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How deep is this crack

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GGman, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    I am looking at possibly buying a Gibson SG Standard bass with the original hardshell case, but it has a small (shallow?) crack (or scratch?) on the top side of the neck down about a 1/4", slanting up stopping about a 1/4" shy of the the nut. The length of this crack/scratch is maybe 1 1/4" long. The rest of the bass looks to be in very good condition. Maybe it's just a surface scratch. I thought it was just a scratch by looking at the closeup picture. The seller did say he thought is was more than a scratch. I wonder if it is a hairline or deeper. Who can really know for sure without possibly an Xray, even if that is possible. The bass is in the state too far from where I live so I can't easily look at it. My first thought was that it probably could be easily repaired with some good glue a clamp and a slight touch up of the original red cherry color 24 hours later.

    Is there a chance the crack could be deeper than the glue could reach and the crack could spread later on and cause more damage? I guess the thing on this repair job would be is how deep is this crack, and can the glue fix it? I have always heard that glued parts of wood became stronger than the original piece one piece of wood. Should I forget about it even though it is a very good price?
  2. jaybones

    jaybones Banned

    Mar 4, 2015
    Kelleys Island, Ohio
    Sounds like you're describing a split headstock. I've seen this in a fair amount of Gibson guitars and basses.

    Had a bandmate with a 1969 SG that had a repaired split, but that one had been professionally repaired before he bought it. It ran from the A string tuner hole up to the top of the headstock. We played together for a couple years, every weekend away from home for a couple years and it never got worse. He still has it, and as far as I know hasn't had to have anything else done to it.

    But, like you said, it might be that the glue won't be able to flow into the crack enough to make it strong and stop the split from getting worse.

    Could be the reason why "it is a very good price?"
  3. I wouldn't buy it without being prepared to repair a neck. It can be done by a qualified luthier but it's not cheap.
    It depends what a "very good price " means.
    mcnach likes this.
  4. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    A guitar tech said the same thing about Gibson guitars. The price was lowered after I asked for it to be lowered.
  5. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    I asked a pro tech and it was around $80 to 100. I probably will not buy it, but I am curious to learn more on it and see what people say here.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  6. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    crackscratch. I should have uploaded this pic earlier.
  7. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    best. thread. title. evah.
  8. Where the heck do you live? Is the luthier a friend and has he ever done this before? This is a crazy cheap price for a repaired neck that includes the finish work required.
    DeliriumTremens likes this.
  9. Definitely suspect to me... see how it follows the grain line? Without seeing it in person I can't make a call either way but I'd say to expect a repair.
  10. Wrong place for a headstock crack. There's no grain runout there, and grain runout is what makes these head stocks weak. That looks more like a scratch.

    If it's a crack, it's not due to the usual reasons. Especially as it's not following the grain lines.
  11. I would assume the crack is serious, to avoid disappointment later.

    A *well repaired* broken headstock will be probably stronger than it was before the break.
    There are tons of Les Pauls and SG basses out there with repaired headstocks. They are ok. So that would not put me off in principle... but I'd find someone who would be able to repair it first, and figure out what kind of money it's cost to fix it. Ask him for advice before you buy. If there's any doubt, I'd move on.
    If the combined cost of the guitar plus a headstock repair is no longer a great deal, then I'll still move on.
    Assume the worst, when it comes to cost. But don't be afraid of a repaired headstock: when it's done well, it'll be solid.
  12. that seems too cheap, with the amount of refinishing involved matching the existing finish etc...
    I would definitely go with someone who has done this before, not with the first cheap quote you get...
    shodan, blindrabbit and pcake like this.
  13. smithcreek

    smithcreek Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 18, 2015
    Westerly, RI
    Luthier/Owner, Christopher Bass Guitar and Smith Creek Mandolin
    Yes that's a crack, just not in the most typical spot. Might not be a difficult repair at all though, but I would not make a recommendation one way or the other without actually seeing it in person. The structural repair would probably be as simple as removing the strings and nut, gently bending the crack open a hair, drilling one or two 1/16 holes into the crack , injecting glue and clamping it back together. The refinish work depends on what the finish is.

    What does the other side of the neck look like? And yes, even though it's probably a simple repair $80 is on the cheap side. I would expect more in the $150 range if the finish is nitro and easy too repair.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    blindrabbit, bdplaid and GGman like this.
  14. Does the truss rod adjust properly? Wondering if the rod has anything to do with the crack?
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  15. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    I agree. But, would you think the repair would work and the crack would not spread further in the future?
  16. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    I can't tell you. The bass is for sale too fsr away for me to go see it. I only talked to the sales guy and his tech about it. and I only have that close pic and a few others. The rest of the bass appears to be okay.
  17. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    Thank you for all that good info. I assume the pther side is good since they only talked with me about this one crack and provided a picture of it before we even talked. I asked them about any more cracks and so on and they told me it was just this one we see in the pic I posted. I think the tech here at my local store was quoting only a repair and not the refinishing. He also did say he would have to see it and could not tell how bad it was from just seeing the pic.
  18. LT131


    Jan 25, 2015
    Deep South
    MoonChild2112 likes this.
  19. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    It does look like a stress crack and for s good price I would def buy it.

    You may be able to get the crack to open up when the weather is right if you apply pressure the correct direction, then you would inject tightbond or, what Id use in such a tight spot, a little needle applicator of water thin super glue.

    I've done a number of guktars and basses with this type of crack and wouldn't expect problems if it's at the right price but unseen you can never be 100% sure.

    Just don't buy it for more than you can part it out for. Then if your repair is good you're golden
    GGman likes this.
  20. GGman


    Oct 17, 2008
    Thanx for the good info. I feel they did not go low enough on the price considering that there are more of these basses for sale not too much higher in price. I am going to pass on this bass. Hopefully someone else will find the info in this thread useful in their purchases.
    Ellery likes this.