Fix a broken guitar neck?

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My son's guitar (a reasonably good one ~$500) got the top of it's neck broken while he was moving home from college. I'm not a guitar player, so excuse the poor component terminaology. It broke near the end where just below where the adjustment knobs for the strings are. There did not seem to be any loss of wood (appears to be tiger maple) as the two pieces fit snugly back together. Am I dreaming that this could just be glued back together? If it could, what would be the best glue, just regular yellow glue? Seems wrong to to just toss it.
Thanks, Jim
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"jtpr" wrote in message

Take it to a music store that has a repairman, preferably on premises, or get their recommendation on same.
While it appears a simple fix, if you want to have a _playable_ instrument, this is one repair that you do not want to do yourself.
And do NOT believe anyone that tells you otherwise.
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"Swingman" wrote

Spoken like a true musician. I second the opinion expressed above. Reminds me of a story...
Many years ago, I was working on a marketing program for a startup company. I was talking to one of the founders of the company when I mentioned to him that I had to travel, the next day, about 80 miles north of the city where I lived. He became quite excited and asked if he could go with me. I was happy for the company and it would allow me to find out more about the company and its products.
It turns out that this guy is a professional musician and plays every conceivable type of bass. His electric bass was ailing and there was a shop about an hour north of the city that was the go to place for ailing stringed instruments. It was a retail shop type place in a very small town. It was the home town of the guywho ran it. And people came from hundreds of miles away for his services.
I got a lecture on how few people really understand stringed instrument repair. And this guy was one of the best. I will never forget the "interview/diagnosis". He took that instrument into his hands in a gentle loving way. They talked intensively for about ten minutes. He wrote a half page of notes. I felt like a total outsider peering into another world. These guys just loved that electric bass guitar.
It made an impression on me. A good instrument repair guy is worth his weight in gold.
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wrote:

Ohhh, an electric bass guitar... for a moment I thought you were talking about a washtub and a stick. g
r
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Seconded. A good luthier will be able to fix it brilliantly. A brilliant woodworker _MAY_ get lucky and make it marginally useful, but I wouldn't count on it.
Go to a few different music stores, and ask the staff on the floor if they can recommend someone. Look in the phone book for instrument repair. Don't try to do it yourself.
Colin
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Well, I'm not a professional luthier, but have repaired two; a guitar that had a classical style (pins in slots) tuning setup above the fretboard that broke in the middle of the tunning section, and a 3/4 upright base that broke in exactly the spot you describe along with some additional damage. Both repairs were successful from a players standpoint (had son's music instructor do the setup and put the base through its paces post repair, declared it perfect. The guitar is the one my sons reach for when they are around, like it better than two others that were more expensive and supposedly better, whatever that is worth).
I did extensive research on the repair and rebuild section of the stringed intrument forum http://www.violins.ca/forums/ prior to proceeding. Many resources there, particularly for the base. I would not have done the repairs without the research and I have a woodworking background.
Frank
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This is the end of many guitars lives.... that said, if it's still a real tight fix you can try yellow glue, but I'd be inclined to use a slow curing epoxy. You may want to add a spline or bowtie at the break to give it more strength, and/or adding a wood plate ( or a couple laminated together) to the front and or back of the headstock assuming the crack is that far up). Even if you do all of these things and rebuild it with every last splinter of damaged wood, It still might not last, but is worth a shot.
If it's a bolt on neck you can often find a direct replacement neck on sites like ebay.
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Yellow glue doesn't creep?

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Father Haskell wrote:

I've experienced creep with yellow carpenter's glues on my solid-body instruments. I now use this:
http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName hesives&NameProdHeader=Instrument+makers+glue
It dries hard, colorless, and clear. Great stuff.
--Steve
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On Tue, 05 Feb 2008 05:28:57 -0800, jtpr wrote:

I think this may be an end-grain glue problem. End-grain gluing is at best IF-y.
A guitar repair man just might use some sort of double tenon. However, some guitars have a short steel rod inside the neck (saw this on cable TV.) So how much space is there for a mortise on both ends of the break? I vote for an expert to do the repair, or at least get his suggestions / inspections before doing anything on your own.
Best of Luck Phil
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This is a common repair, and usually can be done with the guitar being just as good as it was before....IF you get someone competent and knowledgable to do the repair. Don't try this yourself, not for the first time on a valuable guitar. If you want to learn how to do it, get some junkers from the pawnshop. Otherwise, get a "Luthier" to do it...make sure they are trained, have a certificate, whatever. Don't give it to a "Guitar Tech", not the same thing. A google search in your area on luthiers will find what you're looking for.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That many people snap off headstocks?
Who would have thought... <G>
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An acquaintance of mine in Rochester NY owns an antique late 50's LP sunburst. He received an e-mail from another antique Gibson collector who wrote him with a line in it that he 'broke his neck'. His reply was: "you better be talking about falling off that dirt bike of yours."
To the OP: Where are you located? Anywhere near Port Huron MI?
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"Robatoy" wrote in message

And for good reason. Besides _playability_, a neck repair on a stringed instrument will most certainly alter the tone in some manner, even on an electric instrument.
Hell, even the act of taking the neck off of a vintage electric guitar/bass will often affect it's tone in some way, and quite possibly it's value. AAMOF, one of the first questions usually asked by those expert in buying vintage electric instruments is: "Has the neck been off?
Granted, most folks would not be able to tell the difference, but most of your top "players" would, and can tell you if someone other than themselves, or their instrument tech, even so much as put a set of strings on their favorite instrument, or worse, played it!
I've had repairs done by some of the best, and even then ended up selling (for about half of what it would have originally brought) a "magic" bass, that was much less "magic" after a "world class" repair to a broken headstock ... we're talking five figures here, _after_ the repair.
I would rather put on a new neck on non-vintage/cheaper instrument ... it will probably cost less, and be more satisfactory in the long run.
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[snip]

That'll teach you to play the thing behind your back, with your teeth... and pouring lighter fluid on it before shoving it through your amp.
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B A R R Y wrote:

Maybe he toured with "The Who"?
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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wrote:

Especially Les Paul players.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Very unlikely it's an end grain glue problem. The way that headstocks are attached, if they're not just cut out of the neck blank, is to join it a few frets up the neck with a scarf. An end grain glue up would never withstand the stress from the strings.
--

-Mike-
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Listen to The Swingman. I know a few luthiers who will give you the same solid advice. If you're in luck, however, that neck might be removable and replaced. Either with a factory replacement or a custom one. If the luthier is any good, you may end up with an even better instrument.
All I can do is shudder at the thought what kind of impact it must have been to break that.
What make of guitar is it?
r
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Robatoy wrote:

An acoustic guitar with medium gauge strings has about 190 lbs of tension on it. Doesn't actually take much of an impact to snap the headstock off - there isn't much wood right there. When I ship a guitar or put it into checked luggage I ALWAYS loosen the strings to reduce the stress on the neck because of the risk should the case fall over or be dropped.
I agree with those who recommend having an experienced and trusted guitar repair person do this repair. And many luthiers are not in that category. I'm a luthier, but I am not qualified to do this repair. If you're in Northern California, I'd recommend taking it to Michael Lewis in Grass Valley.
If, on the other hand, the instrument is a bolt-on electric guitar, the best course of action would be to replace the neck. I CAN do that, as can almost any builder of solid-body instruments.
--Steve
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