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fixing a snapped headstock


Paul G
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My guitar (a les paul studio) took a serious tumble just before my band's set on Saturday night, which left a deep crack in the back of the neck. The headstock pulls forward under any kind of tension, so it's totally un-usable. It's a great guitar and I'm gutted that it's knackered, at least for now. Here are a few pics of the damage...

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I've found some vids on youtube showing how to glue the headstock back in place and clamp it for a day or so to let the glue set, but I'm a bit concerned that this would be a fairly temporary fix. I need a guitar that can survive travelling to gigs in a car boot and survive some man-handling if it's gonna be of use to me. A few websites have suggested that more can be done, but don't really say what. Needless to say, I can't afford an expensive repair right now, but can't afford a new guitar either. If anyone can offer some advice on what to do with it now, I'd be really grateful.

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How expensive do you think is too expensive? I have no idea how I know him... but this guy has an amazing reputation for repair jobs and his work and client list speaks for itself -> http://www.manchesterguitartech.co.uk/repairs/

Headstock breaks cost between £75 and £150 to repair. The majority of this cost is for refinishing the lacquer around the break in order to make good the guitar’s finish.
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that links quite reassuring. That's a a bit less than I was expecting to be honest, but he is still just gluing it. Can't say that I'm bothered about the finish either, so I guess it would cost less than that too. Maybe having the finish touched up would give a a bit of extra strength around the crack too?

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mmmmmm interesting. In my (limited) experience an LP neck break (or any neck break for tat matter) should never just be glued.............you need to get some dowels in there too because the strength and stability of the neck has now been MAJORLY comprimised. If the headstock is actually pulling considerably then some luthiers would actually take it and.....wait for it.......snap it right off!!!! That way they can get 'into' the crack and drill some holes to strategically place some pegs and then glue. Most pros will tell you that a neck break is not really worth the money to fix unless it is of great cash or sentimental value. A bolt on neck should just be straight replaced and a fixed neck, ala Gibsons, well........it ain't ever going to play or sound quite like it did. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news man but the guys in Aberdeen I knw that do it will charge considerably more to fix a neck break. I've heard nothing but good things about the guy in Manchester but at that price.......glue and paint alone do not a good repair make.

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Without meaning to be a snob, it's a pretty cheap LP as far a Gibson goes. Glueing that far up the neck's not gonna make a world of difference, so long as you pay attention to detail and line it up properly.

Then just avoid 'man-handling' it, and maybe put it in a case before slinging it carefree into the trunk of your Cadillac, or whatever.

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Hey, this has happened to me a few times I'm sad to say. In fact one of my main guiTars has a break JUST LIKE THAT, and it was fixed by a pro who set it and glued it. No dowels, but they did do a nice job o the cosmetics. It's rock solid, strung with 13s and has been fine for years. It's a Gibson btw. So what papawookee says is 95% wrong.

Get a few professional opinions and prices,let someone you trust fix it for you and itll be right as rain. But above all,

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mmmmmm interesting. In my (limited) experience an LP neck break (or any neck break for tat matter) should never just be glued.............you need to get some dowels in there too because the strength and stability of the neck has now been MAJORLY comprimised. If the headstock is actually pulling considerably then some luthiers would actually take it and.....wait for it.......snap it right off!!!! That way they can get 'into' the crack and drill some holes to strategically place some pegs and then glue. Most pros will tell you that a neck break is not really worth the money to fix unless it is of great cash or sentimental value. A bolt on neck should just be straight replaced and a fixed neck, ala Gibsons, well........it ain't ever going to play or sound quite like it did. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news man but the guys in Aberdeen I knw that do it will charge considerably more to fix a neck break. I've heard nothing but good things about the guy in Manchester but at that price.......glue and paint alone do not a good repair make.

Sorry but thats just rubbish... its like the old wives tale that when a car gets an accident repair its never the same... bollocks!!

I have known of several repaired Gibsons that have given there owners long and faithful service, it is a very very common problem with gibsons by the way and if like Son says, its a guitar you like, fix it and get the finish sorted as well, invest in a hard case for it and be a little more careful with it on stage...

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Thanks for all the advice folks! Also had some very kind offers of assistance, so thanks for those too. After reading a bit more about this on the web, a number of folks seem to think that necks/stocks can be even stronger after a good repair! Most of these folk seem to be in the business of repairing though, so not too sure.

I've found a luthier in Blackburn who might be able to help with glue and some pins for a reasonable price, so I might give them a try first. The place is Kinellar - http://www.kinellarguitars.co.uk/

Anyone have any experience of these guys?

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Thanks for all the advice folks! Also had some very kind offers of assistance, so thanks for those too. After reading a bit more about this on the web, a number of folks seem to think that necks/stocks can be even stronger after a good repair! Most of these folk seem to be in the business of repairing though, so not too sure.

I've found a luthier in Blackburn who might be able to help with glue and some pins for a reasonable price, so I might give them a try first. The place is Kinellar - http://www.kinellarguitars.co.uk/

Anyone have any experience of these guys?

yeh Graeme is brilliant.

He recently ripped my floyd rose out of my japaneese strat and fitted it with the standard 6 screw trem.

Top quality work.

His website isnt great but his work speaks for itself, he done a headstock repair a few weeks ago

http://www.kinellarguitars.co.uk/apps/blog/entries/show/8398397-gibson-sg

I myself had a snapped epiphone neck woodglue and a strong clamp and woodfiller and wood cement goes a long way.

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I would use Jimmy Moon (moonguitars.co.uk) down in Glasgow. 0141 632 9526

He will do a repair for about £90 or so. If you wanted an 'invisible' repair (so it looks as if there was never a break) then it will cost more as generally most of - if not all of - the neck will need repainted. The price I suggested is for structural only. :)

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Without meaning to be a snob, it's a pretty cheap LP as far a Gibson goes.

I'm not quite following what the price of the guitar has to do with it? It's still not a cheap guitar in anyone's book.

Definately get a pro to deal with it and it I'll be fine. I dropped a bass with a bubinga neck once leading to a very similar break. Despite worries that glue wouldn't work, 10 yrs down the line it's holding firm. It's definately worth spending a little bit of money and getting a decent job done.

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I snapped the headstock on my Gibson 335 four days after I bought it. The break was almost identical to yours. I took it to Jimmy Moon for him to repair. He quoted £65 for a 'repair' or £250 for 'like new'. Since it was an expensive guitar, I went for the full repair. You'd never know it was ever broken now. He said that since the headstock was still joined (by the fibre board on the top of the headstock) made it considerably easier to fix. If you PM me your email address, I'll send you some before and after pictures. After seeing this repair, I wouldn't go anywhere else if I manage to break any other guitars.

Pete

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PM'd, thanks Pete.

I can kinda see the point about it not being a pricey guitar in relation too some LPs, but it's pricey to me. I got it very cheap (I think), which makes it even harder to replace in my book. I certainly wouldn't be able to buy another at any point in the foreseeable future (or find another at the same price!), so a £100 fix makes sense at the moment.

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