I had a guitar come in with a previous broken headstock that didn't hold up. My question is, If I can' t get the old glue out, which I don't even know what it is, what would be the best glue to use to re-glue it? I've fixed many broken headstocks in the past, but not re-breaks. The splines he or she used were only about a quarter inch thick, bad job. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thank you so very much,


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What kind of guitar, what kind of wood, and pictures PLEASE!

If it has any kind of value, it might be worth an overlay.

Hello Mark

Thanks for the quick reply. It's a ES-335 from the 90's which has been painted before. Here's a pic of the break. Thanks again,




Hate to say this, but is it worth the expense of doing a good repair? Would it make as much sense to just get a new neck? I mean, "just" get a new neck?

You could just use CA glue, ala this -

And if that doesn't work, it's time for major surgery or replacement. I don't think you could make it much worse at this point by trying CA glue, but it that fails, you need to do some serious grafting and wood butchery to make it right.

Assuming that the neck is set in a joint at the body (which I don't actually know, so don't assume it), you might be as well off looking for a neck. I imagine there is a Gibson guitar forum that has guys that really know their stuff and could help you with this. Or you could always contact the factory about a neck. Or bid on this auction...

Hey Mark

Thanks so much for the info and the links. I was thinking about using hot hide glue, but wasn't sure until I read

the link you attached. I'm am also going to use splines as well which has work for me very well in the past.

Thanks again,



Firstly, this is a standard break for this guitar and given that the peghead facing plate seem to have remained intact (although it may be damaged from the previous break) and it is a solid color finish neck , I would say this Swiss cheese/previously splined repair is an ideal candidate for a new section of laminated overlay.

The fundamental reasons are:

1. The internal structure of the break, has been exposed to old glue which will be difficult to remove.

2. The new areas of the break have further compromised the fibre structure.

3. The spline(s) already in the joint have failed and leave many glue gaps/junctions and have also  severed the wood fibre structure in the area where the neck needs maximum strength.

Splines do not provide the same amount of tensile/tension strength that a backstrap repair and internal splines will provide.  This is not to say that wooden splines are not acceptable but in the interests of professional excellence and the application of "best practice"  I would say that a backstrap is the repair that I would choose for this particular instrument.

So, a one piece conformal overlay is good, a series of veneers in an overlay is best and will restore structural and appearance integrity (splines tend to make their presence seen after the lacquer settles) to the break.   Concealed carbon fibre splines under the overlay can provide even more strength and stability to the break.

To me, this is the appropriate, modern repair technique to use for this recurrent break.

The Ebay neck referred to you in a previous post is counterfeit and poorly made at that and will remove any value left in a genuine instrument.  It is probably cheaper to buy a new or good used 335 guitar (this one isn't old)  than organize, obtain (good luck on that one)remove and install, refinish, fret level and crown and setup a new replacement neck.  

Also, professional repairers (those in a genuine business) should not use or install counterfeit parts (ie: that is, parts that deliberately are made to deceive by counterfeit branding or misrepresentation).  

I have attached some imagery of a <proof of concept> repair we did way back on a junk Edwards LP style - the repair was much stronger than the original neck (which was not difficult as it was made of crapwood).

I hope this helps yr decision making, Rusty.


Michael, since no one has said it yet I will. Speaking for myself, I will not 'fix' someone else's fix. I would never have let this one stay in my shop for longer than it too0k to get the info. Many of us learned this lesson the HARD way, me included. It just is not worth the effort expended.

 Just my opinion.

Thanks for the correction on the neck, and my apologies for misinformation propagation.


What is a good source for that carbon fiber for the headstock repair?

Special plunge router to make that 'dipped' groove for the carbon fiber?

Many thanks!


Hi Chris,

We source this graphite fibre commercially in bulk sheets from Sweden - it is poltruded .050 x sheet stock.    Your best retail outlet  would be :CST, The Composites Store,    16330 Harris road, Hgr #2, Tehchapi, CA 93561 USA.  Web address is   I haven't used them but they appear have the graphite in useable quantity and size -we machine our stuff from sheet.

The dipped groove is a con job - it's just a handheld Panasonic circular saw with a .050 thou kerf blade plunged to suit the depth available via the base plate and easy to setup and manoeuvre by hand. The .050 graphite stuff is sometimes hard to get from time to time and we alternate between .070 thou and a separate 070" x 5 or 6" blade (can't remember which size - whatever fits the Panasonic) chucked up in the portable.

Not for the faint hearted but pretty straightforward when you take yr time and do a couple of dry runs.   Beats the daylights out of trying to route stuff like that and conveniently arcs away at the ends to blend in with peghead angles. 

West system epoxy and a snug/sliding fit works well and you shape it by sanding not cutters (this poltruded stuff takes the edge off tungsten carbide in a heartbeat).  You must wear a proper industrial grade dust mask when sanding this stuff as it is right up there with asbestos in the problems it can cause if handled carelessly.

This is our own dirty little trade secret and it's been a great little moneymaker in time saved and difficult jobs carried out, it allows high class and high strength guaranteed work to be done quickly and makes what were previously uneconomical jobs possible.

Chris, If you are in the Australasian area give me a call and I'll send you some of this stuff to save you having to import a couple of meters of it. 



MANY thanks Rusty!  God Bless you!  I've been trying to locate this stuff for quite awhile!


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