Fixing large headstock chip??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Pat6969, Dec 4, 2017.


  1. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Member

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    Found an absolute killer deal on an American Tele but the one bad thing is a large headstock chip. Anybody have any ideas on how to repair this? I'm pretty good working with wood but I do have my limitations both skill wise and tool wise. If it's a fairly easy repair I might take it on. I've attached a pic that was sent to me.

     
  2. Ayrton

    Ayrton Member

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    Looks like the back is intact. Just match the grain best you can and glue in a patch. If you can run the seam along a grain line, should make for almost an invisible repair
     
  3. kev

    kev Member

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    does the seller still have the chip itself, or pieces of?

    Haven't seen the whole guitar, but you could fix and then consider a painted headstock if the patch is still too noticeable, but you have the end grain that would give that away anyway...so...maybe ditch that idea.

    I don't have any secrets by any means, but I've blown out my share of tuner holes where I still had the large remains. If the seller does have the chip or pieces of, it may be as straightforward as gluing the bits back together. Otherwise, I would suggest cleaning up the area (meaning straighten out the mating surfaces, rather than working at matching a new wood patch to that break...note this is different from matching the type of wood/grain orientation). From there you can blend in as best as possible, some really talented folks even hand paint the patch to match the existing noticeable grain patterns (overkill here, that would apply more to restoring vintage, at least in my book).
     
  4. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Supporting Member

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    I would cut a ledge that is nice and square to the missing chunk. Same direction as the grain line. Patch a piece in with little or no grain on it. The ledge will keep the repair from being seeing from the back. Proper matching of the clear coat, it should be pretty hard to spot.
     
  5. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Member

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    I actually have a donor Strat neck from a old Classic Vibe that I could to make the patch, I forgot I had it! Any tips on what to use to make the cuts? Ideally I'd like to use a band saw with a fine tooth blade but I don't have one, LOL!
     
  6. kev

    kev Member

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    Slap the whole Classic Vibe neck on the Tele and go Clapton vintage Blind Faith, done.

    next question... ( j/k )

    to your question of how to make the patch, now I'm outta my pay grade. Here's a way I've done before I had access to more refined methods:

    cut out a slightly oversized patch (suggest perhaps from the back of the Classic Vibe headstock/that way you can patch that headstock later if desired!) via hand tools, then square up the 'internal/glue surface' faces/rough shape the exterior curve of that patch with some sandpaper attached to a known dead flat surface (I have a scrap granite for this sorta sanding) before gluing onto the (now cleaned up and squared ledge) Tele headstock.

    Regarding the squaring up of the ledge, if you don't have one, I will suggest purchasing a trim router. Less money than a full blown router, and for jobs like this, a trim router is plenty of horsepower. Buy a new bit, practice on scrap wood first always (ask me how I know), lock that Tele headstock in a vise (w/ a straight edge guide of course for the trim router), and knock this outta the park.
     
  7. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Supporting Member

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    I don’t see this ending well, if you don’t have the tools or the skills. I would not cut up another neck for that tiny of a chunk. Go to your local wood store or shop and get a cutoff.
     
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  8. Pat6969

    Pat6969 Member

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    I've got skills. I'm not a master luthier or woodworker by any means but I'm pretty good with this kind of stuff. I've levelled, crowned and dressed the frets, sanded out all the tiny nicks on the back of the neck, oiled it, and now I'm ready for the headstock fix. I bought a coping saw that should work to "square off" the chipped portion. After that, I'll cut a piece of the donor neck (it's useless to me, almost garbaged it a couple months ago but kept it for some reason) slightly bigger than the missing portion, and slowly sand it until it fits perfect. Then I'll clamp it into position. Once it's set, I'll sand it and try and match the clear. I'll post a pic of the finished product if I don't F it up. LOL! Thanks for the tips guys!!
     

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