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Broken Headstock Maintenance

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by wisconsindead, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Hello craftsmen. I picked up a 1967 guild starfire with a broken headstock. It was broken some 20 years ago and has remained, for the most part, stable throughout this period. Definitely not fixed by a professional. Likely just some glue and clamps.

    However some old glue has been flaking out near the E string tuner. This is not the most structurally important part of the headstock (not where the major break is) and it doesn't seem to be growing at an alarming rate (or at all?). I believe it happened predominately due to having already been a bit loose and the climate shift (change in location)/string changing. Its been looked at by a Guild luthier and he basically said if its been stable this long it will probably remain so. And at the value of the bass, its a rather costly fix.

    Thus I am curious as to the best way to maintain the break. I assume adding some glue and light clamping should help maintain strength. (Ideally I hope to never have to fully repair or replace the headstock, but we'll see how it evolves).

    So would adding some glue in the open area be a good idea?

    Should I remove some of the adjacent glue which likely isnt holding much?

    Would it make future repair much more difficult?

    Would repairing this break even be possible/Would the ultimate fix be a total replacement down the road?



    (And sorry if this should be in repair! I figured the luthier section would get more hits and better advice)

    Attached Files:

  2. More...

    You can kind of see in the second image where glue used to be.

    Attached Files:

  3. Hi.

    Having done dozens of such repairs and some re-repairs:


    Unless it's hot hide glue and You can re-melt the old glue.

    Makes no difference, You can't get it all out.

    Yes, much more difficult.

    Re-repairs are always a total PITA and often require either a portion of the HS to be replaced, or entirely new HS.

    Often a new HS is the most cost efficient method.

    IME anyway.

    Even though headstock repairs are among the most common one piece mahogany neck repairs, and usually are very easy and straight forward jobs, Your example is the reason why advanced hobyists and professionals always advice to left that kind of repars to a professional if the instrument is valuable.

    Plenty of cheap instruments with broken headstocks out tere to practise on.

  4. Thanks Sam.