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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Broken headstock repair.

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Telecaster Joe, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Telecaster Joe

    Telecaster Joe Tele-Meister

    I have a cheap korean guitar that took a fall. OUCH! What is the best glue to use to make this repair. I know Elmers wood glue is good for alot of things, but is it strong enough? I was also thinking of Gorilla Glue is pretty strong stuff. I am not that concerned with how the repair will look. I would even consider epoxy. Any advice or tips would be very helpfull. Thanks.

    I KNOW IT'S NOT A TELE!!!!! Please no responses like "I would throw it out". This guitar has sentemental value to me.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008

  2. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I would suggest dowels and a good quality woodworkers glue. Use clamps to hold it all in place, overnight, while the glue sets.

  3. Telecaster Joe

    Telecaster Joe Tele-Meister

    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I'm not that steady with a drill, and my woodworking skills are pretty limited. I keep this guitar tumed down one and a half steps to C#, so it doesn't have to be The Rock Of Gibralter.

  4. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Without a solid repair it'll only break again - even with it tuned down. If your woodworking skills aren't up to the job - get a pro to do it.

  5. Telecaster Joe

    Telecaster Joe Tele-Meister

    Yeah, that's what the logical side of my brain has been telling the side that won't listen to reason.

    Does any one have any idea of what someone might charge for a repair like this (ballpark)?

    I guess I might have to search ebay and craig's list for an old applause or GTX beater, and do a neck swap. Either that or use it as a four string.

  6. unbridled

    unbridled Tele-Holic

    Feb 28, 2008
    SW Mt.
    With the locking nut, I think it's doable. It would be a pain getting the strings to pitch at first especially since I'm assuming it has a floating trem on it. HOWEVER, if you do decide to do it yourself, if it doesn't work, it will make the repair harder to undo for a professional to do it right. Is a neck change an option for you?

  7. Telecaster Joe

    Telecaster Joe Tele-Meister

    Yes, a neck change would do. If it were cheaper than a repair job.

  8. unbridled

    unbridled Tele-Holic

    Feb 28, 2008
    SW Mt.
    I would think it would be cheaper. Shop rates are going up. I'd get a used neck off Fleabay if I were you. Many of the Korean necks are very close to others so, you wouldn't have to get an exact match. just watch the bolt pattern, neck pocket, scale length, etc.

  9. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    I'm going to say that any good wood glue will work provided the pieces fit together well and there are no splinters preventing the gap from closing completely. Titebond, Elmers take your pick. Don't attempt to use dowels. You would never get the pieces to line up properly.

    That is not a difficult repair.

    To clamp it put a dowel through the small E tuner hole and use rubber bands or a small bungy around the dowel and back around the headstock to the backside and the other end of the dowel. If you don't have rubber bands that will streach that far, remove one of the other tuners and put a dowel in that hole and put rubber bands around the two dowels.

  10. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    You will need to obtain some clamps to keep the two pieces together while the glue sets up. I'd go with yellow glue as it has less water and sets up faster. A good wood to wood glue joint is stronger than the wood itself.

  11. Telecaster Joe

    Telecaster Joe Tele-Meister

    What if dowels were drilled for and inserted with glue long after the two pieces have been glued and clamped tight with enough time to dry. Would it be wise to drill into the wood after the repair. Also, (I know this sounds nuts) what about 2 long thin screws?

    I might be able to get my brother who is a carpenter to give me a hand with some of this stuff.

  12. borrow some decent clamps from your brother and make sure they fit OK
    BEFORE you apply any glue.

    as Marty said: a good glue joint is stronger than the original wood.

    good luck!

  13. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Forget the dowels in the joint or screws. It you glue the joint right that's all you need.

  14. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member


    You could glue two elephants together with this stuff. Clamp it for 30 minutes nice and tight. I would even suggest taking the phone off the hook and just holding it tight in the right place with your hands (the broken wood grains will help locate it properly) for half an hour if clamping is difficult due to funny angles. Don't string it for a couple of days.

  15. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    Notice that Nick posted a picture of the old, original Titebond. Do NOT confused Titebond II for Titebond.

    Titebond II will "creep" on you after it "dries."

    Don't ask me how I came to find the difference.

  16. frankthomson

    frankthomson Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 12, 2003
    no dowels!!!!!!

    easy fix 4 sure. elmers white glue.
    the hard part is fabricating a jig/clamp.
    as long as the glue cures under pressure you'll be good.

    and if it's a REALLY clean break, kinda rub/slide (no more than 1/8 of an inch)the 2 parts together...the fibers will re-align

    strange but true!

  17. Telecaster Joe

    Telecaster Joe Tele-Meister

    Ok, I'll try to repare it myself. A couple of clamps should hold it. The angles are not too wierd. Thanks for all of your input. I'll let you know how it goes.

  18. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    You could even wrap it tightly with string, then jam something under the string to really tighten it up.
    Try to wipe off squeezed-out glue or you'll glue the string to the headstock.
    It should be fine.
    I've seen plenty of neck/headstock repairs with no pins/dowels/screws.
    I even watched a guy fix a crack by snalling the headstock completely off in order to ensure that glue got in all the right places...and he REALLY knew what he was doing.

  19. Bluzboy66

    Bluzboy66 TDPRI Member

    Jan 1, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I would suggest Tightbond III for the repair. Be sure that the mating surfaces are clean and fit together tightly before gluing. Use wax paper, strong clamps and hardwood cauls to insure a solid glue joint. After the glue has cured, you can drill through the side of the headstock and glue hardwood dowels through sideways to reinforce the repair if need be. I have found that the Tightbond III needs very little help. It's tough stuff. I haven't had a headstock repair come back yet. I've used everything from original Tightbond, Tightbond II, III, and West Systems epoxy, and I prefer TB III over all.


  20. pgambon

    pgambon Tele-Meister

    Mar 17, 2003
    Agreed on not using dowels. Before you glue it up get a magnifying glass and look for splinters. Use a tweeser to remove these loose pieces. Your better off with a tiny gap filled with glue than the two pieces not mating up 100%. Good luck!

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