Neck Break, yes or no ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by gitman, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. gitman

    gitman Member

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    Here is a question to the luthiers : on this photo I see a jagged line in the finish which to me indicates a repaired break or fissure - what do YOU make of it ? Thanks for taking the time !
    [​IMG]
     
  2. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Looks like finish crazing and a ding, but real hard to say.
     
  3. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change!

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    On a 5 piece maple neck I doubt it. Probably just a ding and some finish checking. The finish color behind the first few frets is a little odd though. If it was a headstock break and partial refinish I would be surprised.
     
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  4. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Supporting Member

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    I'm no luthier, but if it was me I'd try to find out whether that "stinger" paint job was common on that model from the factory. I remember reading that Gibson sometimes did that to hide things like mineral streaks, but repair people sometimes did the same thing to hide neck repairs. Definitely makes it harder to tell, though.
     
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  5. lendryesky

    lendryesky Member

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    Full disclosure: I'm not a repairman nor a luthier (if you consider them different). Usually Gibson headstock breaks don't happen horizontally like that (I've never seen an exception) (If I'm looking at what you are). They usually go diagonally from the nut area on each side. Like I said though, there could be an exception. If you aren't having tuning problems, I'd have nothing to worry about, and like others mentioned, looks like crazing in the finish.
     
  6. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    looks like checking to me
     
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    +1

    gibson maple necks aren't nearly so fragile.

    also, i think that kind of nice old, brittle finish checking would make any repaired break pretty obvious.
     
  8. gitman

    gitman Member

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    Thanks guys, helpful !
     
  9. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    Probably not on a laminated maple neck, and as Walter points out, with such an old and brittle finish any crack or repair would show.
    The black finish on the back of the peghead is common on vintage Gibson archtops, my '63 Barney Kessel has it, although it's a 1-piece mahogany neck. I believe the L5S had it too.
     
  10. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    That stinger makes me suspicious, but I don't know that I have good reason. You could always hit the area with a UV light and see if you spot any discrepancies. As for the unlikelihood of laminate necks breaking, as much as I love that idea, Firebirds had 5-piece necks and a reputation for breaking just as bad as any.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the key word is not "laminate" but "maple".

    'bird necks were still mahogany, and with huge angled headstocks.
     
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  12. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    Oops, that's on me. Thought the neck through was laminated maple.
     
  13. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

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    The most common cause of 60s reverse Firebird neck breaks was the banjo tuners resting on the botom of the case. By my count the necks are 9 piece laminate of mahogany with walnut.

    Regarding the op, close in hand inspection is what you need.
     
  14. gitman

    gitman Member

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    the owner insists that it's just finish crazing, takes my asking as a personal insult but won't supply a better photo so I'll stay away from that one....
     

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