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??add a (or another) purfling channel around the edge?
those cracks add character, if there were a way to highlight them in the new finish, that would really be something. Yes, yes and yes I'd love to see the new polish... now if you're like me, refinishing/sanding/working/setting etc., can be a huge distraction from practicing? Or are you already very accomplished to the point of satisfaction?
Thanks for comments Mark, It looks like the purfling is only painted on so I guess while the top is off I could see how I might cut a purfling channel that might protect cracks from getting to the edges. I hope that with the top off I can use clamps, a little moisture and a heat gun to activate and soften the hide glue I used and properly close the cracks so that the cracks would be virtually invisible. Then flip it over and fix the inside of the cracks with small spruce wood cleats near the ends and in the middle that will prevent the cracks reopening. Hopefully then the cosmetic considerations on the outside top will be minimized and a light refreshing of the finish will suffice.
One more comment, I think that you're right exactly correct about the glue and etc. I think that time and moisture and heat will soften the hide glue... be careful not to go too fast, the professionals charge a lot because they really take it slow.
I think that carving out a purfling channel, either with an old-timey chisel or with a more modern purflich channel cutter, will help, but I think that the purfling absorbs the shock from the outside to inside... so that if you bump it on the edge, the crack does not go into the middle - at least that's what I saw on some web sites!
Mt. Fiddler Mark