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Fretboard/neck Seperation


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I have a Gretsch special jet that has the fretboard seperating from the nut to about the third fret area. Is there a rather "simple" way i can use some type of glue and get it in there and clamp it? it played pretty good otherwise before i disassembled it, so i assume all else is ok. Thanks in advance.

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I have a Gretsch special jet that has the fretboard seperating from the nut to about the third fret area. Is there a rather "simple" way i can use some type of glue and get it in there and clamp it? it played pretty good otherwise before i disassembled it, so i assume all else is ok. Thanks in advance.

Putting some Titebond in there and clamping would be worth a try. Make sure the glue gets in there real good... without touching the truss rod.

If that doesn't work or hold, Take the board off, clean off the glue and re-attach.

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A picture and a little extra info would help a lot.

Is this a Gretsch, an Electromatic or a Synchromatic?

Seems weird to me that a fretboard would 'separate' like that ---what did you do to it? Why is it disassembled?

Its a electromatic jet, and i got it this way. Its disassembled because it was in mediocre shape, and the poly finish was so thick and had many chips in it, that it just looked awful (and felt awful too--like i was holding a big hunk of plastic). I was pretty sure before i disassembled it that the fretboard had seperated, and was verified that when i removed the finish. My guess is that it fell somehow at one point to cause that. But the sound from this thing---i have never played another that sounded this good so i want to fix it (plus i know it should be a fairly easy fix).

I have no experience removing the fretboard. The guitar is a total redo at this point and obviously i cant re-finish it without getting this solved first. If i should remove it as described, what do i do to get it off and put it back on. Im not afraid to--well a little---but i just need some direction here as i have never done this. I have worked on my own stuff for years so im not a total noob, i just need some direction.

I wish i could get a picture up, as of the moment, that cant happen, although i can try latter too. But picture if you will the board lifting from the nut straight back, even on both sides, to about the third fret area. The rest is solidly attached as it should be.

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Titebond will not bond to glue, so the titebond would not hold to the old glue that is on the fingerboard / neck. The best bet is to completely remove the fingerboard and sand the old glue off the neck and fingerboard and re-glue.

I'd think the problem is that there wasn't enough glue in the first place, so why wouldn't tightbond work? He should be able to get some CA in there, clamp it down, right?

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Titebond will not bond to glue, so the titebond would not hold to the old glue that is on the fingerboard / neck. The best bet is to completely remove the fingerboard and sand the old glue off the neck and fingerboard and re-glue.

I'd think the problem is that there wasn't enough glue in the first place, so why wouldn't tightbond work? He should be able to get some CA in there, clamp it down, right?

Yup! Like I said... its worth a try.

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I think what Jon was saying is that if you load some Titebond into the gaps, you would be trying to glue two surfaces of old dry glue and not two clean wood surfaces. Titebond is an excellent wood glue, but probably wouldn't work well at all gluing two old dry glue surfaces. If it was a crack in the wood or something, it would be better as they would be two clean surfaces, but a separation isn't the same and I don't see titebond holding well here. So, if titebond was to be used, the fretboard would need to come off completely and the surfaces cleaned. J

Edited by jmrentis
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Oh, and just to clarify, it is a set neck Jet--Thank you Micky for the offer on the bolt on neck however.

But yea, i was wondering why some CA couldnt be used in there--although im not sure what you guys are using for guitar stuff, i used to use some zapagap stuff when i built some wood framed radio control planes. Its really hard to say if it was an issue of not enough glue originally or the fact it seperated from what ever caused that (i think it fell as stated earlier). Either way im up to try anything, so far it seems i should be able to glue it which seems like it should be easy.

Is tite-bond available at like home depot or the such or should i just go for some type of CA glue.

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I think what Jon was saying is that if you load some Titebond into the gaps, you would be trying to glue two surfaces of old dry glue and not two clean wood surfaces. Titebond is an excellent wood glue, but probably wouldn't work well at all gluing two old dry glue surfaces. If it was a crack in the wood or something, it would be better as they would be two clean surfaces, but a separation isn't the same and I don't see titebond holding well here. So, if titebond was to be used, the fretboard would need to come off completely and the surfaces cleaned. J

Agreed... glue won't bond to glue very well but if if separated... there probably wasn't much glue in there to start with.

Personally, I would take the whole thing off, clean and reglue. It all depends on your comfort level.

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Titebond will not bond to glue, so the titebond would not hold to the old glue that is on the fingerboard / neck. The best bet is to completely remove the fingerboard and sand the old glue off the neck and fingerboard and re-glue.

I'd think the problem is that there wasn't enough glue in the first place, so why wouldn't tightbond work? He should be able to get some CA in there, clamp it down, right?

Highly likely, but still a gamble. Hence my "best bet" comment.

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First I would never use CA to bond any wood to wood joint for the long term (chips sure but not a fingerboard).

If it is separated see if you can get 220+ grit sand paper into the gap and see if it is removing wood or glue (look at the paper). Then only use a yellow glue (Titebond). I don't remember reading anything regarding glue to glue rebonding so I am curious if it's true you cannot apply yellow glue over yellow glue.

Most likely the joint is glue starved in the first place or it would not have lifted. You may also apply some heat to the board during re-gluing to soften up any old glue left in the crack then apply the new glue and clamp (use a shop lamp or with no finish a heat gun will work, but it must get the board pretty hot. Be careful you don't burn the board or the headstock). Hopefully you have removed the nut first.

I suggest you look for some glue syringes where you can get deep within the board with the glue, they have no point on the needles.

To remove the entire board involves a complete refret since you need to heat the board and having frets installed does not help when its reglued. can be done with the frets installed but I would not recommended it. Certainly a few steps above just refinishing the instrument.

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Yeahh, I actually just glued on my fingerboard with epoxy and it worked just fine. As for this situation, I think its just too thick and wouldn't work well or at best be a major hassle/mess. Though it depends on the level of separation, generally epoxy doesn't work well for gluing tight spaces like cracks and such. It was actually the first thing that came to my mind as I actually like working with that stuff, but then I realized it may not be the best choice here. J

Edited by jmrentis
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