I am thinking about buying a project, it is a Fender Mustang Special that has been smashed. I have no back story for this one, but it looks like the previous owner used it as a sledgehammer. I have filled stripped out screw holes in necks before, but I have never come across damage this excessive. I was hoping you fellas might have some words of wisdom for a fix on this, or let me know if there is no hope. My initial thought would be to route channels and glue in maple filler strips, but I have concerns about the glue joint strength versus the string tension.

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Here is a picture of the whole guitar.


As for the neck, I'd plug the holes, then slice off the bottom of the heel and glue on a new piece of maple, trim to size, and redrill. It looks like the pocket is shattered too. Got a pic of that?

Thanks Robbie. I don't have any good pictures of the neck pocket, but the body is pretty trashed. If I buy the guitar I am considering gluing the body back together as an experiment, but if I pull the trigger on this one I think the end will result in the purchase of a replacement body.

You should note that this guitar has a 24" scale so a replacement body might be a challenge.

I like it.

If you plug the holes properly youll have no problem with the string tension. Your routing and filleting idea sounds very plausible - it can be difficult to get a good fitting plug unless you have a dedicated cutter for the size you need. Of course the same could be said for making a snug fillet.

Without seeing the body up close, it looks pretty saveable to me. I wouldnt do any finish repair though, just put things back together. Very Cobain-esque.

The wood at the back of the neck blew out because the holes where not drilled to provide clearance for the screws. After you repair it, you should size the neck holes so the screws have some space around them and do not bite into the neck holes at all. The screws should only bite and hold into the body or the neck may not pull down correctly. I always drill neck attachment holes out when doing a set-up on bolt on neck instruments if I find this condition.

It's the other way around, Paul

You need clearance on the holes through the body , but they do need to "bite into" the neck or they will not hold it on.

Oops! Thanks for catching that bit of bad advice Jeff. I should refrain from posting in the AM before the morning fog lifts. Yes, exactly the opposite of what I said.

This is probablly a "dumb boy" question by an acoustic guy but why aren't inserts and bolts used here instead of wood screws?

Time + more materials = more money

Any business, in the business of mass production is always looking for ways to shave pennies, which add up to dollars, when talking about hundreds or thousands of units produced.

They say there are no stupid questions Ned :). I dont think there would be any real advantage. Threaded inserts still thread into the wood the same as screws. So long as theyre installed properly screws are strong and trouble free. Inserts and bolts would make for an unnecessary extra step and expense. Unfortunately the vast majority of people who use screws for woodworking dont know the difference and just use em like theyre framing with 2x4s.
Btw Matt, how much is the seller asking for the guitar? Thats probably an important factor :P.


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