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Old 04-07-2013, 02:37 PM
Christian G Christian G is offline
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Default Neck broken at nut -- repair advice?

Hello acousticians,
So I was playing a little show the other night and my $100 Squier 3/4 scale came across a mishap which left the headstock broken off right at the nut. This happens to be my favorite guitar. Unfortunately it broke at a 90 degree angle instead of the usual diagonal split along the headstock glue seam, probably because the lower neck/upper neck and headstock join happens around the fifth fret. Pics:



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Any repair tips? I've fixed a classical guitar that had a broken headstock in the typical 30 ish degree angle, which went fine. I was wondering if anything special needed to be done here. Otherwise I'd just glue and clamp. Should I embed anything across the break? Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:43 PM
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bnjp bnjp is offline
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Man...that's brutal. I've fixed several with a smiley face type of break where there was plenty of wood to rejoin. The hard thing about that one is that you won't have much wood to glue together. I'll be interesting to see what others suggest, but I don't see how it's fixable without some sort of reinforcement.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:13 PM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Some splines, splints, or holes drilled into the neck same plane from inside the tuner holes would help. I did one similarly cracked but actually on the headstock. It wasn't quite as severe as your crack. To tell you the truth, I'd not suggest that this could be done DIY. It will take some serious reinforcement on the back of the neck and on the fingerboard side to rectify properly with the present neck/head-stock parts.

Tell you the truth, since it is a $100 guitar, I'd almost suggest you just have fun with a DIY repair job and no expectations, and sink the money from a repair (more costly than the guitar if done well/properly/completely) into a new guitar.

Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:15 PM
Tone Gopher Tone Gopher is offline
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Route the back of the neck for an inlay (about 1/2"x1/2"x2" or so) to strengthen the joint. A glue job without reinforcement is insufficient.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:33 PM
cedarkoa599 cedarkoa599 is offline
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Send it back to Taylor
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:31 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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A break like that is very unusual, and can probably be attributed to wood that has been weakened by decay during seasoning. The name for this is incipient decay, and the impact strength is most affected.

My approach on that one would be to glue it back together (probably with epoxy), just to maintain alignment during subsequent operations. A butt joint is not very strong, which is why the suggestions of reinforcement are appropriate. My favorite reinforcement is a backstrap, whch involves laminating a bent piece of wood on the back of the neck. The neck is thinned in the area (which often includes the whole back of the peghead and down the neck shaft a couple of inches), and then the bent piece is glued on. Finally, the neck is shaped to the original contour. The bent wood is much stronger than the original neck, since there is much less grain runout.
An alternative (which I have done on a couple of occasions) is to glue in a much thicker piece, with the thickest area at the break. This piece is not bent, but carved so that the grain direction is between the neck shaft and the peghead angle. The 'scoop' that is cut into the back of the neck to accept this piece can be done with a 3" diameter drum sander mounted in a drill press. The added piece is cut to fit this 'scoop' using chalk fitting techniques.
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