Broken headstock! What should I expect for repair cost?

Presc

Member
Messages
1,320
Unfortunately my Heritage 535 took a tumble over the weekend and ended up with the dreaded broken headstock.

It's actually still more or less playable - the E, A, and D strings are a bit floppy and buzzy. It's probably not too bad as far as breaks go, but wanted to get some insight as far as a) what a luthier actually does to repair this, and b) what ballpark cost would be.

I've always felt like once you head into a guitar shop for a repair, you're something of a captive customer, so like to have a sense of what a fair price is ahead of time. I live in NYC if anyone has a recommendation...

Also, should I take my strings off or leave the neck under tension?

Many thanks!

 
Last edited:

woof*

Member
Messages
7,689
Dan Lenz at Axe Haven in Denver is the best. No idea on cost, 2-300$ and you will never know it happened.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,982
Don't know about the cost, just wanted to say sorry, that has to hurt. 535s are awesome to say the least. Yours will still be awesome albeit a little scarred. Good luck.
 

Singin' Dave

Member
Messages
520
Going rate around here (Chicago) seems to be ~$200, depending on break. Yours looks pretty clean and should fix up pretty nice and be hardly noticable with a bit of overspray/done by a good luthier. There should be no shortage of them in NYC but I might look to Umanov first.
 

Auriemma

Member
Messages
627
Remove the tension from the strings to prevent further damage.

Find a good repairman and you would probably never see the crack.
 

Juan Tuthri

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,085
I bought a guitar with a very comparable crack and had it repaired by Mark Erlewine in Austin. Set me back $150 or so but that was just to repair it, if you want it to look like it never happened then the paint matching, filling, and sanding and what not is what will cost the most. You could always do the good old stinger style for pretty cheap if it matters that much to you.

Guitar is great now and I ended up with a $1200 guitar for roughly $550.
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,273
I'm in the same boat with a gibson LP Faded. Going to fix it myself with either Titebond I or White Gorilla Glue.
 

Peteyvee

Premium Platinum Member
Messages
56,052
Yeah all those Heritages break in the same place. It's defective workmanship and they know about it. I think Henry is ruining the company and the feds are just after him and Gibson for their own nefarious reasons*...oh wait, wrong thread. ;) Seriously, about $200 (around here) and it'll be good as new. Sorry it happened. Looks like a nice guitar...






* :sarcasm
 

DustyRhodesJr

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,892
I have fixed quite a few Gibsons and usually use epoxy,
but on that break I think you could use Titebond or even
CYA and be fine.

Good luck.
 

K.O.

Member
Messages
426
I have fixed quite a few Gibsons and usually use epoxy,
but on that break I think you could use Titebond or even
CYA and be fine.

Good luck.
http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Data/Materials/GlueTest/gluetest.html

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Data/Materials/gluechart.html

epoxy has the least shock resistance if reglue needed not a good glue...

Wood glue (PVA) creeps and fails at lower temps and once again if reglue needed not good...

HHG can be reglued very well...

I used wood glue when I was younger and it held for years though...

but HHG is best and IMO should be S.O.P.
 

Presc

Member
Messages
1,320
Thanks guys, appreciate all the help and kind words!

As I expected, sounds like with a break this clean, it won't be a huge repair task. Instead, it sounds like more of the cost relates to the extent I want it perfectly refinished etc. That's great to know going in.

It's a 12 year old guitar with some patina to the finish and mild wear, and I have no plans to sell it. So I don't really care what the fix looks like so long as it's a rock solid job from a functional perspective.

Also appreciate the recommendations - I live in Manhattan and don't have a car, so it would have to be in-city only.
 

Polyester

Member
Messages
950
Nice clean break, not worried about cosmetics: pick up some Titebond and clamps (either find clamps with plastic caps or you'll need some wood shims too) and do it yourself... it's really not that bad :)

Crank up the string tension to open the crack as much as you can stand, work some glue in there with something flat, loosen the strings, clamp down tight, wipe off the excess glue and don't touch it for a few days. Bam, done.

(though if you play outside in the heat perhaps take it to a luthier so they can hide-glue it)


 

Frenster

Put your Rock Face on!
Messages
1,291
I charge $85 to fix a break like that, another hundred if you want cosmetic repair as well. Relatively easy fix.
 




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