Hello all! Once again, I have a repair to pick the "collective" brain about. It is a crazy peghead split on a Martin HD28. I think it fell from a wall-hanger mount.

Hopefully, I can get pictures up.

What are your opinions about repairing this type of peghead split?

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I would first close the split through the middle of the headstock.

Prepare clamping cauls for the face plate and back of headstock, a void for the volute as mentioned. Thick plexi should be fine. Two cauls  for the sides of the headstock won't hurt either, or clamps with padded ends.

Heat the break and get your hide glue piping hot.

Use only c-clamps or fast-acting clamps where the clamping pressure is direct. Cam clamps tend to pull

I would alternate clamping, first drawing the split together top to bottom, then in from the sides. Carefully alternate and do not use too much pressure. If the headstock overlaps such as shown in the photos, even by the slightest, there will be gaps and the hide won't be happy.

This is not a drastic procedure but you do need to be cautious of the steps and understand the limitations of the materials you are working with; like hide not being much of a gap filler and it's "short" working time. I've used hide more or less exclusively for a long time and find its working time fine.

You can move on to the break at the nut afterwards, similarly making cauls and being cautious in your steps. Frank has working procedures for such a break on the list of amazing repairs he's generously shared with the world.

Best wishes,

Doc :-) 

Thanks Doc,

I am feeling what you are saying, and I think it, the best course of action! this instance.

Hopefully, I will have a successful outcome.?....!

Just be aware that if you choose to glue the break up in two stages that any squeeze out into the second stage break area may give you problems closing it up, so you'll need to address that. Youll also want to find a way to support the first part of the glue up appropriately, lest the weight of the clamps do further damage.

Yikes!....MORE things to consider.. ;-)

Good luck with it Rod. Just take your time and you'll be fine. Andrew has made a good point in being cautious of the added weight of clamps when choosing the two step repair approach. Just make sure things line up well; the pulling force is inward from the bridge and inward from the tuners on the headstock, so tuned up, the potential to creep will be an issue. Your first group of photos already showed the headstock folding over itself, depicting what the pulling tension of the strings want to do. The A, D, G, an B string on Martin's are pulling inward from the tuners, following the guide of the nut and anchoring position at pegs.

Best wishes,

Doc :-)

Hi Bloke,

Don't see that every day:

Titebond Original/50 due to the extended working time likely and some gap filling qualities. HHG has unnecessary risk for no particular gain in this schedule.

Glue it up, squeeze it uber tight as you won't get a starved joint here and the extra pressure will cosy up the fibres and minimise residual tension.    Machine it all flat front and back and then go with a replacement rosewood front plate (slighly thicker than normal to beef it up a bit).  Martin will send you a decal if you are a bona fide operation.  For the back nasty go with a standard mahogany veneer .032 or slightly thicker made to snug to the sides of the diamond and taper into the neck.  The edge of the diamond often has a slight shadow effect so with a bit of patience you should get a good fillet.

You could put some graphite or titanium re'o under the veneers but there is plenty of gluing area and a new peghead facing and back veneer will hold it all togther just fine.

Regards, Rusty.

Thanks, Rusty. Always willing to read of your comments.

What, exactly is Titebond Original/50. (not sure of the 50). I do not have any pretense of re-veneering the face and back of the headstock...(out of my expertise/skills and owners budget). I just want to make a solid repair with minimal mess and scars.

So far, I am leaning with Doc and his reccomendations as they are close to my instincts on this, concerning glue,cauls and clamping).

I am willing to consider Titebond....but how is cleanup and creep, that has been addressed by others?

I have the utmost respect for everyones views and reccomendations. I realize that it is up to me to do the job and succeed....or pass it on.

Simply, weighing the choices. Thanks!

OK, that's understood, Titebond Original has a commercial product which is simply known as TB 50 (as I recall), Clean up is dead simple - damp (not wet) brush and rag after the glue has gone off a bit. 

If you are not concerned with having it returned to original form by way of cosmetics and finishes you can do whatever you like - however the new faceplace and back veneer stipulated in my last are part of the repair and provide strength to the repair.  This is by any measures, a serious break. 

Creep is not an issue in this repair schedule but if it's a weak repair then all bets are off.


Excellent advice.  I also would not hesitate to use titebond on this.


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