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Hello.

I reglued a snapped off headstock with titebond recently. It was previously glued but appeared disjointed and i pulled it apart. It came apart nicely and fit back together like a hand-in-glove. But I do not think I cleaned it properly.

It was a break somewhat parallel with the nut - so I believe it could be considered an endgrain joint... It is a far-eastern-made  guitar and appears to be some type of lower-grade mahogany .

 

I strung it up to full tension yesterday and it popped right off in about 12 hours.

I would appreciate advice on 1) how to properly and completely remove any old glue from the wood and

2)how to properly reglue.

 

I saw a recent thread that mentioned end grain joining and polyurethane glue. Thanks.

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A picture would be very helpfull.
End grain will not make a strong glue joint, period!  We glue the peghead back in place and then remove  most of the wood around the joint and replace it with good wood and a non-end grain joint.  We do this by pushing the cracked area against the end of our stationary belt sander (hence our term "a scoop repair")  and then fit in a new piece of wood .  Often this will require two such scoops to effectively remove the end grain joint.  We then shape the wood to match the original neck and refinish.  As this repair is about 90% done on Gibson's it is not out of character to make the finish a "sunburst"  (i.e. dark at the repair and shading it off in both directions.  We have done this repair probably 100 or more times in the last 40 years and have never had one fail (not counting the one that got hot in a car trunk during august).  I like this repair because I find it easier to get a really tight glue joint this way than with the alternative spline joint.

As a follow up I have put some photos on my web site.  Look here:  http://www.hoffmanguitars.com/scoop%201.htm  .   The photos are thumbnails so if you click on the small image you will get a bigger version.  Hopefully they are self explanatory.  In many cases (including the one shown) we will do this from both sides of the neck and often a third one overlaying the first two,  The idea is to remove as much of the end grain break and replace it with a clean joint and clean wood.  Of course this is a very visible repair and we generally touch up to make it look better (but generally not so much as to completely hide it - don't want to deceive anyone. 

I use epoxy glue for this kind of repair.

 

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That looks like my break except mine is broken around the truss rod nut pocket, which leaves me

somewhat less wood surface for gluing...

Without a pic, it's hard to say exactly. I use a high pressure steaming unit to clearway old glue, etc. I like epoxy for this type break, *** the SLOWER the setting...the stronger! Never use the 5 min. crap! Sounds like a spline is needed, but as I said, without a picture....
For an end-grain, low-cost repair, I use epoxy (LMII) with perfect results. Even rough fitting ones!

Yep, I'd use epoxy too, in my case West Systems, but principally the main thing is to use an epoxy that sets slowly, no 5 min stuff as somebody already mentioned. Fabricate well-fitting cauls that press the joint together really well, apply the epoxy generously, DON'T over-clamp, and leave it alone for at least 24 Hours. After that, you should be good to go. A picture would be nice though, to be able to judge as to whether you'd be better off doing a spline repair, in that case you could concider using HHG, which is much nicer to work with, and much easier to clean up afterwards.Good luck with it.

 

Grahame

Thanks for the comments. I will post some pix later today.
I usually go with tight bond #1 and replace the head cap depending on the cost to the customer wants to spend .I either oil and wax, or shellac and a bit of nitro, this one was signed by RED Rocker Sammy H. I went with B Walnut to reinforce the head cap looks better than the original from the front I believe it is mostly now a wall hanger  .plays stays in tune I can turn these around in 24 hours and charge up to $160.xx good money maker $$$ I Make an average of $1k a month doing this repair
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I have no way to know why the original repair failed but the epoxy is the way to go now. Epoxy is often a better choice when there is not muck glue-able wood surface left, wood is missing or old glue residue is present. I like and use West System epoxy. I also get their colloidal silica to mix in with the epoxy. It is a thicken agent, keeps the stuff from dripping, helping with control and has better gap filling properties. I also like to add liquid tinting color to the epoxy, it helps disguise the line of the crack and is helpful when working on instruments with poly finishes or the like. I do as Chris suggests and use my neck steamer and blast off the old wood glue. This would work in your case because you know the glue used was Titebond. If epoxy or mystery glue was used you may have marginal results from this and need to pick the stuff out with dental tools and toothbrush sized wire brush, being careful to work with the grain direction. If you end up steaming, you'll need to set it aside for several days to completely dry before proceeding.


After it is glued back together then there are the finish challenges. If it's lacquer it would be not be to much trouble to fix. Poly or the like can be a real bugger to hide cooties. The tinted glue helps and clean up before the epoxy dries will help minimize sanding, a common cause of finish sand throughs ; - ) I'll over spray a headstock and doll that up but on the back of a neck with poly finishes I just smooth things up to the touch and leave well enough alone.

 

Pics of an Epiphone Les Paul Jr. with a previously repaired and failed head stock.

 

Looks Great is this also a new head cap Paul B

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