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Headstock Repair

This page shows a headstock repair. Ishow how to do this with the most basic of tools (well, mostly). This break was on a neck which is going to be used for a pickup testing guitar. It's nothing great, and I wont do a wonderful finish on it, but a repair is a repair so,........

This is a picture of the break. The rest of the headstock is missing. Because I don't have the missing piece, and because there are actually multiple breaks (there are cracks which do not show in this picture) I will make a new piece. Also because it's a pointy headstock, I will reshape the entire thing. The first thing I must do is trim off all of the broken section.

This is the headstock after trimming. The cut is very rough and not straight. I left extra wood to allow for cleaning up the cut, Later there will be no sign of that last tuner hole. The next task is finding a suitable piece of wood for the repair. I selected a piece of cherry because I had a suitable scrap around. The first operation was to thickness the board, leaving it slightly thick.

This picture shows the board being thicknessed with a hand plane. it took about 5 minutes to remove almost 1/4", and then clean it up. After the board was thicknessed I then trimmed it so the grain would follow more suitably. The cut was just as ugly as the first. Now the joining faces need to be matched. to do this the boards are "booked" (means set joining faces together and then fold the one piece to the side so the faces to be joined are together). I clamped the booked pieces in the vice and trimmed them again with the hand plane. It took less than ten minutes to get it right.

This picture shows the pieces booked in the vice.

This picture shows the pieces after the trimming with the handplane. To get a fit like this it is important to check across the two pieces while trimming to ensure they are flat across. It doesn't matter what the angle is, because when unbooked the angles will add up to 180 degrees making the repair flat. Next is the glue up. At this point I used a bisket joiner to reinforce the seam. This could also be done with a router and a spline (cut slots across the faces after glueup, square the ends of the slots w/ the appropriate chisel and insert splines. This would be the method I would use if the break wasn't complete, and I had both pieces) It would have been ok without using any reinforcement because this repair fits tightly together and is primarily along edge grain,

This picture shows the pieces glued and clamped . Because the faces were angled relative to the clamping surfaces, the pieces wanted to slide out of place, The bar clamp at the top of the picture was used to keep the pieces in place, it isn't really "clamping". It is not necesary to use alot of pressure with the clamps. Allow plenty of time to cure as per the directions on the glue bottle.

The rest of the story....