Epiphone EJ-300CE needs peghead repair - advice, please!

I've been putting this off for way too long, and I've finally decided to reattach the peghead to my wife's second favorite guitar.  (Unfortunately, her VERY favorite guitar, a Gibson Montana J-100, has a fractured peghead, but that's a project for another time).
Drunk people attending one of the bars we perform in backed into her Epiphone EJ-300, it did a face plant, and >>>SNAP<.  Pictures are below.
There are people on this forum that are FAR more experienced at this kind of thing that I am, so I need the mentoring help of everyone who's willing to contribute.  And as a newbie to this kind of work, I am at a disadvantage.
Here's my starting point, thanks to Frank (Ford) -
I have the "Friendly Plastic" ready to make the clamping cauls, and am ready, willing, and able to purchase whatever materials and tools required to do this repair so it's almost like new.
I don't want to do a sloppy job, I want this to be almost invisible when complete.  But this is a "consumer" guitar made in Korea, so the finish is poly.  The peghead has binding.  The peghead veneer is sheared into two pieces, and the veneer is probably plastic.  This will be a pain.
1.) I'm wondering if step one should be to glue the peghead back on, and worry about cosmetics afterwards (but I'm also wondering if I should remove the peghead veneer first, because if I use heat to remove it afterwards, the heat might loosen the glue I used for the repair).  If the veneer has to go, It's not a problem.  Although it would be nice to have the guitar look "stock", my wife and I are not "brand loyal" and never plan to resell, so I can use any kind of wood veneer I like and don't need a logo.  Especially Epiphone.
2.) I'm not sure what kind of glue I should use (Titebond, HHG, Fish Glue, Epoxy?).  I want the repair to last, and if I make a stupid mistake, I want to make sure I can "back out" and restart.
3.) Should I carefully remove the binding, or leave it on?
4.) What kind of "prep" should I do before gluing?
(And if I missed anything, PLEASE advise me!)
Thanks in advance for your help.
Tom Mitchell

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Refer to the spline repair post a couple of pages ago I gave 3 examples of 3 different headstock repairs and an explanation of how to do it. 

For that kind of break, I think a simple re-glue is really enough. I wouldn't use a spline repair technique.

Use flat clamping cauls on both face with wax paper, carefully align the crack and glue (my preference would be hide glue, but Titebond would probably do the trick too). Clean with hot water, glue back the two little pieces, clean again and you're done.

You can then, if you are skilled in that art, do some sanding and finish touch-up.

I agree with Pierre-Antoine, definitely no splines for this

If you have not used Hot Hide glue before, go with titebond original.

It looks like you are missing some of the Faceplate, after gluing it together I would probably use some epoxy with black pigment to fill in the spaces, they level it and  overspray with lacquer.

I agree with Pierre and Jeff.  It seems to be a rather straight forward repair and you have good gluing surfaces so "go for it".


The first guitar repair I ever did was similar to this. It was a harmony crown sovrign. I slapped glue on it (maybe elmers, i cant remember for sure) and clamped it with a pair of vice grips. It didn't look to good. But it did hold. I played it for years, and one night i gave it away (I think i might have been drunk). I'm sure its still playing. I wish i had it back, so i could clean it up. I  guess the point I am  trying to make is that glue does work ( I was an adult before i became convinced of that) It was a really nice little guitar. I shutter a little typing this, but i guess we all have to start somewhere.

ps. I don't allow vice grips in my shop ever


Tom scroll to the bottom of this link  I wasn't suggesting a spline repair, I was suggesting an alternative that addressed your post.

To everyone that disagreed with my suggestion, please read the suggestion before disagreeing with it.

Ok John , it would have been handy if you had put that link in your first post rather than expecting everyone to search for it.

This repair, IMHO does not require anything more than a simple glue repair. Anything else, splines or scooping out wood, is just making unnecessary finish repair.

You're right why would I expect someone to read past the words "spline repair" to the words "I gave 3 examples of 3 different headstock repairs"

Tom said "I don't want to do a sloppy job, I want this to be almost invisible when complete.  But this is a "consumer" guitar made in Korea, so the finish is poly.  The peghead has binding.  The peghead veneer is sheared into two pieces, and the veneer is probably plastic.  This will be a pain."

The picture below is an example of the repair he asked for, not what I think is good enough.

The advantage of HHg is it's initial cohesion;  it grabs real nice.  An angled break like this will creep when clamping.  If you use Tightbond, be sure it doesn't slip. Also, HHG cleans up easier than Tightbond.

John, It's not really clear what you are suggesting for the repair of the break.

For this orientation of break, there is no point in backstrapping or scooping out. It will provide no structural advantage and require an opaque overspray to hide it.

I would glue it up with HHG but unless the OP has used it before, he should stick with Titebond original

Sorry maybe I'm being cryptic, the break to the guitar in the photo was very similar to Toms guitar lots of gluing surface with a desire to have it look good after. 

After it was glued up ( I treat it like a scarf joint when I clamp it) I drew a curve across the headstock veneer above the crack with a coffee can as a template. I used a 1/2" chisel to remove the rest of the veneer from the curve to the nut and left the headstock binding in place. Sounds tedious but it took 30 min. I used 2 little pieces of bookmatched walnut left over from something, traced out the out line and fit the pieces to the outside and the top. When they fit the individually I trimmed out the middle of the 2 pieces until they fit perfectly.

I padded in shellac until I had an even surface and left it overnight.

The next day I rubbed it out with steel wool and paste wax buffed it with a rag put the hardware on, quick set up and it was done. It took 2 more hours than just gluing and clamping but I got paid well for it and the customer was thrilled. 

Putting new wood across a crack will always make the joint stronger. If the wood matches well or just looks better than an ugly crack with pieces missing an opaque overspray may not be needed.

Yes, Thats a nice way to repair the face without losing the logo.

It just appeared that you were suggesting more drastic treatment to the back.


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