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Baby Taylor With A Baby Cracked Neck/Headstock (Photos)


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Hi, my Baby Taylor fell off its stand the other day and suffered a small crack in the headstock/neck area (photos below). It's a pretty small crack and if it was only cosmetic I'd let it slide but now the guitar won't stay in tune so it has to be fixed. I've done a similar repair on a Flying V (photos below). For the Flying V repair I used a syringe with wood glue and a clamp and it worked great (finished photos below) but the crack in the Taylor is closer to the headstock so I'm not sure how I would clamp it and at the correct angle. I'm also not sure if I can get a syringe into that crack. Any suggestions on how I should go about this repair is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. 

Baby Taylor (Cracked Headstock)1Baby Taylor (Cracked Headstock)2Baby Taylor (Cracked Headstock)3Flying V (Cracked Neck)1Flying V (Cracked Neck)2Flying V (Repaired Neck)1Flying V (Repaired Neck)2




 

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Wow, I've never seen a finger jointed headstock before!

It looks like the entire joint has failed, which makes me wonder what type of glue they've used. Definitely not Titebond original, that's for sure! I've seen urethane glue snap because of shock, entire fingerboards just popped off, so that might be your issue as well.

Opening the entire joint, cleaning and regluing might be the only option for longevity.

Clamping that joint requires some creativity. I'd put clamps both on the neck and the headstock, outside the joint, and then use two more clamps to pull them together. And at least one right over the joint to shut the crack. For added stability I might even route a four inch (10 cm) channel across the crack and add a solid skunk stripe or two.

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I was worried it might come to that. I've never had to do a repair that major before. Unless someone else chimes in with a better suggestion then I guess now is as good a time as any to learn. Thanks.

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9 hours ago, icetrey said:

I was worried it might come to that.

Actually that might be for the better! Based on what can be seen from that angle it looks like the entire headstock could be pulled apart right past the nut so you can clean all glue residues and such easily. Splintered wood would be much more difficult to rejoin.

Speaking about jigs, a simple one is to deattach the tuners and use the tuner holes to attach the headstock to a piece of wood. A correct angle would further improve the jig. That would help clamping or binding the joint a lot. And yes, I said binding in purpose. Sometimes a length of bungee cord is much more versatile than clumsy clamps.

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Thanks for all the help. I understand what you're saying. Just like most parts of building/repairing guitars, I may not have actually done it myself (usually because I lack a lot of the "specialty" tools) but because of forums and YouTube I know the process of how most projects are done. Thanks again for such a quick reply.

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53 minutes ago, icetrey said:

(usually because I lack a lot of the "specialty" tools)

Improvisation is important both in your playing and building. Just recently I saw a video about woodworking without clamps! There seems to be a ton of them if you search, I just stumbled upon one. Anyhow, rails, ropes, wedges and bolts can be your best friends. Like, how about this type of "tool" to keep your neck steady while working on the headstock?:

kuva.png.74ed3d7deef6607e3db4fdbdbe7707ad.png

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How you clamp it I'll let you discover, it will only take a little bit of ingenuity to figure something out if you don't have a bench clamp long enough. I can think of 3-4 ways pretty quickly so you'll get that part squared away.

How I would approach that repair is pretty basic and straightforward:

A pipette (or a real syringe, like a diabetic would use), THIN CA glue, and much tape in the right places. The single one thing I would Not do is disturb what's already there. I wouldn't play with it, rock it back and forth, twist it, or disturb/distort it in any other way. And obviously de-string it right away.

THIN CA glue will wick itself throughout that entire joint and fill it, tho I wouldn't try to fill it all in one go. I'd plan on a 2-3 day process. Taping off the entire area around the injection points will protect the guitar and finish from any stray CA glue that rolls/seeps/creeps out. And I wouldn't use any CA accelerator, I would let it dry naturally, layer by layer, until its nearly completely filled. I would shoot for the final layer being <just> under the present finish and finish it off with a few drops of lacquer or shellac.

CA glue is so much harder than the surrounding finish, its a total bitch to try and get level with such dissimilar finishes. Its like trying to level a rock and a pillow sitting side by side. So get out in front of that by not filling it to level to begin with. <Just> under level, then probably shellac would be the easiest/fastest way to a seamless level repair. In everything I said, the most important part is the tape, and to completely tape off everything around it. You don't want a run of CA running down the side of the guitar. That's going backwards, and you never want to go backwards when you're trying to go forwards.

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