Is my headstock about to crack?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by hydra19, May 23, 2020.

  1. hydra19

    hydra19 TDPRI Member

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    I had been long looking for a maple cap neck telecaster, and I got one in a '84 Tokai Breezysound but it looks like there are clean cracks in between the tuners, and some weird line on the back of the neck maple, seems to be covered by the finish or just one of those mineral defects in the wood. You can see it between the A and D nut slots on this side of the neck and it's even longer on the backside, but smooth with the finish

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. tubegeek

    tubegeek Tele-Holic

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    I think those cracks at the bushings are caused by too-big bushings. Ream the holes and wick some CA glue in there would be my guess.

    The other spot, no idea.
     
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  3. Slap Axe

    Slap Axe Tele-Meister

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    It’s not about to crack...it has cracked. Can you see the cracks on the back of the headstock as well? You could try to do some mitigation like @tubegeek said, or just play it and watch closely to see if it’s getting worse. It could stay exactly as it is for years and years, or it could propagate.
     
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  4. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    is this one you are looking at to buy or do you already own it? and how about a picture of the back of the headstock?
     
  5. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    are the cracks on the back?
     
  6. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    I’d remove the tuners, clamp the headstock to prevent it from cracking and ream out the holes a little to make a snug fit. Then, depending on what the crack looked and ‘felt’ like when you prise it apart, I’d consider gently doing just that. Pull it in two. You’ll then have two perfectly matched pieces, before any muck has seeped in, to glue together. Decent PVA wood glue and overnight clamping should do it.
     
  7. hydra19

    hydra19 TDPRI Member

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    I already own this guitar, I haven't taken the tuners out to see the back but I assume it's visible from the back too. Just got everything together to finally wire her up tonight and then evaluate. Thank you for the advice, had this guitar about 2 months now, but today she is finally ready to be wired up after installing all new parts!
    Came with 1 meg japanese pots, and Bare Knuckle Country Boy pickups
     
  8. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I say that the chance of your headstock cracking is less than 0,0000001%
     
  9. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Meister

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    It doesn't look like a crack in the wood to me. It looks like a crack in the finish. If it was a crack in the wood it would align, but the cracks are in a different position between the different tuning pegs. E.G. it's not a uniform straight line. Just looks like a crack in the clear coat between pegs. Bushings are probably the issue.
     
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  10. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    Cracked Head - Copy.jpg

    When the head is cracked, it's usually more dramatic than what you're showing.
     
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  11. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Best ignore it if there doesn't seem to be a functional problem.
     
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  12. tamer_of_banthas

    tamer_of_banthas Tele-Holic

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    hard to say if your headstock is at risk but i do think Little Larry looked like he was about to crack when Walter Sobchak stopped by his house over on Radford near the In N' Out Burger and braised him
     
  13. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    as said , its not about to crack , it is cracked.
    remove tuner bushings , clamp it with glue. use correct bushings or ream the holes
     
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  14. Jazzerclean

    Jazzerclean Tele-Meister

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    Yep, its all cracked alright, someone has forced oversized bushings in.

    I would take off the machines, get some titebond in the cracks, lightly clamp. Re ream the bushing holes to fit the bushings.
     
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  15. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Holic

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    How will the lacquer crack on both sides? To me it looks more like wood cracks.
     
  16. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Meister

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    On both sides would be from the tuner bushings pushing the lacquer apart on both sides. If it is oversized it would cause spreading. I would find it very unlikely the bushings would be enough to split the wood, but pushing the lacquer apart far enough to crack a little is what it would do. Keep in mind that lacquer expands and contracts with temperature and humidity changes. That's what causes finish checking. This looks like finish checking more than it looks like a crack in the wood.
     
  17. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Respectfully disagree. It’s not a crack, it’s three, each emanating from a tuner hole. A crack in most materials can be stopped by drilling a hole at the very end of it. That’s happened here. The crack that started at the first tuner stopped when it hit the hole for the second. The trouble is, because the bushings for every tuner were too big, they each began to split the wood.
     
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  18. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Meister

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    I would play it until tuning stability goes out the window or the piece of the neck begins to show a visible gap where you see bare wood. Then I would wick thinned TiteBond in, clamp it and live with it. If cosmetic are important, it would take a very clever guy to make the cracks disappear (clean out the slots, shallow fill with amber CA and top fill with tinted lacquer to match the aged patina) without disturbing the existing patina.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 2:53 PM
  19. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I agree. This is a classic case of bushes being forced into tuner holes that were too small. There are dozens of threads here on the TDPRI where the same damage has been done.

    Do as @tubegeek and @Slap Axe suggest above.

    Do you have a photograph of the back of the headstock? I'd be interested to determine if they are the original tuners or whether these are the originals.

    To me the other crack looks like a lacquer/finish crack.

    Do as suggested above and the neck should outlive you. :)
     
  20. hydra19

    hydra19 TDPRI Member

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    tuners are kluson style, single line deluxe. the guitar is a 1984 tokai breezysound red paisley and it seems like it had bridge and pickups replaced, so maybe tuners too. I was thinking to just play it and if it gets worse or doesn't hold tuning to fix it, but it's all good now tuning wise, except these tuners seem to want to turn really easily to detune a string, but it's not going out of tune, just much easier to detune than tune up, resistance wise, I'll probably look to replace them with some locking tuners down the line
     
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