I have a much loved Martin D15
which has 'developed' a major split in the headstock. You can see some
i) Is a feasible repair - without replacing the whole neck? I think
so.... I assume this is non trivial given this is an area of major
stress. it's not just a question of someone squirting some glue in and
clamping it up. It may required break the split right open to rejoin
ii) I live in Geneva, Switzerland but also regularly visit UK (London
area). Do people have any recommendations for someone/shop which can do
this (ideally in Switzerland)?
The area where that split exists is indeed subject to quite a stress. I'm
not sure about this but I thought I recalled at one time hearing something
in the neighborhood of 700lbs of stress when tuned. Glue certainly would
hold it, if properly applied. Many guitars have glued up necks and
headstocks so the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. I'd be more
concerned with being able to get a good glue coat inside the split so as to
get a good bond. If you can open it up some and get a good squirt inside,
certain that the entire surface of the split wood is coated, then you should
be able to clamp it up and wipe off the excess that squirts out.
I've damaged guitars before and I've repaired some of them. The repairs
have always lasted and have always been nearly invisible when done. That
said, when my custom built electric took a dive off a guitar stand and
chipped a piece of mahogany out of the neck, I sent it back to the luthier
who built it for repair. This guitar cost a good amount of money and I
didn't want anything but his hand involved in fixing it. It's all in what
the guitar is worth to you.
Doubtful the Martin warranty will cover this - it's not a defect in
workmanship or materials. I think I'd send the pictures to them and inquire
about repairs. They may refer you to a local luthier (closer to you), or
they may request you send it in to get the neck sweated off and replaced.
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