Hi all.  I just purchased a 1976 Gibson Explorer that has seen better days.  On top of a bad repaint in zebra stripes, it also had a headstock break with a very amateur but functional headstock repair.   I'd like to strip the paint on the headstock (except the serial number) and give a proper fix to the break as well.  I have no idea what type of glue was used to repair the headstock and with the serial number being close to the break, I am worried about using heat to try and dissolve the glue and accidently damaging the serial number.

What are my options?


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you could also cut the serial # out of the old headstock and inlay it in the new neck/peghead. Or, like Eric suggests, scan it.

So where does the scarf as planned fit w/o interfering with the f/b?

I will need to remove the fretboard to do a proper scarf joint, but I do wonder how far down the neck should I make the scarf joint?

Thanks for all your replies guys.  Just what I wanted.  A lot of different ideas to help me figure this out.  Would never have even thought about a kit for adding the serial # back on.  Brilliant!

Like on a Jackson. About 1/4" shy of the second fret (1/4" closer to the headstock than 2nd fret). On Dan Erlewine's old headstock repair video, he saws off half a neck, leaving the fret board intact the whole time, replaces half the neck. Actually seemed like the fret board being intact helped.

I still wonder if the Charles Hoffman cove cut/cove inlay method could possibly work on this.

Was the headstock repair video something sold commercially? I'd like to see that. I've watched all the others 3-4 times.

Part of his VHS series shot in the mid 80's. I think the headstock one might be the one where the phone keeps ringing and it starts to piss off Dan. LOL !

I've watched them all too many times.

I'd cut at 15 degrees off the fretboard plane starting at the closest point I could to the fracture. I've always found removing the board to be the best method as you can concentrate all your efforts on the scarf joint that way, leaving the planing of the board surface for later.

 Jason, I was just on Ebay looking at 'guitar necks'. There was a direct replacement one for this guitar. Just so you know.

Thanks Kerry.  I actually just picked out some pieces of Mahogany today to make a new headstock.  Never done it before so it will be a good learning experience.

no pun intended but I'd scarf up that neck on Ebay.....

Was it a Gibson Explorer neck?  I saw a few Epiphone Explorer necks that were maple but no Mahogany one's.  

Epiphone neck. It will fit too, I'll bet. Then you can become good at doing that job instead of the neck repair. It is likely to be an easier job too!


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