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small crack on headstock

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ziggy_Starbucks, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Hey there

    i just picked up a bass second hand and amongst other issues that i have had repaired it has a small crack in the headstock starting at g tuner headed in the direction of the body. the crack is smaller than a millimetre across about 2 centimetres long and quite deep so i'd like to repair it before it becomes an issue. could someone recommend me a glue that would be suited to this job. i plan to fill the split as much as possible with whatever i use and keep it clamped for however long is necessary and i suppose whatever i use for the repair will need to be strong enough to take the load of the g string given the position of the split.

    Thanks for your help
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    need pix for a good answer;

    if it's a clean split that would go back together tightly if clamped, then regular titebond wood glue should suffice. sometimes you might need to thin it a little with water to get it further down into the crack, but that might not be necessary.
  3. Mschiff


    Jul 22, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    i have a bass that had a crack repaired (sort of) with some sort of glue. still needs some wood filler or something. So....i'm looking forward to hearing what the powers that be have to say. mine is an old guild jetstar so i dont really wanna chuck it. the rest of it is great. help us TB!
  4. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    which is why this needs to be done right the first time!

    "sort of" fixed cracks become almost impossible to really fix, since new glue doesn't stick to old and you can never totally get the old glue out of there.
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  6. I can take a couple of pictures to post when i get home in a few hours. the split is clean and should go back together fine under pressure. in the meantime i found that the ad for the bass is still up for whatever reason so here's a picture from that ad. not the most ideal angle but it gives a better idea of the split than my description. You can see the split just to the left of the Buzz Feiten logo. the split only goes about halfway through the headstock and isn't visible at all from the front.

    <a href="http://s1298.beta.photobucket.com/user/Chris_Neylon/library/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1298.photobucket.com/albums/ag57/Chris_Neylon/Washburnheadstockfracture.jpeg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    When initiating the repair, the best thing you can do is leave the hardware in place and the strings tuned to pitch if possible provided the crack is accessible. The combined tension tends to widen / accentuate the fissure which, in turn, promotes the wicking of the diluted Titebond (as Walter suggested). I like to run the point of an Xacto bladed beforehand to clean out any debris which may be present. Once the crack is fully saturated, remove the strings and hardware immediately. 99% of the time, the wound will close upon itself, essentially "self-clamping". You'll still want to add an external clamp, though.

  8. thanks everyone for the quick response. this is all very helpful info. I'll probably have a go at it tonight post an update on my results.
  9. i did the fix on the weekend as per your instruction, except i had to remove the tuner first because the crack goes right up to it. i watered down the glue and applied it to the crack allowing it to soak in. i then clamped it and left it overnight. unfortunately due to the position of the split the clamp didn't hold the gap completely closed. So what i'm left with is a crack that's only about half the size but hasn't moved since saturday so my guess is it will hold. If in the future it expands again i may try to saw right through the area of the split and fix a strip of wood in place to fill it up.
  10. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009

    shoulda pointed out that the key step when gluing and clamping anything is a dry run first, so you can run into all the problems and solve them before any glue is involved.
  11. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hindsight is always 20/20. If the tuner had to be removed, I would have shimmed the crack open with an xacto blade tip or something of that nature.

    Walter is right. Clamping irregular surfaces is a PIA but do-able with common materials and some forethought. I would not obsess over it...dinking around with the repair at this point will just make things worse. Keep an eye for any decompensation. In the meantime, just play the &*#$ thing. It's not a Carl Thompson, for cryin' out loud.

  12. like i said before it will hold so i'm not going to touch it anymore. it's only aesthetic now so maybe down the line if i go to refinish the body i might try pretty it up. it's worth mentioning this thing has a lot of wear. anyway that will all have to wait as at the moment it's needed for playing with gigs and recording fast approaching. thanks again for you help as now i can play it without the concern that it will break right off.
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    we hope.

    wood glue has little gap-filling strength. still, it's not in a super high-stress area, so it will probably be OK.

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