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Old 02-18-2013, 01:11 AM   #1
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Cracked headstock -- anyone know if this is fixable?

I apologize if this is in the wrong place.

I dropped my guitar (while it was in its case) and this happened:

Going to take it to Sam Ash later this week. It's an old Martin with great sound so it would be a shame if it's not fixable. Anyone have an experience similar to this? The crack runs really deep. I guess I'll get my answer in a few days either way, but I'm really worried so I was hoping for immediate feedback. Thanks.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:20 AM   #2
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I've seen quite a few Gibson's online with similar cracks repaired. It should be a fully functional fix as long as you find a reputable tech.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:22 AM   #3
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If it's any comfort, a good glue joint is generally stronger than the wood.

On many guitars, the neck wood is sawn off at at angle very close to that point, and glued together in reverse to supply the correct headstock and grain angle. If you look close at a natural wood finish neck, you can see the joint.

With that said, you are really only going to get one shot at correctly reassembling the joint.

That's where an experienced luthier would come in, as they have experience making jigs to hold parts together during drying. Any common type of wood clamp, used only by itself, wouldn't be suitable.

A quick browse through Stewmac's selection of luthier's tools: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools.html should give you some idea of the importance of guides and jigs for doing anything with regard to building or repairing a guitar.

Best of luck.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 02-18-2013 at 02:26 AM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:56 PM   #4
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I am not sure of the skill level of the Sam Ash techs in your area, but everyone I have ever met didnt impress me. This is totally fixable. Wood glue joints are very strong, considering that is all that holds most guitars together. Try not to get anything on the bare wood because it may impact the gluing characteristics of the joint. I build guitars, I do not repair them. So take what I am about to say into consideration. To me it seems like you have a few options. 1.) glue and clamp the joint, hopefully you dont have to address to much finish issues. 2.) Plane the area flat and glue on a whole new headstock and blend the finish work in. 3.) Make a whole new neck..... I think all of these options will turn out fine depending on the skill level of the repairman. You have to really think about your goals for the repair. If you want to keep the neck original and not glue on a new headstock, then option 1 is for you. The only thing with this is that there is a chance the joint may fail (unlikely). I also am concerned about how much the finish is damaged. You may be able to get away with finish repair or partial respray. Please find a good repairman or a luthier.

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Old 02-27-2013, 05:01 PM   #5
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I've done quite a bit of woodworking and I've found that Aleene's Tacky Glue to be far stronger than the more common wood glues such as Elmer's. I recently added interior posts to an old accoustic guitar to try to pull down the bridge in order to lower the action. White glue failed as soon as I removed the clamps. Tried it again with Aleene's: total success. Incidentally, when the head stock is separately attached to the neck, this is called a scarf joint.

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Old 02-28-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
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Another good one is Titebond. They make several flavors; the "II" and "III" are synthetic glues which are permanent and as noted above, generally stronger than the wood.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:48 AM   #7
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A good strong wood glue will sort it, but get a good guitar tech to do it for you. If it's a sweet sounding Martin don't leave anything to chance!
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #8
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I once found an Alvarez acoustic at a garage sale for $50 after one of my mom's friends called her and made us come. Showed up and it had a similar crack, only much worse and ending around the 3rd fret. No glue joint fix though, nono, that's much too expensive. They used ****ing nails in through the fretboard to the back of the neck to fix it. "Sounds gewd, playsh fahn." The joint was uneven and ragged and terrible. It wasn't even worth taking to a luthier.
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