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Repairing a Neck

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Gandalph, Sep 13, 2002.


  1. I have a 1927 King Bass that I recently found, but there is a crack along the top of the heel of the neck following the grain, and as you tighten the strings it pulls away from the heel. My question(s) is what is the best glue to use to fix this kind of crack I have heard Hot hide glue in a very concentrated form is best. Another thought is 5 minute apoxy. there is a pin in the neck already there seems. I am open for any suggetions. Unfortunately I haven't found a good luthier in the State of South Dakota..Help
     
  2. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I had a King of a similar age with a similar crack and a screw holding it together. I traded it in on my current carved top bass, and watched my luthier work on it for resale. He made a tapered wooden pin to replace the screw and of course used hide glue to hold it all together.
     
  3. rablack

    rablack

    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    I'm not a luthier but read everything I can on the subject. Short answer - epoxy bad. If the neck ever needs replacing or adjusting your name will be cursed by the luthier attempting to work on the bass.
     
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I am a luthier and I disagree. This type of repair should be made with the strongest glue available. If the original repair was done with hide glue, that's what you need to use, as it will re-activate the old glue and it will all stick together. But, epoxy is not a problem in that spot (if it's a new break), as it will not be infiltrating any of the bass' joints. Because you're fixing a plywood, you'll probably need to install a heavy lag screw from the fingerboard side. First, drill or chisel out through the fingerboard, then install the screw, then cover over the head with an appropriate patch. It's not a repair you'd do on a valuable carved bass, but 99% of the time it will work fine on a ply with no change in tone.
     
  5. I would think that (even on a plywood) you should at least attempt to remove the fingerboard before resorting to drilling or chiselling through it. I realize that most times it is virtually impossible to remove the board, but don't you think it is worth a few extra minutes to attempt that first?
     
  6. Thank you for the thoughts. I was told that none of this would work and I need a neck graff and it would cost $3000. Well once I read the piece about the screw and the epoxy, then I think I will continue to keep working at it. I think I can get the frett board off. I am going to attempt that after I try hot hide glue, I just got it in, but if the epoxy is doesn't change tone then maybe I will go with it. :confused:
     
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Yes, Bob, I agree it's best to remove the fingerboard first. I presented my method for a layperson with little experience in repair, thinking he'd probably have an impossible time removing, then trueing-up and reattaching the fingerboard...
     
  8. Arnold,
    You're probably right about a lay person having trouble removing and reattaching the fingerboard, but I've had to replace so many fingerboards on basses that have had this repair done through the fingerboard that the very thought of it makes me cringe. I doubt if most lay persons can properly plug or otherwise permanently repair the fingerboard well enough that it won't end up in some luthier's shop in the future. I'm sure we both agree that the best solution would be to have a luthier do the work, but if that is not an option, I just wanted the questioner to be aware of another option.