Cracked neck on both sides of Les Paul... What to do?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by DrGnosis, May 21, 2019.

  1. DrGnosis

    DrGnosis TDPRI Member

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    Greetings Gentlemen...

    I just noticed that my '11 Les Paul is cracked lightly on both sides of the neck (see pictures). I have no clue when or how it happened. The two cracks don't come close to meeting each other, but they are in the same place on both sides of the neck.

    I use this as my live guitar. Is this something that I should nip in the bud before it gets worse or just wait it out. Full disclosure: I LOVE this guitar.

    Any input, advice, or comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks. IMG_20190521_100437.jpg IMG_20190521_100459.jpg
     
  2. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    It looks like it will likely break off completely in the near future. I would get some glue in there and clamp it if you can. Does it open up more when pulling on the headstock?
     
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  3. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    Does it opens when you pull back the headstock?
     
  4. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Welcome to the very large club of cracked Les Pauls. I had one crack just from sitting in the case years ago, it just comes with the territory. The good news is that they seem to break very cleanly and can be repaired. After that, they will be stronger than before and likely be a one and down affair.

    As to stopping it? I don't think you can. Might have to play it until it breaks away and then repair it.
     
  5. DrGnosis

    DrGnosis TDPRI Member

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    No, it does not open when you pull back on the headstock. It's pretty tight.
     
  6. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Meister

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    If if opens when you pull back on the headstock, get some Titebond in there and clamp it down. Otherwise, either play it until it does start opening up, or take it to a good luthier and see if they can fix it before the fact.

    At this point, I'm half convinced Gibson leadership has stock in Titebond.
     
  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think if it was mine I would make a jig up to support the neck and try to open the gap enough to get a decent amount of titebond in there without breaking it off completely. Then clamp it up and let it set.
     
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  8. Artunes

    Artunes Tele-Meister

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    Isn't that an odd place for a headstock break? Most breaks that I've seen are in the other direction:


    Headstock1.jpg Headstock2.jpg

    You can see that the string tension pulls the break apart in these two examples.

    The OP's guitar is breaking as if the string tension is keeping it together. Odd.
     
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  9. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    You’re in Reading, MA

    I’d make an appointment with Noll Guitar in Cranston for an evaluation now.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    That kind of break is very common , too
     
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  11. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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  12. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    On that I would use hobby shop (or any I suppose) 5-10 second glue. It wicks into cracks very well and is very strong. (Same glue used for frets) Tape off the surrounding area, it attacks finish, apply glue liberally (watch for runs... it's thin!) Clamp tight. It looks like you could use a Capo or two for clamping maybe if you have the kind that are strong. Otherwise figure out a clamping arrangement before you glue. Let it harden for a while. Then sand excess smooth.
     
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  13. Artunes

    Artunes Tele-Meister

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    If you loosen the strings, you may be able to open the cracks up a little to get the glue in.
     
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  14. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    It's one of those jobs that appears huge and daunting, but is very simple.
    It has to be done right the first time, or you're screwed.
    Because it seems like such a big deal, many will charge big money to do it, when, in fact, someone who really knows what they're doing can get it done in about 20 minutes; which includes assessing it and fishing out the proper tools/supplies.
    I figure a scrupulous repair person should charge 60-$75 for such a job.
     
  15. jim777

    jim777 Tele-Meister

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    If it were my guitar, and I really liked it, I would bring it to a pro to repair. Isn't Mouradian up around Wilmington? I would bring it to him before playing it again, but that's just me.
     
  16. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    The concern that I would have with trying to push some adhesives into the crack is that if it fails, fixing the repair will be that much tougher due to the glue bed.

    It is a Les Paul and cracking headstocks have been a trademark of that guitar as much as the sound is so luthiers have a lot of experience repairing them. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the first repair work that they start out learning since it is so common. I would not go with the DIY route here, hand it off to a luthier who will likely view it as something very simple.
     
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  17. nvilletele

    nvilletele Friend of Leo's

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    There is only one correct answer to the question “What to do?”

    Get. A. Tele.

    ‘nuf sed.
     
  18. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Yeah, I noticed that, too. Looks like it's cracking in the totally wrong direction.

    - D
     
  19. Artunes

    Artunes Tele-Meister

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    I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. What sort of physical force would cause a break like this. It had to have been a force from the front of the headstock, and pretty good one, to cause it to break the way it did.
     
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  20. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

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    If it wont open up enough to get glue in there, then you can use superglue on
    the crack in place of Titebond.

    Superglue wicks into cracks and doesnt require the crack to be wedged open
    in order to work.
     
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