Taking on my worst headstock repair I have ever tried.

Robert Parker

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TLDR: Read below for context, but here's my question: why/when would y’all choose to scarf on a new headstock over carve a whole new neck, if ever?

I had a similar break to the OP that also failed at the splines after the firat repair. In the end, it was bad enough and on a Studio model that I'll never sell that I didn't really feel bad about degrading "resale value" (I'm pretty sure that ship had sailed even before this break). So, I ended up make a whole new neck while managing to reuse the original fretboard and headstock overlay. Now, I didn't do the most amazing job, but it plays great.

So, for pros and semi-pros, what's the benefit of the new headstock over a new neck? Is there a scenario where a new neck is smarter?
 

Joe Desperado

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TLDR: Read below for context, but here's my question: why/when would y’all choose to scarf on a new headstock over carve a whole new neck, if ever?

I had a similar break to the OP that also failed at the splines after the firat repair. In the end, it was bad enough and on a Studio model that I'll never sell that I didn't really feel bad about degrading "resale value" (I'm pretty sure that ship had sailed even before this break). So, I ended up make a whole new neck while managing to reuse the original fretboard and headstock overlay. Now, I didn't do the most amazing job, but it plays great.

So, for pros and semi-pros, what's the benefit of the new headstock over a new neck? Is there a scenario where a new neck is smarter?
As you now know, removing a neck has its own challenges. Besides replacing probably the most important part of the guitar, Often it means a lot of finish work as well. By keeping the original neck and replacing only the headstock, you keep the important part of the guitar as well as the original neck joint integrity.

I suppose it’s splitting hairs as some point.
 

brentrocks

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I took it up to Grand Rapids today, to Russell’s shop.

He’s gonna re fret it, repair the headstock and touch up the back of the headstock too.

He said it would be about a month.
 

BCRGreg

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This one probably did not need splines. Lots of gluing surface. Greg tends to add splines to everything.
Not everything, unless you are in my shop looking over my shoulder. I do so many headstock repairs that never get photographed....only the extreme ones seem to make it to the net.
 

Joe Desperado

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Not everything, unless you are in my shop looking over my shoulder. I do so many headstock repairs that never get photographed....only the extreme ones seem to make it to the net.
Fair enough Greg. I can only comment on the repairs you care to share with us here or on Facebook, which almost always include splines.
 

brentrocks

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Update.

The guitar has been at North Coast Guitars, in Grand Rapids for a bit. Russ is going to make a new headstock and scarf joint it. He will be utilizing the original head veneer and the original serial number. He is going to shave the back of the original headstock off and laminate it onto the back of the new headstock to keep the original serial number intact along with the original head veneer. He will also be doing a complete re-fret and new bone nut. It should be done in another three weeks or so.
 

Joe Desperado

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This /\/\/\/\ (new headstock with a scarf joint) is really the only option for this neck. The using of the back of the old stock is a bit extra, but to each their own. Its another joint/line that has to be hidden.
 

Uncle Vinnie

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brentrocks

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Russ hit another homerun!

When i look back at the pics before I took it to him and see what I'm playing now, I'm totally amazed! Not to mention, the re fret is fantastic as well!

I bought this 1974 Les Paul as a broken husk...no hardware, no pickups and a broken headstock.

I finished assembling it late last night and let is set overnight to let the neck settle in.

These are the parts i used to bring it back to life...

Lollar standard wind P90s
Kluson double ring vintage style tuners
500k CTS long shaft pots
Russian .015 paper in oil caps
Switchcraft toggle and jack
Lightweight aluminum tailpiece
ABR-1 style bridge



THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE BEFORE I TOOK IT TO RUSS IN JULY...

IMG_5626 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5627 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr



THIS IS BEFORE I ASSEMBLED IT, WHEN I BROUGHT IT HOME

IMG_5640 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5639 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr IMG_5638 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr IMG_5637 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5636 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5635 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5632 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5631 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5629 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr




AFTER FINAL ASSEMBLEY...

IMG_5641 (1) by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5642 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5643 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5646 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5647 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5649 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5650 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5651 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5652 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
IMG_5648 by brent HENDERSON, on Flickr
 

the great waldo

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I don't want to be a worry merchant but keep your eye out on the laquer crack on the back of the neck (last photo of the back of headstock) It looks like there might be something there going at an angle from the laquer crazing . I don't know what glue he used. If it was titebond then it sometimes migrates the glue line through the finish making it visible (this is why I prefer to use bone/hide glue as it tends not to do this. The chaps done a really nice job on the guitar at a great price and I hope it holds up. Please don't forget to be a little careful with the guitar, wood breaks if you bash it whether it's repaired or not. Some customers I had dropped their guitars after such repairs and come back moaning that the repair was faulty (with a bent tuner button shaft!!) I always tell customers that there is no guarantee on such a repair. It's hard to tell how such a repair holds up. If it's held for a couple of weeks you should have no problems.
Cheers
Andrew
 

shickma0

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Update.

The guitar has been at North Coast Guitars, in Grand Rapids for a bit. Russ is going to make a new headstock and scarf joint it. He will be utilizing the original head veneer and the original serial number. He is going to shave the back of the original headstock off and laminate it onto the back of the new headstock to keep the original serial number intact along with the original head veneer. He will also be doing a complete re-fret and new bone nut. It should be done in another three weeks or so.
Looks like a great repair job, but it does appear to me that it was a glue job rather than scarfing in a whole new headstock. Seems like there’s some witness lines on the joint between the headstock and neck where the original break was to me. In any case, great looking repair hope it plays great for years to come.
 

lowatter

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I'd really like to know how the repair was approached. Seems like a pretty catastrophic break and simply gluing end grain back together would be futile. PLEASE more details on the repair.
 

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