I reglued a snapped off headstock with titebond recently. It was previously glued but appeared disjointed and i pulled it apart. It came apart nicely and fit back together like a hand-in-glove. But I do not think I cleaned it properly.

It was a break somewhat parallel with the nut - so I believe it could be considered an endgrain joint... It is a far-eastern-made  guitar and appears to be some type of lower-grade mahogany .


I strung it up to full tension yesterday and it popped right off in about 12 hours.

I would appreciate advice on 1) how to properly and completely remove any old glue from the wood and

2)how to properly reglue.


I saw a recent thread that mentioned end grain joining and polyurethane glue. Thanks.

Views: 2552

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

OK, seven year old thread but i have to ask; why does this epi les paul electric have phosphor bronze acoustic strings on it?

For gluing a headstock break I wouldn't use either titebond or epoxy,as they will creep if the guitar gets hot. Hot hide glue would be my glue of choice, as heat does not effect it.

You also can not glue end grain and expect it to hold, you'd have to use Charlie Hoffman's advise to make sure it stays together.



Thanks Frank, the face plate has not been replaced. It has been over sprayed though after some spot filling, sanding and a bit of air brush work. No over spray was done on the back or neck.


I agree with you Jim that hide glue won't creep if it gets hot and other choices might. For a clean break that has not been previously glued, I would go for the hot hide glue. If you need to add new wood in a freshly prepared joint, yes. The hide glue requires a prefect fit to bond properly though. Once it's been glued with anything but hide glue, you have to steam or mechanically remove the glue for best fit. Epoxy has worked well for me for me when the joint is compromised, and if is missing wood, even more reason to reach for it. If a car gets hot enough to make the headstock creep, there will surely be more than the neck repair  to worry about.


Charlie, what do you use to glue the headstock back on before doing your scoop repair? It's got to be stuck on  pretty good to lay on your sander and hold together when your doing this I would think. Kind of a slick way to remove, then add wood in stead of a spline. How you you fit you fill plugs?

We use titebond to hold it together while we do the scoops.  Remember, the scoop is done by sanding and is not all that stressful.  One thing to keep in mind - this is a repair for a very extreme situation - I would guess we use it for one in a hundred broken headstocks.  Frank has shown a repair where he removes part of the back of the peghead up into the neck and then puts a piece of wood (I think it is called a backstrap) over it.  This looks good to me but has the disadvantage, at least on Gibsons, of removing the serial # and for older instruments this is less than ideal. I do not claim that my repair is ideal either - but I have found no other repair where the only exposed wood is end grain (i.e. the first photo on my photo page)  In my experience about 90% of the times we do this procedure it is on a  Gibson.  The "plugs" (I really can't think of a better term) are shaped on a disc sander.  Fitting this plug is the most time consuming part of the repair because it has to fit perfectly.  One technique that works well is that after the plug gets close we hold a bright light behind the neck/plug to check for any gaps.
Charlie, this is a partial backstrap we use from time to time - it allows us to keep the serial numbers.  Also a full 'cheapie' backstrap. Rusty

Hi Russell.   Sorry for picking up on an old thread but is the partial backstrap laminated? Dave

Hi Dave, yes it’s 3 or 4 layers of our own machined veneer which is bent with steam/heat and glued with titebond, you could use epoxy (West System or similar quality) but with this amount of surface area and relatively low stress it’s not necessary.  The epi repair was a cheap one to save  a guitar which a client had become attached to ( from memory) .  I’m out of town right now but if you want additional imagery of higher level repairs say so here and I’ll put a albumi together when I get to my PC.

Thanks Russell, that would be great. 

Another question if you wouldn't mind.  I have 1.5mm maple veneer to hand that is used for making skateboards.  Would that be be suitable to use on a mahogany neck (solid colour) or would you envisage problems with different woods?  D

Hi Dave,

Yes I would anticipate problems with maple to mahogany and to me they are manifold.  Different  shrinkage rates over time will promote witness lines, and Maple has a different glue uptake and squeeze out when put under pressure in the glue-up.  That is;  I use high pressure to glue mahogany which promotes a higher mechanical factor of the bond relative to the molecular bonding which in turn limits any creep.  High pressure on maple may well starve the joint with excessive squeeze out  and the separation of maple scarf joints is relatively common when stressed.   Also I find it relatively easy to locally bend mahogany with a boiling water bath and a heat gun (for small jobs like conformal headstock laminates).  Note, we "fit" our laminates so they glue up without any stress - not a big thing but every little bit helps in marginal or small patches.

Hope that helps - if you dont have access to thick laminates just use twice as many standard 1/32" veneers which tend to follow the lumps and bumps better anyway.

Regards, Rusty.  

Thanks Rusty - that's great advice.   I can sleep well now :)


Thanks for the information. I used Titebond, but am unsure of what the original repaiman used. Looks a bit like

contact cement. I am considering using lacquer thinner to clean the joint of the old glues. The guitar is not worth putting much money into. Its a chinese-made regal tricone.

I think I will try epoxy but would prefer not to buy a large quantity. Can someone suggest a brand and source for a small

kit? Thanks.


The WestSystem 101 kits are just the ticket. If you buy the larger quantities in the handy pump cans, though, you'll be surprised how many uses you can find for the stuff!


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service