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

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

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I showed this thread to my buddy the luthier (worked at Elderly for years and years - on his own for 35) and he said,

    "If I had a nickel for everyone one of those nut slot cracks I've seen, well, I'd have a lot of nickels..."

    He said he's done at least 10 Epiphone Dots with those exact cracks.
     
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  2. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    Leave it to a pro to know what's going on. The force of the strings against the nut started a crack propagating from the nut slot forward. That's the mystery physical force responsible. Do other mahogany neck guitars suffer from this or only Gibson and Epiphone? Does this happen because there is a weakening caused by the groove for the truss rod? Maybe that explains why the problem seems to be confined to the Gibson family. I'll check my guitars when I get home. I have an SG, Ovation, S&P, and possibly a Gretsch with mahogany necks but I'm thinking that there may be subtle differences in construction, even with similar materials. Thanks Mike and thank you to your friend at Elderly.
     
  3. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don’t know - are those Dot necks mahogany? They might be maple. I think the routing for the truss rod definitely has something to do with it in that design.
     
  4. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    I've seen the very beginnings of a crack in that orientation on a Martin D-35.
     
  5. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    It looks more like an Epiphone crack. Most of the ones I see by the nut slot are Epiphones.
     
  6. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    So what’s the proper approach?

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  7. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    I would do that

    I mean... don't do anything because somebody tells you in a internet guitar forum. (This is quite a paradox, if you do that then you are doing what somebody told you in a internet guitar forum :lol:)
     
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  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    My opinion is that Mahogany can get too brittle with age(Maybe drying out like some acoustics do) and that area of the neck can be thin on some guitars and becomes a weak area.
    It happened to my MIJ Clone guitar in my Avatar, so it's not just a Gibson thing. It's a Mahogany thing. IMO
     
  9. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Meister

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    I would take it to a luthier....immediately. Get a professional's opinion on what to do, if anything. In my opinion, that's definitely a split, and needs to be stopped, a skilled luthier would likely reinforce both sides of the split with cleats, especially if the crack doesn't widen when applying gentle pressure. I would want to stop it before it breaks, and since it's black, a repair would be easy to make invisible when complete. It shouldn't be too expensive, since it's (at the moment), still intact. If it was my #1, and my favorite guitar, shelling out for a quality repair is a no-brainer!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  10. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Holic

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    You should also have some success by thinning the glue a bit so it will penetrate farther into the crack. Titebond is damn hard to beat with wood repairs.
     
  11. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is why I recommended the 5 second glue back in post 12. (I always forget what its called) When used for installing frets, you put a drop on one side at the fret end and it wicks through the fret slot all the way out the other side of the neck almost immediately! I have used this for quite a few guitar repairs, cracks etc.
     
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  12. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    If you are not experienced in guitar repair...

    Remove the string tension immediately and get it to a competent luthier for evaluation.

    The well meaning advice of glue and clamps etc, from well meaning posters is just that.

    They do NOT have the guitar in hand to properly evaluate the situation.

    It MAY be a simple repair and some glue and clamps MIGHT fix it, or just make a mess...

    Your choice... for your favorite guitar...
     
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  13. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    Take it to some one that fixes stuff like that for a living.
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    That's a pretty common break style. A Gibson in a hard case, falling over on it's back flexes the headstock and breaks it there. Or someone falls against it from the back.

    I found I like these glue injectors better than the syringe style.

    Take the strings off, use a sliver of wood to wedge the crack open a little, check for crossed wood fibers, inject the glue, use clamp protection and clamp it up for 24 hours.

    Then look up 'stewmac drop fill' on youtube for how to repair the visible finish cracks.
    [​IMG]



    .
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  15. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic

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    If it were mine I'd take it to a pro and have it glued and have the finish redone so it was invisible, if I cared.
     
  16. horseman308

    horseman308 Tele-Holic

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    Definitely have it assessed by a reputable pro. While it might be "an easy fix" to a pro - and easy to describe in theory - it is the type of break that's easy to fix only when you have the experience to do it right the first time.

    If an amateur screws that up, you'll have a beast of a time getting it repaired correctly the second time. If it was my #1 I wouldn't hesitate to get it looked at by a pro.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
     
  17. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    It's a guitar you like, and a guitar of some value. Bring it to a professional for evaluation.

    If you screw up, then a proper repair will be more difficult, more expensive and some luthiers might not even accept the guitar.

    This kind of break often happens in the case, dropped on its face, or something dropped on top of the case.

    Good luck.
     
  18. archiemax

    archiemax Tele-Meister

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    I repaired a similar break on an Epi acoustic. If you remove the nut you will doubtless see a crack that runs from side to side. The one that I fixed DID open up a hair when you released the string pressure. What I did was to make a couple of wedges by taking two bamboo skewers, cutting them down to about 2" long, and filing the pointed ends to form a wedge shape that was flat on both sides. Very gently hammer them in where the crack appears on the headstock face (not the sides) to open the crack up maybe 1/16" of an inch or so. Then wick in Titebond by pooling the glue in from the top (have the guitar in a vertical position while you do this to let gravity do its thing). I cut several strips of an index card to help the glue find its way down. Then clamp that puppy (you should have plenty of ooze from the cracks on the sides) nice & tight for a day or two. Have a moist rag ready when you put the clamp on to wipe up the excess.
     
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