Broken headstock..can it be fixed (and is it worth it)?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by jman72, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi guys,

    My buddy knocked over my OTHER buddy's Epiphone Dot and snapped the headstock off. I told him I would take a look at it and see if I could possibly do something with it. Once I looked more closely, it is a pretty nasty break, but I think it COULD be fixed. What do you all think- what would be the best way to fix this break? If I don't try, it goes in the garbage. If I screw it up, it also goes in the garbage, so no stress on a fail. I'm looking at it as a chance to learn something.

    IMG_20200801_193809718.jpg IMG_20200801_193845028.jpg IMG_20200801_193857358.jpg IMG_20200801_193906280.jpg IMG_20200801_193920604.jpg
     
  2. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    You can scarf a peghead onto that. I would make an angle from the fretboard/ nut edge back on the underside. Then create a new peghead and glue it on and shape to match the neck carve.


    The other option is to glue the peghead back on and then rout for splines. On an Epiphone, I'd just make a new peghead as there isn't much value in the guitar.

    What I've done before is to make a sanding block with a center section open, so that once I saw a rough angle in there and avoid the truss rod, I can sand it level for the mating part.

    Is it worth it....that's up to you and your friend. This is a Gibson Les Paul I did that too. It's a good repair to learn.

    new peghead.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  3. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just buy a new one ...
     
  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    It's worth a stab. It's an inexpensive and common guitar, so try the ghetto-ass easy way first, and step up in complexity as needed. The hardest part is engineering the custom clamp and cauls you'll need. Remove truss rod nut, wrap rod threads in waxed paper. Epoxy the headstock back on. See what happens. It could very well hold, or it might not, in which case you need to evaluate how much your time is worth for the more extensive approach that would need to follow. I have repaired worse without reinforcing rods, and those guitars are still going along just fine, 15 or 20 years later. You can add rods if you want, though. It isn't that hard. Personally, I would fix it if it was my own guitar, but I wouldn't pay someone else to fix it.
     
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  5. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    "The other option is to glue the peghead back on and then rout for splines."

    That's how I would do it. Stronger than the original neck too.

    Fixes like this might de-value the guitar:

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Splines replace the severed wood between the two parts. That break is really short and there isn't much of anything for the wood fibers to glue themself too. Here's an ugly but solid repair for a similar circumstance on a les paul. You'd be wasting your time gluing without adding splines.
    splines (1).jpg
     
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  7. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    This is how my woodworking father repaired my epi dot
    It’s definitely a stable fix

    Except he didn’t quite understand the truss rod and buried it in the repair
     
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  8. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah you definitely need more than 4 screws. Amateur.
     
  9. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Someone here had a video showing how some guy drilling holes for dowels in a similar break. I wouldn't but you might...LOL.


     
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  10. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    Guilty! And I should've used sheetrock screws. They hold more better.

    And on this one, I probably should've pre-drilled the screw holes to keep the wood from splitting.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    Your last two posts remind me of jailhouse tattoos for some reason. Maybe because they bring a tear to my eye?
     
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  12. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    And they usually get infected.



    Like this neck heel repair on a DC Junior:

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. wabashslim

    wabashslim Tele-Afflicted

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    And counter-sunk those flatheads to keep your thumb from splitting...
     
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  14. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    Unless it's a vintage American made Epiphone it's probably not worth paying someone to repair it. Just my opinion...
     
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  15. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I have fixed a fair number of broken heads and that one will be difficult. A green stick fracture is relatively easy, one along the short grain is also not too bad. At this point in my repair career I probably would not take that on.

    However, if you do build a good caul to hold clamping pressure into the neck stick as well as aligning the pieces. I would plan to add both splines on either side of the truss rod and a back strap that covers the joint and runs into the neck stick. If the neck was removeable it would be easier to replace is, a dot is a set neck so that's not easy either.

    Normally epoxy has no place as a lutherie glue but a case can be made for it here - use slow set high strength stuff not the five minute kind. Dan Earlewine gives a piece of advice for this kind of repair - clean out any little twigs of splintered wood but don't try to test fit it until you are ready to go - basically you get one chance.

    IMG_2014.JPG

    IMG_2016.JPG IMG_2021.JPG

    Here us a different one following the short grain sot the glue up was simpler - for safety I added a carbon fiber spline between the two truss rods and then a back strap to add shear strength to the back.

    IMG_3459.JPG

    I made a wooden jig based on this one for doing head repairs, this one is just plain cool. The important feature is the two clamps at the end of the head which drives the break together - just trying to clamp it from the sides it will want to skate apart.

     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  16. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Crazy glue and duct tape will fix anything ...
     
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  17. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd try to remove the neck from the body. Actually I wouldn't, I have no idea what I'm doing and this is a job for a professional.
     
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  18. Tele22

    Tele22 Tele-Meister

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    Welcome to the broken headstock club ... it was a $150 repair for my Les Paul, but it looks and plays like new.
     
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  19. tigger

    tigger Tele-Meister

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    I believe a vintage correct way is to make a gallon of epoxy and plaster it over both sides before putting the two bits close to each other and drilling a few holes across for wooden dowels.

    Note that if you decide to go this way this is a proper but expensive repair. Knocked about 6k off the value of my SG.
     
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  20. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    tiz but a wee scratch.. With a moment or two in a shop and in the hands of a loving craftsman, good as new... Oh don't for get to bring ca$h.

    r
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
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