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Broken head

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by SacDAve, May 13, 2010.

  1. krauser2

    krauser2 Tele-Afflicted

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    David Collins.....I can't even begin to understand how you reversed engineered that headstock into its former glory.

    you're my new hero...seriously
     
  2. David Collins

    David Collins Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Joe - I'm flattered, but I have to say two things. First is that I'm not a vendor here, and not hawking for business, so I may even be on thin ice concerning forum rules by posting examples of my work as a professional here. The only thing I can offer the moderators to assure them of this is simply that I'm swamped to the gills right now, and not really taking on many new customers even if they did want to send something to me based on something I posted. Not looking for work here, just honestly trying to help out with advice as I can.

    I think that Greg mentioned above is a great candidate for this work. He uses a different method of applying and controlling end pressure than my jig, but one just as effective in the right hands. There are several ways of doing this, and I think he shows some pics of his methods in one of the links above.

    Krauser - thanks, but I have to be honest that those pics were just before and after shots, and probably a bit misleading at best. That headstock just had too much missing wood (probably stuck in the tire treads) and crushed and overlapping fibers to be repairable. I ended up replacing that headstock rather than repairing it, so I didn't magically piece it all together. It could have been done perhaps on a vintage guitar that merited such intensive work, but in this case it was more economically feasible and perfectly appropriate simply to graft on a new peghead.

    [​IMG]

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    Often times smaller sections can be grafted in, leaving more original material like the logo and serial number stamps. In this case though, the only parts salvaged from the original headstock were the inlays. Sure made you think I worked some real magic for a minute there though... :D
     
  3. Superewza

    Superewza Tele-Meister

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    My vote would be make a new, clean V cut and glue a new headstock to that but i'm probably alone on that one.
     
  4. David Collins

    David Collins Tele-Afflicted

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    No, you're not necessarily alone there. I wouldn't entirely rule that out as a possibility, but from what's visible from here I don't think it would likely be necessary either. These things have to be judged case by case, by direct observations of the fit, missing material, and remaining quality of the previous repair(s?).

    I've done that before, but my gut feeling on this one is that it probably wouldn't be necessary. Perhaps a back strap, but I don't see any serious damage to the main section of the headstock to warrant a full replacement. Sometimes a new section of mahogany grafted in at the joint will do, but even that I think would likely be more than is needed here.
     
  5. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was about to ask you if you simply grafted a new headstock on that neck, but I see you have already answered that question. After reading some thoughts by Ed Romans, I started looking at guitar repair differently.


    This reminds me of the story of Bill Monroes Mandolin.

    Bill's mando went through a lot. He scraped the finish off with a knife because he thought it improved the tone. He sent it back to Gibson for a refret, and Gibson, to be nice, completely refinished the mandolin and added better fretboard inlays. Bill was so mad, he gouged out the name Gibson, and broke the curly cue off the headstock so no one would know its a Gibson. Later in life someone vandalized his cabin in Kentucky and smashed his mandolin into thousands of pieces. Bill meticulously picked up all the pieces, put them in a garbage bag, and sent it back to Gibson. The luthiers put it back together, and Bill said there was hardly a change in the tone. Never inspecting that mandolin personally, I always wondered if it was pieced together, or Frakensteined back together.



    One of the advantages of using hide glue, is that if you mess up the first time, its a lot easier to steam the joint apart and start over.
     
  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    This is magnificent, David.

    Hard for me to imagine someone watching this video and then wanting to try some lesser approach. Unless I was in Fiji and couldn't get help there. ;)

    I for one cannot fathom Paul having any issues with this presentation. This is what everyone at TDPRI keeps reading the threads for. He's the boss of course but I think you're on solid turf.

    Great presentation. Reminds me in a way of all the dozens and dozens of fuselage repairs I've watched and participated in and used to do myself on free flight power model airplanes, and the same thing again on wooden whitewater kayak paddles and blades (95% of today's boaters now use synthetic composite paddles) over the 30+ years I used and repaired them. Our repairs were so different, one to the next so the clamping means were very primitive by comparison. But you show the "typical" headstock break and for that using a specifically developed methodology seems perfect.
     
  7. Bluej58

    Bluej58 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for posting that video David, I learned a lot.

    I hope to see more of your posts in the future.

    JD
     
  8. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire

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    :eek: I ain't worthy.
     
  9. LeDocteur

    LeDocteur Tele-Meister

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    Nice video, Dave. I'm envious of your knowledge of wood. And to think I'm challenging myself simply making a bone nut for my ESP. (I hate the compensated one it came with) Seems trivial now :)

    Next video request - fret leveling!

    - Tony
     
  10. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Drama queen!:D
     
  11. NateM

    NateM TDPRI Member

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    Wow David, fantastic work!
     
  12. guitbusy

    guitbusy TDPRI Member

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    Great advice David. I see you are in Ann Arbor. Do you have a shop with a window to the back workroom that we could stand around and watch you all day doing fixes like this :)? I think you could probably put in a small number of seats (I envision a sports box type setup) and sell tickets. Could probably make a killing selling snacks also...
     
  13. David Collins

    David Collins Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Guitbusy, but I keep myself sequestered in a pretty discreet location. Given the amount of interest though, I may end up teaching some basic courses through Washtenaw Community College or the local Community Rec & Ed. My shop (and my insurance) is just not set up for an audience or class, so I've been looking in to other venues. We'll see...

    I pretty much put the finishing touches on this Gibson this weekend. I really need to get a better lighting setup, but you'll have to take my word for it that the headstock isn't really lopsided, I just had to shoot from funny angles to avoid most of the light glare.

    [​IMG]

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    Anyway SacDAve, I didn't mean to hijack the thread, but was just trying to intimidate and scare you off from doing this repair yourself. If I didn't succeed in doing that, hopefully I may have at least pointed to a few areas that should be of concern in approaching a repair like this. A few of the common obstacles of a fully separated headstock are alluded to in the video, though certainly not all. Each case will have it's own needs and concerns which need to be evaluated and strategized around as the repair is planned out and executed. Experience certainly helps make these judgments and plans more reliable.

    Sometimes they go very easy and straightforward, sometimes not. If this were a virgin break which had not been bastardized previously, I may be a bit more adamant in my recommendation to seek a professional for this job. Given the previous work and devaluation done, this case may not be quite such a gem as to completely admonish any attempts to repair it yourself. I still recommend sending it to an experienced professional, but if you have decided to do it yourself just approach it very carefully and thoughtfully. Worst case, if it doesn't work out you may end up having to have a professional splice in a new section at the heel. At the very least, if you decide to do any touchup to this, do not extend your work beyond the previous overspay up the neck, and again, go slowly and carefully.
     
  14. szechuanking

    szechuanking Tele-Holic

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    [​IMG]

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    i like the gradual blend to hide the seam. although it may look quite attractive without it. how did you transfer the serial #?
     
  15. David Collins

    David Collins Tele-Afflicted

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    I just re-stamped the serial number with a number stamp set. Actually, none of the stamps sets I have quite match the original font, and I also didn't have a suitable narrow font set for the "Made in U.S.A" stamp, so I didn't put that on at all. This is a relatively new guitar though, not a vintage restoration, and I'm not really trying to hide evidence of repairs or replacement here. It is what it is, out in the open, and the serial number was only transfered because it is a fairly key feature for identification. The original fragments will be kept in the case for verification.

    The burst was fairly necessary because I took the opportunity to orient the grain more in line with the headstock for improved strength. This leaves it a bit more difficult to match up the grains and pores with any consistency, and a light burst was simply the easiest way to get a smooth and discreet transition.
     
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