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
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 ago.it 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.
My daughter has an Englehardt Student Model 3/4 bass that she purchased from her church for a $10 donation. It had the typical neck heel break from having been dropped.
I first repaired it in 2011. We removed the fingerboard with heat and steam so that I could avoid any holes and plugs in it if I had to dowel or bolt it together. This really wasn't necessary as a plug is not all that visible.
The upper portion of the neck came right out with a little wiggling. The remainder came out with some steam and a bit of persuasion.
Once I had the two pieces, I glued them with hide glue. Then I drilled and counter sunk vertically down through the heel for a 5/16" carriage bolt, the type with a round head. After assembly, the repair lasted for some 5 years of rough handling in and out of daughter's car to take to gigs.
A couple of years ago, the crack opened up and raised the action on the bass so that it became tough to play. The decision was then made to replace the neck. The Golihur company in New Jersey had an exact replacement neck of hard maple for $125 plus shipping which I thought was a reasonable price.
The new neck fit perfectly after a minimum of fitting and, once reassembled, the bass has been fine to this day, even with a lot of handling to and from Gigs and Church settings.
Certainly it's probably worthwhile to try to bolt or dowel the neck at first as we did. If it lasts, fine. Otherwise a new neck might be in the offing. I'll add some photos once I get the hang of it.
Here are some photos of the Englehardt repair. The first three are from the 2011 repair.
Here's the new neck in 2015.
Thanks for watching.