Gibson headstock wreck

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
Greg Steil
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:54 pm

Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

Guidance please. Got a 57 LG-2 some time ago with a shoddy repair job running lengthwise. Combination of a dog, a spinning chair and gravity.....El Kabong time to fix again.. Cosmetically it is a wreck, but plays and sounds sweet. Rest of the guitar is chipped and dinged, not a museum piece. How far do I go? Re-glue, patch in wood, refinsh peghead? Are there decals available to regain logo? Glue it and go seems to be the path of least resistance.
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Greg Steil
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

quite happy the previous worker used Elmers white glue

Michael Jennings
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:54 pm

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Michael Jennings »

Can't say that is your "normal" headstock break!!

Hard to tell from the photos…but how good a fit are the two pieces?? Gaps? Missing pieces?

If it is a really good [close to perfect] fit I'd be inclined to carefully clean the old Elmer's off of the surfaces, hopefully without altering a "perfect fit" and go with hot hide glue.

If there are "gaps" or a not so good fit… you may need something with some gap filling capability… not a fan of epoxy for repairs but there you are..

Might also consider inlaying some "cross splines" in the back of the headstock for mechanical support.

As far as refinishing….. the front….? No one has ever offered to refinish my personal scars bangs and just general "mojo"… I wouldn't with the guitar either. Badge of honor…or at least geriatric resignation.

Good Luck
Mike

Greg Steil
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

here is a before shot of the front, plenty of gaps, actually thinking about trying some minor colored Epoxy fill on the small bits, and I too feel that cosmetics are not all that important in this case. The guitar itself has been rode hard and put away wet, and If I don't like how it looks, I can close my eyes right? It sounds great, and plays fine, and did until the "El Kabong" incident!
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Greg Steil
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

forgot to add that there was a bit of mis-alignment in the first repair such as it was, and that will be corrected. Fortunately all the glue came off real easy and the dry fit is pretty good.

Michael Jennings
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:54 pm

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Michael Jennings »

Good luck with it Greg. Maybe think about inlaying some "cross grain splines" in the back side. Or they may be completely unnecessary! Looks ain't everything, or for that matter, Anything…. when it comes to makin' music.

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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Barry Daniels »

A back strap and new top peghead veneer would go a long way for visual and strength benefits.
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Michael Jennings
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Michael Jennings »

Agreed Barry! I did that with a 19teens banjo with an "exploded headstock"… Worked out very well.

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Mark Swanson
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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan USA
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Mark Swanson »

I'd probably be inclined to give it a good solid glue up and then just touch it up as best I could and play it. It's worth the full-blown repair such as Barry mentions too but if the rest of the guitar is not in great shape it wouldn't matter as much to me.
  • Mark Swanson, guitarist, MIMForum Staff

David King
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by David King »

HHG + Bondo + black sharpie. Perhaps a bleach solution to get rid of any grime in the joint.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

" back strap and new top peghead veneer would go a long way for visual and strength benefits."
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Barry Daniels

That is what I would be inclined to do also. It is surprising how much strength a thin veneer front and back will add. I would fill the gaps and do the glue ups with West system epoxy.

Jason Rodgers
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Jason Rodgers »

Barry Daniels wrote:A back strap and new top peghead veneer would go a long way for visual and strength benefits.
Good idea, and this article from Frank Ford is what I'd use as a guide. Or a combination of the backstrap and some sort of filler on the face.
http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier ... erlay.html
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

Greg Steil
Posts: 158
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

well, here we go!
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Chris Vallillo
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Location: Illinois

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Chris Vallillo »

Greg, I remember this guitar and it IS a sweetie! So far it looks like you'r doin' just fine. I'll be sure to check it out next time I'm passing by.

Greg Steil
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

so far....waiting for the decal, then spray some clear, re-assemble and play
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Michael Jennings
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Michael Jennings »

Well Done!

Bob Francis
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Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Bob Francis »

Nice save!

Greg Steil
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:54 pm

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

Thanks!, ordered the decal from Croxguitars, will install and post a pic when I get it. It is a sweet guitar, and now I'm kinda glad it fell over. Gave me the impetus to fix it!

Greg Steil
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:54 pm

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Greg Steil »

Here is the decal, from croxguitars.com quite pleased. Now if I can just get a break from this constant lawn mowing and fighting machines!
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Todd Stock
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Gibson headstock wreck

Post by Todd Stock »

I don't think a back strap will be missed, given the amount of long grain. The missing stuff is an issue, but on Gibsons, usually no big deal because of the fiber or veneer painted headstock...back side is going to be a little less beautiful, but if the neck is dark, no big deal. The worst I've had to deal with have been 90 degree breaks at the nut in clear-finished curly maple...yours looks like it will be just fine. Nice job so far.

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