Jump to content

Fractured Neck/headstock With Lifting Fretboard.


Recommended Posts

A friend has asked me to have a look at his guitar for him, his mum knocked it over i believe leading to rather severe damage where the headstock joins the neck. I see this as being repairable and im fairly confident i do it. Before im flamed, he understands the risk that his guitar may get even more damaged by myself, he also knows that a rapair from a custom shop will cost more than what the guitar was worth (circa £100/ 200$) ive offered to do this for free.

So anyway, the best way to repair this? Here are some pics of the damage:

IMG_3843.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/simon...on/IMG_3842.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/simon...on/IMG_3845.jpg

The fracture is above the neck/headstock scarf and by looking at it is going at least 2/3rds of the way through the neck, now my main concern is the fretboard, it is still intact looking at it from the front but i have a feeling it may make the repair rather tricky.

So in my eyes the options are, completely break the crack and re glue the two parts back to each other with titebond, clamps et al, but I am not too sure whether the fretboard will lie true.

The other options are to out the crack and insert a new bit of neck, this will require taking the fret board off no?

The last being if all goes tits up, make a new headstock and join it to the neck where the original scarf was.

EDIT: After de stringing the beast, and looking at the fracture properly, im now wondering how best to break the two halves? by putting pressure on wither the top or bottom, it looks like i am going to end up completely lifting the fretboard, at worse, snapping it.

Thanks in advance for opinions, suggestions and comments.

Sheers, Si

Edited by mynamesucks
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about just flexing the crack and getting Titebond deep into the break?

I used it on my guitar when the fingerboard lifted when I dropped it.

I clamped it too tight and made the small piece of wood that is right under the truss rod cave in.

I had to fix that too. Be careful.

The glue has held for over 20 years because the break was clean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup - if the algnment of the pieces is good, just flex it open and get titebond in there. If it's too viscous, you can thin it as much as 10% with water, without hurting the strength much. You'll want to make padded, radiused clamping cauls so you don't hurt the neck or fretboard. Don't fully separate the break - that'll make alignment very tricky.

Forget trying a cosmetic repair, go with solid and battlescarred, and you have every chance of accomplishing a decent job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think my eyes are totally fooling me, but it just looks like the finish itself chipped up and cracked, I don't see the cracks in the neck. edit: I see now the fretboard lift, hopefully you should be able to fix that. The guys here will have some good advice for you and check out frets.com, they have a large index of tutorials about fixing problems like this and that should also help to get you going. Best of luck.

Edited by jmrentis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have to agree with jmrentis on this one.

The Scarf joint itself looks just fine. If you look carefuly you can see that the joint starts at fret 1 and ends at fret 2.5.

You can see the difference in grain direction and figuring.

So as I understand it there is a crack in the headstock side of the scarf 2/3 of the way through.

You can certainly try to get some titebond into it and clamp it for a day or so.

If that does the trick, you will still be faced with a long and tedious task of re-finishing the entire neck.

It also looks like the fretboard did seperate from the neck along with the trim and some neck tear-out.

Does your friend want it back in a perfect/factory looking state, or just playable?

Is your friend willing to wait for how long it may take?

Is this an electric or accoustic?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He just wants it playable and is willing to wait as he said it would more than likely just sit there if i didnt do anything to it. It is an electric, a vintage LP. Yeah the scarf join is fine, the crack is about 3/4ths of an inch above it.

Ive got hold of a 25G hypodermic needle (.5mm) and syringes, so I will strip back the finish in a few days when i get some spare time and give glueing it up a go with some clamps ill make.

Cheers for the advice so far guys, keep it coming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He just wants it playable and is willing to wait as he said it would more than likely just sit there if i didnt do anything to it. It is an electric, a vintage LP. Yeah the scarf join is fine, the crack is about 3/4ths of an inch above it.

Ive got hold of a 25G hypodermic needle (.5mm) and syringes, so I will strip back the finish in a few days when i get some spare time and give glueing it up a go with some clamps ill make.

Cheers for the advice so far guys, keep it coming.

I find it odd that the headstock would break on a scarfed neck. Never thought that was possible. I have a scrap neck I built 2 years ago with a scarf joint and I tried to break it. It wouldn't budge. I even jumped on it to try and break it. I still have it in my workshop as a reminder :D

What make of guitar is that? Look like an Epiphone.

As for colour matching, I try to get a close match. If you feather the color in, it should come out almost insivible. The technique worked on a Firebird Bass headstock I fixed 2 months ago. The biggest problem is getting a stain that as close as possible to the original as possible.

What kind of finish on there? If its lacquer (which I doubt it is), the fix should be easier. With poly, it'll be harder to get an invisible fix. Regardless, I highly recommend that you DO NOT STRIP THE FINISH. You're asking for more work and trouble down the line - my personal opinion only.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cant see how anyone can say that break was the scarf joint when the scarf joint is clearly visible about 1/2- 1" to the left of the break.

Yes tint the crazy glue but remove any chips first. I would be concerned about getting the fingerboard back down flat. So make sure nothing is stopping that from happening.

Otherwise dido on what most people have said, except we cant see the other side of the break so its hard to tell how bad it really is.

Loos like an ebay special.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I thought I would add a little update to this, I ended up opting for superglue as some of the central cracks were so tight there was no chance in hell of getting titebond in there. There was also no way i was going to use hide glue as i cant justify purchasing all the related equipment. I will try an write this as a mini guide in the hope it will be of use to someone in a similar predicament. The glue i used was your average titebond superglue liquid, nothing special.

I Started off by removing the finnish around the scar to get easier access to it and closer asess the damage as part of the finish still covered the crack. Im afraid i forget to take photos of this part but its pretty self explanitory. I then knocked up some rather crude shaped clamping cauls with padding to apply even pressure across the neck and avoid putting pressure on the frets.

After setting up the clamps and cauls for quick and easy clamping, I blew any excess dust of the neck and wiped down with lotoxane to degrease any exposed areas. Using the hypodermic I pierced the top of the tube and drew a fair amount into the syringe. I would avoid using a needle smaller than a 25 gauge as the glue starts to get tacky and make squirting it difficult. It is easiest to get the glue in by prizing the cracks apart with sufficient force and using the aid of gravity. I would have taken some pics here but due to the time superglue sets it wasnt on my list of priorities. After it was all clamped up i wiped away excess superglue between neck and fretboard.

The next stage is to refinish, I started with 180 grit on a foam sanding block with the aid of a small scraper for quick removal of the finish, there was about 1.5mm of clear/sealer to remove to bloom the wood with the finish.

A picture of the glued fracture, looks okay, a bit manky but i cant really see how it can be avoided:

IMG_3846.jpg

I then moved up to 320 sanding out all the scuffs, i find it best to sand different gris at right angles so you know the previous is removed. I then began to brush on very thin coats of sealer to start building up the finish again.

A Closeup of the crack, notice the part near the fret board where the wood splintered, how could i fill this effectively?

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/simon...ir/IMG_3849.jpg

Gallery of some progress pics here:

http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y43/simonpiemon/repair/

The rest of the finish will be by the guys dad as i dont have any laquer tint which is a bit annoying, However he will do a faster and in most probablilty better job.

Cheers, Si

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...