Cracked headstock at the tuners

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by guitarzan13, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA
    IMG_0786.JPG IMG_0787.JPG IMG_0788.JPG

    I have not posted in a while. So I'm not sure if I put this in the right place or not. I got this guitar with a crackhead stock and was wondering the best way to repair these cracks. Also, someone used superglue on the outside two... so I'm not sure I'll be able to completely close the cracks. Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. philosofriend

    philosofriend Tele-Holic

    Oct 28, 2015
    Someone forced large screws in each hole, plus the wood could have had some stress in it and been ready to crack anyway. Notice how consistent the seven cracks are. Pushing the cracks together at this point would probably be impossible even without the glue in there.
    If you want the thing to look perfect when it is done you are looking at a repair cost much more than the cost of a new neck. If you just want the guitar to play at its best, force some thin glue into the cracks. I would use liquid hide glue which comes in a bottle ready to use and cleans up well with water. Since I'm experienced with thin superglue I might use that, but it is easy to get all over everywhere and about impossible to clean up. You could even use Elmers glue or carpenters yellow glue. The main thing is to totally clean up the glue outside the cracks before it dries.
    If you got it with the tuners on, the screws probably fit, but if you wanted to use regular tiny guitar screws you will need to glue some wood splinters into the holes.
    If the cracks don't go all the way to the other side of the peghead, I wouldn't worry about it.
    Tim S and guitarzan13 like this.
  3. Edsel Presley

    Edsel Presley Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Jan 29, 2017
    Hipshot makes tuners that use a plate on the back of the headstock instead of screw in. It's designed for people that don't want to drill holes.
    vgallagher likes this.
  4. since 1963

    since 1963 Tele-Meister

    Jan 15, 2017
    "I begged the boy not to hammer the tuners in.......".
    Eeeyeow. You are going to need some wood glue and some wood clamps to sort that out. A scraper will clean up the excess glue (or a wet cloth before it dries). Looks like a not too difficult repair.
  5. vid1900

    vid1900 Tele-Meister

    Dec 21, 2016
    If it were in my shop, I'd put large screws back in to "open her up".

    Then I'd vac and scrape any wood or glue chips out of the cracks.

    WITHOUT ANY GLUE, I'd then remove the screws and try to clamp it back (use 2 screw clamps).

    If the cracks COMPLETELY close, then open her up and glue with Hide or TitebondIII

    If the cracks still are clogged with crazyglue, then try to clean it out with an Xacto blade.


    Once the cracks are glued and dried; glue dowels back into the screw holes, then re-drill and use the proper size screws.
    PeterUK likes this.
  6. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

    Dec 3, 2014
    Toowoomba, Australia
    Do the cracks show much from the front? If they don't I wouldn't worry to much about cosmetics, as most of the damage will be hidden by the tuners. Since re-gluing might be difficult, I would think about installing some dowel pins -bamboo skewers are good - from the top. I've done this on a cracked acoustic bridge.
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !

    Get some 'Thin' CA adhesive (hobby lobby sells some)
    Take the ferrules out of the headstock
    Screw in some larger, yes larger, screws in those holes as mentioned above to open the cracks.
    Let the CA adhesive run in there, it will wick like crazy on all those cracks, penetrating deep. Much deeper than wood glue.
    Remove the large screws
    Clamp the headstock and let it sit for a couple of days

    Use a pin and a pair of pliers to pierce the tip of the CA bottle, if you snip it off the stuff runs out in a river
    Don't stick your fingers together, don't spill the CA adhesive on your pants, and wear eye protection.
    Once you get the CA bottle open just moving it around can spit out a blob of it into anything and you don't want that in your eye.

  8. stratoblaster

    stratoblaster Tele-Meister

    Aug 2, 2006
    Scottsdale AZ
    I unknowingly took possession of a Tele with the same problem. And I'm sure someone had forced some tuner screws in it. I did the superglue thing and it's stable. I don't worry at all about it. They also reamed out the tuner holes larger so I ended up using these Tonepros Kluson style tuners that are Klusons that are mounted and bushed like a modern tuner from the front face of the headstock. The bushings gave the tuner reams more support since they filled out the hole. Or so that is my theory...

    My headstock

    Kluson Tone Pros tuners.

    PeterUK likes this.
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