To Reattach or Replace?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by horseman308, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. horseman308

    horseman308 Tele-Holic

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    This was back in2010-2011. I was living in Alexandria and got the work done in Lorton. Wooden Wizard Guitars, Larry Smoak by name. He showed me all around his shop and several of his other repairs. At the time, I'd done enough wood work to kinda know what to ask, but no guitar building at all, so I may very well have missed something important.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
     
  2. photondev

    photondev Tele-Holic

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    Thanks Freeman, it's the first time I hear about it.

    I found this link, that helped me understand it better https://theartoflutherie.com/guitar-headstock-back-strap-overlay/
     
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Some random thoughts for horseman. This is an extremely difficulty repair go jig up - as you apply clamping pressure with glue in the joint the pieces want to skate all over the place. Its much easier when its a green stick fracture and you have some part like a head plate holding things in alignment. Build a good jig and remember that you will need to apply clamping pressure from the end of the had towards the neck stick as well as perpendicular to the break.

    Unless the old glue was hide, get it all out of the break. Hide will reconstitute itself with new glue but AR or any other glue will just weaken the joint. I have used HHG on headstock repairs but I normally use AR for the additional open time. Some people argue that this is a place for epoxy for its gap filling features, if you decide to go that route use the slow set very high strength stuff. The 12 string head in my earlier pictures had been "repaired" with 5 minute epoxy, a large portion of my work was getting that crap out of the joint so I could do it right.

    Obviously do something to protect the truss rod. I would consider taking the nut off, waxing the threads and cavity, then trying to mask it to keep glue out.

    I would seriously consider a backstrap. Decide on the thickness and take that much off the back of the head so the tuners will still work. I would also consider replacing the head plate. A common thing to do is remove the old plate and cut the end with the logo off, then splice that back to the head. What you are really looking for is to sandwich that break in between two pieces of wood with their grain running parallel to the face of the head. This is tricky planing but then the whole repair is tricky.

    Finish repairs are always an issue. The black lacquer will make it easier.

    I have done a fair number of broken head repairs - unfortunately it is extremely common. I've got quite a few pictures of different approaches to this, including the little jig I cobbled together. I don't want to hijack your thread, but I'm happy to show more if you are interested. Also Dan Erlewine has a good section on broken heads in his book on instrument repair.
     
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  4. Clinchriver

    Clinchriver Tele-Meister

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    Three, four breaks in the same spot, I really doubt any kind of re-glue has a chance. Either a new neck, or a very long scarf joint/new headstock. Not that big a deal to get a neck off a Les Paul IMG_8847.jpeg IMG_8848.jpeg IMG_8850.jpeg IMG_8851.jpeg
     
  5. Warren Pederson

    Warren Pederson Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    What about scarfing the existing neck? Remove fretboard and headstock overlay and just replace the headstock with scarf joint?
     
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  6. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    amazing stuff you guys ,it rocks!
     
  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Looking at the picture again, you could scarf the neck without removing the fretboard. You could remove the wood from about fret 2 back to the nut at an angle. This is done with a saw cut on each side stopping at the truss rod. A chisel is used to remove the center bit. A wood sanding block with a rectangular section removed ( Think exaggerated tuning fork) to allow sanding on each side of the truss rod is used to true up the wood. A chisel finesses the center part of the angle. The new wood has a compound angle cut into it. Kind of like a short uphill and a long downhill for the peghead. The hard part is to determine the two angles. I've done this a couple times and it worked out fine. You lose the Serial number and Gibson authenticity though, unless you rebuilt those parts back into the new wood.
     
  8. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I would love to see the internet light up the day gibson announced that all the less pauls etc. were going to have scarf joints.
     
  9. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would just glue it back on with titebond and call it a day.
    The break looks clean enough. Once it was dry I would install a couple of splines on the back before refinishing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Unfortunately its not just Gibson - any guitar (or other instrument) with a neck with the head sawn at an angle to the grain is susceptible to this kind of failure. A big hole hogged out for the truss rod adjuster makes it worse. But I have a whole collection of pictures of broken guitar heads that I have fixed (or in some cases, turned down fixing). Ironically I got a call from a guy who is bring over a Jackson with a broken head later today.
     
  11. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you find a good repair person, they can fix that ...
     
  12. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have seen replacement necks like that for sale on the net, and not at high prices either. Usually with no finish.

    Now I admit I do not know what kind of tenon it needs.
     
  13. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Meister

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    That is the exact approach I would take as well.
     
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  14. trancedental

    trancedental Tele-Meister

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    I thought Gibson used scarf neck joints until I read this thread! Having a Epiphone Sheraton with a 5 piece laminated neck, I assumed the ES-345 / 355's were the same construction. :confused:
    I knew SG's had a one piece neck but thought Les Pauls had scarf joints.

    Here's an interesting analysis of the issue.

    https://hazeguitars.com/blog/why-do-gibson-headstocks-break
     
  15. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Update on the guitar I mentioned a few posts ago. It is a Jackson flying vee with a green stick fracture at an angle about one inch down the neck from the nut. I can barely open the gap - it would be very difficult to work glue into the opening, however I think I could get enough in to give a good glue joint and not affect the operation of the truss rod.
    '
    However the finish is shiny black with some neon green highlights. I am assuming the finish is some sort of catalyzed poly - I can shoot lacquer all day but I run from these finishes. I have had marginal luck repairing black finish damage with black CA, by the time I sand the repair smooth I'm going to remove a lot of finish right at the crack.

    I know I could fix it, I know I won't be happy with the finish, I know it might fail again in the future. I told the owner I would pass.
     
  16. nomadh

    nomadh Tele-Afflicted

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    Maybe too late but I finally got some pics of my faded sg. I bought it with the repaired break. It was probably done with epoxy. It's not perfect but it's been rock solid
    20191209_203159.jpg 20191209_203250.jpg 20191209_203321.jpg 20191209_203352.jpg
     
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