any ideas on the best way to approach this. At first I thought remove the complete neck, repair and reinstall. Now I’m leaning toward first gluing the cracked piece that is still attached, this piece is solid in the bass, then glue the neck back on that piece. 

The neck was off or broken before and some of the neck block is partially splintered off. The part that is still in the neck block is also attached with screws and plugged. I hate to take this off as it could turn into lots of work and more damage to repair. Not sure what glue was used before to attach the neck, it could be epoxy?

I many times use hot hide to glue such breaks, but I’m leaning more to epoxy or medium viscosity CA.

pictures attached. May need to add reinforcement, also, to this

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Hey, JB. I am inspired to reply to this, as I have been nursing along our old Kay for years, and glued a break similar, but less severe, about 20+ years was a simple single break and I glued it with Lepage polyurethane glue. Very carefully clamped and aligned. This has held perfectly all the years.  

The bass you are working on, yes, it’s a decision thing. To glue all that together would seem to be likely to work. Someone with a lot of epoxy experience might chime in here.  Worth trying, because otherwise, I would think you’re into a repair or replacement of that neck block, and then, restoring the neck heel, maybe even a new neck, or one salvaged from a parts instrument. A lot of work, depending on the owner’s willingness. 

Nice old bass with a lot of history it looks like!

In the photo of our bass, you can see that I wedged the f/b to get some angle after considerable repair to correct collapsing top etc. Hack, job, I know, but wife still plays old thing!


I'm assuming you've checked the neck block inside to make sure it's solid. If so, and it's still well attached, I think I'd consider, (traditionalists should quit reading at this point) running a dowel through the heel from front to back after the heel is glued up. Not a big one, but something to help counter any "rocking" forces on the neck.

The block seems to be solid although there are some splintered off pieces from where the neck was broken and removed before.

there are 2 screws going from the bottom portion of the heel into the neck block that would interfere with placing a dowel the full depth of the heel but there may be other options for reinforcement.


That's a big old tired doghouse!

 I think I'd take the screws out, jam the broken neck in place, potting it in a big load of thickened epoxy, taking time and trouble to line it up correctly.   Then I'd take out the screws and run in a bunch of thinner epoxy to shore up all the broken stuff down there - I wouldn't count on the integrity of the neck block.

Finally, I'd drill right through the fingerboard way down to near the bottom of the heel for a 5/8" diameter dowel, loosely fitted, again with epoxy.  A nice plug in the board would finish the job.

Some years ago I told my favorite violin restorer that I's be glad to take on the occasional school bass repair.  His comment:


"So you're into carpentry, eh?"

Thanks for all the ideas, I may blend them in with my own thought’s on how to proceed.



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