Does this broken head need a spline?

jrblue

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Wow, what a misinformation festival. Good luck. Though only a close view in three dimensions can provide sufficient detail to allow an experienced repairperson (not a luthier; luthiers make guitars) to judge how to fix the break. But unless a poor job is done, it will be solid and strong. This kind of break is super-common. Hack jobs look bad and fail; good jobs are very, very strong and stable -- typically, stronger than the original neck wood and grain. People launching strong opinions, not all of them well-informed by personal experience and skill, is natural, but what you need is to hear a diagnosis from a sound sourc e with the guitar in hand.
 

oldunc

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If most of the wood is there, and it dry fits well, there's no need for splines. In fact, I think it would be tough to get splines into that repair. If it does get splined I'd sure like to see a picture of the repair. Either way, it's repairable.

I think you're right- might be able to cut the joint with a tenoning jig on a table saw, but I just don't see the point of it, the joint should be plenty strong with proper gluing technique, and is very unlikely to be stressed in a direction that a spline would help.
 

oldunc

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I agree totally. Every study that I have seen of glues for lutherie have been Original Titebond (red label). Titebond even calls it the industry standard. It is strong, easy to use, somewhat reversible and expected by someone else working on this guitar in the future. I use hot hide glue with it makes sense but for ninety percent of my glue ups it good old Titebond I

I'll add that I've repaired a dozen of so head breaks over the years. I did one with epoxy because I heard (on the internet) that that was the best glue for filling voids. It failed at a later time on the joint. All the rest have been AR (Titebond) or HHG, none have failed. In fact I recently got a picture from a friend whose 12 string I repaired in 2016, he is opening at a county fair with that guitar (it did get a back strap as part of its repair)
Only real problem with titebond is that it's too flexible for some applications.
 

busyangel1

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Hi!

I contacted two luthier cause of the broken head, one says that he would repair it with a spline, the other said that is not necessary.
So I came here to get more opinion about that situation, and to decide which luthier should it repair.
Here are the pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/u0FHiKF
Depends on the nature of the break. A jagged break frequently needs no spline. Smooth breaks always do. Of course somewhere in the middle should probably always use a spline as well. Technically it is a stronger bond. Hope this helps.
 

Frankentronics

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Regluing this without any reinforcements might work, if well executed. I don't like the fact that it is a relatively small gluing surface.

A spline is not always good because it has some end grain area at both ends.

Here is a previously repaired headstock that failed and I am currently starting to repair.

DSCN6867.jpeg


As you can see, the spline did not hold up, despite the fact that it was expertly done. In my opinion a single wide spline is never a good choice because there's too much end grain.

I will be doing a backstrap repair on on this one in a similar way that I am currently doing another previously botched headstock repair. The following one was previously reglued by a handyman, using the wrong glue and not enough clamping pressure. The glue joint failed. The wood was contaminated with the wrong glue. I had to clean up the contaminated wood grains, reglue with JB Weld fro glue and then remove as much bad wood as possible and fabricate a backstrap to glue in place of the wood I removed.

Here is a photo. I now have to do finishing work on it.

DSCN7033.jpeg


My advice. I would not do splines, especially not a single spline. I would reglue it and seriously consider a backstrap reinforcement.

Hope this helps.
 

guitarbuilder

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Regluing this without any reinforcements might work, if well executed. I don't like the fact that it is a relatively small gluing surface.

A spline is not always good because it has some end grain area at both ends.

Here is a previously repaired headstock that failed and I am currently starting to repair.

View attachment 884943

As you can see, the spline did not hold up, despite the fact that it was expertly done. In my opinion a single wide spline is never a good choice because there's too much end grain.

I will be doing a backstrap repair on on this one in a similar way that I am currently doing another previously botched headstock repair. The following one was previously reglued by a handyman, using the wrong glue and not enough clamping pressure. The glue joint failed. The wood was contaminated with the wrong glue. I had to clean up the contaminated wood grains, reglue with JB Weld fro glue and then remove as much bad wood as possible and fabricate a backstrap to glue in place of the wood I removed.

Here is a photo. I now have to do finishing work on it.

View attachment 884950

My advice. I would not do splines, especially not a single spline. I would reglue it and seriously consider a backstrap reinforcement.

Hope this helps.


On a half inch wide spline, there would only be a half inch of endgrain ( split evenly at both ends) for the given length of the spline....hardly enough to worry about and the spline still has face grain on those ends.
 
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MoHump

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I would say that if the parts fit back together nicely, I myself might try it, but I could repair it with splines too. There is a lot of short grain there and two splines wouldn't be out of line. Splines would be better insurance that it doesn't come back for a second round in the same spot. There isn't much there under the truss rod slot to add to the support.

This Gibson neck was probably not worth repairing for some folks, but I put splines in to replace the cracked wood parts which had no long grain to glue together. That way it retained the original peghead and S/N.

