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Help...cracked roasted maple headstock

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by charliejones78, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    Yikes. I just got one of those from Warmoth a few weeks ago. They have that little warning telling you to take extra care when drilling, and it sounds like you did. What a bummer. It was the one thing about roasted maple that made me nervous. It kind of makes me want to check under my tuners now. But I'm just going to pretend I didn't see your post. I hope you get it sorted.
     
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  2. clayfeat

    clayfeat Tele-Afflicted

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    That headstock looked roasted and salted! Did you happen to lick it?
     
  3. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Afflicted

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    I sometimes occurs to me that companies like Warmth roast this wood too deep. Almost until it chars. You could also roast it slightly so that the color gets just a little bit darker and less brittle.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yep, put some CA glue in the cracks and hope for the best, it will probably play fine a long time. Too bad though. The whole "roasting" thing bothers me a bit, but that's just my gut. Cracking right along the grain direction in that indicates bad wood. Unless you had to press those bushings in hard.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have a Warmoth roasted maple neck, no cracks or defects.

    I see this all the time though, usually when hobbyists install tuners.
    Tuner screws should be really almost a loose fit, and waxing actually helps make it easier to crack the headstock by making a too tight fit feel looser.

    I agree to remove ferrules and screws, but it’s hard to say if and how much the cracks can be closed. If they are only superficial then maybe crazy glue and redrill bigger holes before reassembly.

    How tight are the ferrules?
    Old and vintage Fenders often have ferrules falling out, that’s how loose they commonly fit. It would suck to glue the back then crack the front.
     
  6. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I made the same cracks in a regular maple neck the first time I installed Gotoh vintage tuners, with their weird screws. :( When I had the tuners off and noticed them, I removed the bushings, dumped water-thin CA into the cracks, and quickly clamped the headstock. All is well.
     
  7. charliejones78

    charliejones78 TDPRI Member

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    All glued up last night. Clamping was a little tough, but I managed to get three on there.

    I’ll take another crack at this today (groan).
     
  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When a log is split with a wedge...it splits along the grain...that's what wood does. The same holds true here...that is what the wood will do with the wedging action of the bushings and screws...split along the grain. You would expect it crack that way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I Juuuust posted about this last week.. in one of the Forums... YES. Roasted maple is far more brittle than non .. as I have said... there is NO advantage to roasted maple necks other than any visual consideration any one may have.. that's it...

    ya put your money down and ya take your chances...

    If you DO go for a roasted neck I would strongly urge the use of a tuner that does not require a screw to secure it...
     
  10. david_dave_davey

    david_dave_davey TDPRI Member

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    I
     
  11. Blackshadowrider

    Blackshadowrider TDPRI Member

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    This same thing just happened with a builder friend on a Warmoth roasted maple neck and the install of vintage tuners with bushings. If this is a common problem Warmoth should issue caution language paper in shipment of the neck. They seem to be pushing roasted maple hard and folks get interested. Certainly too expensive an option to have this happening on a frequent basis. My friend installed bushings no problem and then crack occurred with tuner screw install that was carefully pilot drilled. My guess is bushing install (factory pre-drilled holes) started a non-visible crack then just the act of placing the tiny wood screws opened up a crack along the grain line. He is now in fear of neck screws splitting the heal which are also factory pre-drilled holes.

    He called to warn me as I have a roasted maple neck not yet installed.
     
  12. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Holic

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    It is the roasting process that makes the wood brittle and delicate to handle like extremely delicate.
     
  13. david_dave_davey

    david_dave_davey TDPRI Member

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    I'm knew to this please forgive my ignorance any mistakes or in advance, after experiencing fret sprout on a mim Strat with a gloss neck, I've been really wanting a roasted maple for my next Tele, wouldn't roasting the neck avoid fret sprout?
     
  14. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    NO!!!

    The best way to avoid fret sprout is to have your neck built on the coldest driest day of the year... but that's completely unrealistic..

    as I said. Roasted affords NO advantages other than optics... and as the pervasive cracks illustrate, there may just be notable DISADVANTAGES...

    r
     
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  15. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would expect something like that from a home roasted neck but not from a torrified neck from Warmouth. Sorry to hear about it, that neck looks sweet, I would soak in CA glue as other have said.
     
  16. charliejones78

    charliejones78 TDPRI Member

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    Alright...bushings and tuners are installed. Most of the glue slop ended up under the tuners, so minor victory there. Since the neck had an oil and wax finish, it was pretty easy to sand away the visible bumps, especially the ones that would feel with my left thumb. Sanded with 800, then 1000, and then 2 coats of the wax. Looks pretty good, feels even better. I also tackled the next hole problem, the mounting holes in the heel. I enlarged these by one drill bit, and gave it little wiggle on the way out for extra measure. Screwed in without issue.

    In hindsight, I think it was the bushings. They didn't seem too tight when I pushed them in, but I think they were tight enough to put some "load" the wood. Then the tuner screws did the rest. If I ever get another roasted neck, it will be Hipshot tuners and their universal mounting plate.

    Just want to thank everyone for the helpful and supportive advice. I feel very good about the repair and I'm looking forward to finishing up the build this weekend. In the off chance this doesn't work out, the cracks appear to be in the right spot for a headless conversion :) That's some expensive hardware though!

    Thanks again. I'll post completed picks once I'm done.
     
  17. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Holic

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    As Mr. Kirn mentioned, a tuner with no mounting screw is the safest. I helped a buddy with his and put Fender locking (2 pin) tuners on. They have a threaded slip fit bushing/top nut to retain them and use the pins to align.

    Tight, press-fit bushings and too-small pilot holes are both contributors to splitting a headstock. If the bushings were a slip fit that you pressed in with finger pressure, they weren't the issue. If a plastic mallet and drift pin or a press are required to seat them, that's too tight. I would rather err to the side of too loose and use a Q-tip tab of 5 minute epoxy to retain the ferrules. If the tuners wear out down the line, they can be swapped for like without replacing the ferrules or easily driven out if you don't overdo the epoxy.

    Warmoth can't make specific drill size recommendations unfortunately, as manufacturers vary. I haven't read Warmoth's disclaimer but "Choose your pilot drill size carefully and err to the side of a looser fit if in doubt." is an appropriate course of action. As another poster suggested, a stepped drill hole will eliminate stress cracks at the surface. You're no longer dealing with normal wood, but a more amorphous solid in which all the flexible properties have been removed by the roasting process.
     
  18. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah no doubt. It just seems strange that it cracked on the diagonal right through the screw holes. Yet it makes perfect sense for a crack prone piece of wood. Never seen such a consistent pattern in a crack like that.
     
  19. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    I'm pleased it's worked out charliejones78. Looking forward to seeing the finished build.
     
  20. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

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    I'd leave the bushing installed, because they're opening the cracks. Water thin CA and sawdust into the cracks. If all else fails - make a very thin maple backstrap and glue with Titebond I, and shape and re-drill accordingly.

    I am an expert (or at least more than occasional) woodworker at fixing mistakes.
     
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