to raise and even out the crack
  3. Glue the crack
  4. Put a little reinforcement cleat on the inside near the f hole
  5. Glue the crack that's near the bass bar
  6. Glue the seam
  7. Put a little bit of clear over the cracks. This helps protect the newly glued crack from dirt and weather.
IMG 8286 IMG 8286
IMG 20220416 131210 049 IMG 20220416 131210 049
IMG 20220418 100732 149 IMG 20220418 100732 149
IMG 20220418 102434 415 IMG 20220418 102434 415
IMG 20220419 092151 795 IMG 20220419 092151 795

Comments (4)
Violin top needs repaired
# 4
Friday, 02/19/2021
An idiot smashed my violin and the sound post broke through. I am self-taught, started at age 50, so maybe not worth bothering with.
Sound Post Through The Top
Monday, 03/15/2021
Craig Scollard

Usually this is a somewhat major repair. Also it would be ideal if all of the shards are still there.

The top would need to be removed. A mold made. The hole patched up with the shards or if some are missing a new piece of spruce would need to be fitted.

Then a sound post patch would need to be fitted.

Unfortunatly unless this is a really nice violin, it most likely isn't worth fixing. The repair cost would be over $500.

Viola crack
# 3
Monday, 10/17/2016
I left my viola in my room and left my room for two seconds when I got back there's was a crack by the f holes my bridge is broken and my strings are bended what can I do to fiks it
Viola Crack and Broken Bridge
Friday, 10/21/2016
Craig Scollard
My guess is that the bridge was leaning too far foward and it fell over caused the crack and broke the bridge.

If the crack isn't too bad, then perhaps it could be simply glued from the outside, then just fit a new bridge.
# 2
Sunday, 02/14/2016
So this past weekend the weather has been changing from freezing temperature to above freezing. My viola was probably contracting during this time but my friend stepped on my case while I was asleep, today I took my viola out to play and there were 2 gaping large cracks on my violas right side. I don't know what to do, it's a rental and I'm not sure how much it will cost to fix.
Viola Cracks
Monday, 03/07/2016
Craig Scollard

Stress cracks caused by weather changes can usually be repaired without taking the instrument apart. Most of the time if you open one seam it will alleviate the pressure and make it easier to glue the crack back together. Stepping on an instrument sometimes creates cracks that are jagged and can't really be glued from the outside.

Since it's a rental you really need to discuss this with the shop you are renting from.
bass crack near f-hole, treble side
# 1
Tuesday, 03/17/2015

How long should one wait to allow a repaired crack to set?

My upright bass has had many glue-and-cleat repairs to the top. During this past steamy weekend, the bass got warm, and there's now a rattling open crack or loose cleat near the treble-side f-hole.

Assuming it can be re-glued from the outside, how long should I then allow it to dry before moving the instrument? Thank you.

Crack Repair
Tuesday, 03/17/2015
Craig Scollard

I would give it 24 hours and it might just stop rattling. Most likely the crack will need to be cleaned out and then re-glued and clamped. Since it's close to the "f" hole, it's possible to repair it from the outside. If there is a cleat that's loose cleaning the crack and working fresh hot glue into it might also make the cleat solid again. If not the cleat would need to be removed.

Normally I like to keep cracks clamped for 24 hours.


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