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Looking for some advice on this neck crack repair

m-m-m

Member
Messages
688
This is an epiphone alleycat from 2000 or so. The neck has been in this condition for about 7 years or so. The strings have been kept loose to prevent any further damage and it has stayed in it's case.

I've yet to do a ton of focused research yet.If I had to guess (based on what I've read in the past), I'd assume this repair would be simply a matter of using multiple treatments of ultra thin CA, or possibly even injecting it into the crack(s) allowing it to slowly build up and then sanding the neck smooth. Appearance is not a concern - simply stability.

This is one of my friends guitars, and he has been content to let it sit for all this time. We were quoted $100 for the repair from a local luthier (after I showed him these pix) … but I'm not sure if that involves fully breaking the neck and reattaching the 2 pieces. As far as i can tell, the cracks never met the fingerboard and the binding also looks fine.









I've had some recent success with using CA, so I'm starting to think that maybe it's time to give it a shot. Although I'd be more than happy not to charge my friend for labor, he says that he'd rather pay for the supplies I need so I can perform the repair. Of course, I'd double check with him and make sure he understands that there are no guarantees here. I think I'd learn a lot and it'd be another feather in my "tech" cap.

How would you proceed? Do you think it'd be necessary to strip all the chipped poly and then refinish? Sanding smooth a CA crack repair sounds doable but refinishing a neck on a semi-hollow guitar sounds a bit out of my league at the moment. Is this kind of crack a bad place for me to start?



EDIT: If this is the kind of thing that involves making splines, then I'll have to pass …
 
Last edited:

set-up-blues

Member
Messages
47
Try removing the strings and carefully, with perhaps a thin chisel or similar tool,spread the crack and try a nice amount of the CA. Have something ready for the ooze and have a clamp ready to bring it together. If you are very quick, you can wipe off most of the overage, quickly wet sand and rub out afterward. There should be not need for splints, but, should you go that way,there really isn't much wood there for the procedure. I've done it to a
Korean Epi Les Paul with success.
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,277
I would use Titebond II or LMI Luthier Makers Glue. CA is going to be harder to clean up and too short of working time. Thin it with water try injecting into the cracks with them slightly spread. Syringes are available from Luthier Supply Vendors online. Clean up with damp sponge and tightly clamp with cauls to keep from marring.

The neck looks like it has had a previous repair.

$100 for a luthier to fix that crack is worth it! That isn't as easy to fix as a clean break that you can glue up easier.
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,005
++ on Titebond, Elmers Carpenter's yellow glue or LMI white glue. They will bond better to wood & are a whole lot easier to work with & clean up than CA. You can get syringes to use from a farm supply store or a drug store.
That may not be an easy fix. The trick will be getting glue well into the crack. If you just get the surface & it dries, you've only made it harder. If the crack won't flex open enough to get some glue in there I would pay a pro.
 

m-m-m

Member
Messages
688
The neck looks like it has had a previous repair.

$100 for a luthier to fix that crack is worth it! That isn't as easy to fix as a clean break that you can glue up easier.
I don't know if you're referring to the discoloration below the break but that has been there since the day it was bought new from Chicago Music Exchange. I assumed that the neck was simply made out of 2 pieces of wood to accommodate the angled back headstock. Many guitars I've seen are that way but the joint is much closer to the headstock. I can think of a few reasons why the joint may have been moved (less vulnerable spot/may have been more cost effective), but it's a Korean guitar so I doubt that it would've been repaired like that before it was sold new.

Yeah, I'm on the fence - on the one hand this would be a good learning experience and a chance to save a friend some money, but you're right - it does seem to be a pretty complex break. Hmmm - any other thoughts com anyone?
 

B. Howard

Member
Messages
1,211
CA would be a bad choice, you could lock up the truss rod that way. As pointed out this is not a simple break. $100 sounds right for a structural repair, Fixing the finish is a whole other matter. These Epi's have a really thick poly finish which could start to flake and peel with time and play if it is not addressed. You can see how badly the finish shattered around the break in the one pic. Not to be discouraging but this should most likely not be your first head break repair. Done badly it will very difficult if not impossible to re-repair.

P.S. that is not a previous repair, that is the scarf joint. It is how the neck was made.
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,277
Titebond Original, not 2. 2 has no place in guitars.
I stand corrected Type I white. Non-creep glue. I get confused easy with Titebond that is why I chose LMI for mine. It is formulated for instruments.
 




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