View attachment 884009


I guess it boils down to the value and sentimentality of the instrument too, and how much you want to invest in it. Putting 200 dollars ( ? euros) into a 200 dollar( ? euros) guitar might not make a lot of sense to me and I'd maybe go the cheaper route. Now if the guitar is rare or a higher end model, then it may make more sense.
My 1962 Gibson split in that same spot. Not being wood working person, I sent it back to Gibson; they replaced the neck.
 

brashboy

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nice clean break. Some Titebond Ultimate, clamps and a wipe down of the squeeze out is all that's needed. Don't take the clamps off for 3-4 days. It'll be stronger than it was.
Dealing with glue squeeze-out:

Fit the pieces together so that they mate (as if unbroken), then lightly run some vaseline around the break, being careful NOT to get any on the bare wood. Then glue and clamp.

The purpose of the vaseline is to catch the glue squeeze-out, which will not stick to the vaseline. Then when the glue job is cured, wipe off the vaseline and squeeze-out.

Cheers,
Brash
 

Whitebeard

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Some of todays wood glue is by manufacturer's description "stronger than wood" but I like the idea of incorporating some new wood (splines) in conjunction with that "stronger than wood" glue. Good luck!
 

76standard

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Hi!

I contacted two luthier cause of the broken head, one says that he would repair it with a spline, the other said that is not necessary.
So I came here to get more opinion about that situation, and to decide which luthier should it repair.
Here are the pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/u0FHiKF
If it’s a bolt on, don’t bother and buy a used neck, if one can be had. That’s my thought.
 

jvin248

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.

+1 that is like making a guitar neck with a scarf joint. A wide glue area. As long as there are no cross-fibers keeping the parts from clamping tight together you will have a strong joint.

+1 adding spline(s) gives different wood pieces the ability to grow and shrink over time. If all you can do is a splined connection (on a 90 deg break off) then that is what you must do. But this long low angle flat fiber break is best to glue the faces and avoid a spline.

.
 

drumtime

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Hey what do you think, can it be done the process with some elastic rubbers? Or the pressure is not enough compared to the clamp method?
Like this one here: https://hazeguitars.com/blog/guitar-headstock-repairs-with-rubber-bands

No. Not enough pressure, and not controlled enough, IMO.

If you have no experience as a woodworker, i.e. haven't done lots of glue joints on a variety of surfaces, I wouldn't recommend you try this yourself. Clamping with proper cauls is critical, and keeping everything aligned as you clamp is tricky, and you don't really get a do-over if you mess it up. If the guitar is worth as much as you say, and you really like it, it's totally worth getting a pro to do the job. If you try it and it doesn't work out, getting your work fixed by a pro will cost more than the original repair would.
 

Boreas

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FWIW, I would glue it myself with Titebond original. Clamp it with cauls. If it breaks again, it will not be from the glue joint! THEN, I would consider splines since that piece of wood is pretty weak. I just feel the spline method is likely to result in a worse appearance afterward, so start with glue.
 

Frankentronics

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On a half inch wide spline, there would only be a half inch of endgrain ( split evenly at both ends) for the given length of the spline....hardly enough to worry about and the spline still has face grain on those ends.

Hm... I don't think it's so much a question of worrying. As we can see from the image the spline failed. So, I am only analyzing why it might have happened. Of course there might be other contributing factors - other than the spline end grain itself.

dscn6867-jpeg.884943


I think the end grain is partially responsible but it is also the fact that this spline could not be deep, due to the truss rod. The better spline fix, in my opinion, is to make two splines at the sides. They can be deeper and there is double length of long grain, which is also deeper, so a much bigger area of better glue joint.

Another drawback of splines is the fact that you really have to make sure the fit is perfect. Too tight is not good, too loose is also not good. That's a difficult thing to execute correctly. In my opinion clamping a graft, like I did, is a better choice from that perspective, too, because you just clamp and produce sqeezeoout, like any regular glue joint.

Of course I think there's a choice to be made on case per case basis. I like the splines that do not have the ends - those that run through the joint on a curve, much similar to the graft I did. Wouldn't you agree?
 

venndi

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Hi, so the guitar neck is repaired. However, I'm not really impressed with the result. First of all the color doesn't match, okay it can be really hard to be the same, secondly, you can feel and see that the new paint part is not on the same level as original one, and that is a bit amateur I think. And third what bothers me, that there is a part, which is outsanded too much, probably he put a masking tape, and always sanded to that point, really annoying.
IMG_9912.JPG


After a while I decided to make it better myself, and now it's much better. But it's still annoying that look like a map, different colors etc, I must say you can still fell the difference when you touch it, but still much better than was.
IMG_9967.JPG

So I want to paint half of the headstock. Can you help me how should I do it? I bought a duplicolor and a clear coat. I want that part to paint.
IMG_9968.JPG


So I think I need again to sand it a bit off right or should sand off the whole clear coat? And After that I spray it with duplicolor. After that, I need to sand the two part together right? Finally I spray it with clear coat. That is the basic. Any suggestion is welcome :)
 

tigger

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For me the question boils down to if you can clamp it down well. If you can clamp it down to provide uniform pressure and no gaps anywhere, I'd just glue it with titebond I. I wouldn't bother with HHG here because it is harder to clamp down properly (the two sides slide around more as the glue gets thick once it cools).
 

venndi

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For me the question boils down to if you can clamp it down well. If you can clamp it down to provide uniform pressure and no gaps anywhere, I'd just glue it with titebond I. I wouldn't bother with HHG here because it is harder to clamp down properly (the two sides slide around more as the glue gets thick once it cools).
It's already done mate :) read the #58 post above
 




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