Gibson lost his head(stock)

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Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:23 pm

Hello my friends, I got a new project in the shop. This client bought a great guitar in the US and when he arrived here on the airport he had a puzzle left…
How to attack this one. I got a plan but want to check it first with you guys just to make sure I have the right idea.
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image-2019-02-20b.jpg
image-2019-02-20.jpg
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:29 pm

Try to piece it back together one piece at a time. There will probably be a particular order of re-assembly that works best. This will be a difficult job and it may not work out in the end.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:36 pm

My idea is this: ( I hope I can sort of make it clear without drawing the thing out)

There are 2 pieces as shown on the picture that fit under the headstick plate. First I want to glue these 2 back. This will bring the plate and binding that are bended slichtly upward back to level again. These 2 pieces fit quite nicely in there. I will glue these in with HG.

Then I am going to saw most of it off again, making a cut from the first corner pretty much to where the headstock plate begins. This will give me a very low angle cut with lots of glue area. On the pic it is from the first bend in the binding to the right side where the headstock begins.

The neck I will cut from the beginning of the crack (body side) to exactly the beginning of the fretboard. I will have to work my way around the truss rod with chisels, producing a nice f;at and shallow glue are.

This gives me 2 very shallow cuts with lots of glueing surface. I then have to reconstruct the missing part of the neck from a piece of mahogany and glue this in. Creating the truss rod channel matching the old channel is another challenge here.

After this I will refinish with NC.

What do you guys think? Am I going down the right path?

Thanks for reacting, Mario
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:38 pm

and one more
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image-2019-02-20c.jpg
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:12 pm

There is missing wood? That throws a lot more doubt on the success of this repair.

The way that a lot of the break runs into the truss rod cavity also is a real concern. A new neck might be the best approach. You could cut off the top layer of the headstock and graft it onto a new neck.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby David King » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:24 pm

I would consider making a new neck and reusing the fingerboard and headstock veneer plate and binding and perhaps splicing in the section that includes the serial number.
The other option is to glue the pieces back together the best you can and then rout long slots for splines parallel to the grain that encompass the missing wood. Then apply fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin across the back of the headstock and part way down the back of the neck which would get fared into the neck shaft with Bondo or equivalent. The only lucky thing about this break is the black lacquer that will cover up a mountain of faults.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:47 am

Thank you guys for the input. I am first going to attempt the way I described. If this doesnt work I will do a new neck. Gibsons are the best guitars ever made for Luthiers :)
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:03 am

If most of the pieces are there I would determine the most logical sequence to fit and glue them back in place. I would use either super glue (for wicking into cracks too small for epoxy) or a slow set high strength epoxy. The epoxy would provide some gap filling where wood fibers might be missing . In order to fit parts that are shredded it is sometimes necessary to remove some fibers to get things to mesh properly. After the neck is reassembled I would use bondo to fair in any small area that is missing wood.
If carefully done a reasonably strong and good looking repair can be achieved.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:21 pm

What guitar model is it?
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby JC Whitney » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:33 pm

“Gibsons are the best guitars ever made for Luthiers” ... I think somewhere in the great beyond Leo Fender is chuckling and nodding his head in agreement.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:28 am

some update. Still hoping my method is going to work guys
Attachments
upl3.jpg
clamping like a man.
upl2.jpg
not the same mahogany but since allmost of all of this will disappear anyway i dont mind too much. It is just to full up a tiny cavity with proper wood instead of filling it later with other material
upl1.jpg
this is my new glue surface. Should work in theory. Nice to see the glue lines of the epoxy, quite good.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:33 am

It is some custom 355 Brian. The client bought it in the US and I guess he took it home without loosening the strings. In the airport the baggage handlers together with gravity probably did the rest...

This is one of those projects that financially are not very interesting but we all kind of love I guess.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:51 am

And some more progress. I still have good hope this works out. .
Attachments
upl8s.jpg
upl7s.jpg
upl6s.jpg
upl5s.jpg
upl4s.jpg
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:29 am

It's looking good, Mario.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:46 pm

Thanks Barry. Should work like this. and the original headstock can stay on. Do you see any problems I am forgetting about at this moment?
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:51 pm

Well, I would feel more comfortable making a mechanical interlock between the various pieces. This could be done with either carbon fiber strips (requiring the removal of the fretboard) or a backstrap, which would probably be more easily achieved in your situation. Are you familiar with backstraps?
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby David King » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:33 pm

The question with these repairs is always will it be strong enough the next time the guitar falls over? The Gibson neck design is fundamentally flawed and getting around those flaws is impossible without resorting to materials other than mahogany. Epoxy alone isn't going to cut it but even a small amount of CF or other high tensile filament cloth around the back of the joint could fix it for good. Wood splines work well as long as the spline wood is strong and glues well. It could be a mahogany look-a-like such as santos mahogany but since it's going under black lacquer African blackwood or one of the stronger ebonies would be good choices too.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:52 am

i am not familiar with backstraps. i assume its a reinforcement by applying a sheet or multiple sheets of carbon fiber? I do have carbon fiber since i have worked with it before on bikes.

I have done prior reinforcements with wooden inlays. Maybe that is the easiest way to follow here. On the other hand you can wonder when you do a repair like this if you have to make it better than it was before, probably best to have the client choose. In the end he has to pay.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:34 pm

No, a backstrap uses a layer of wood about 1/8" thick that lays on the back of the peghead (after thinning it down an equal amount) and is bent to extend up the neck several inches. The back of the neck is flattened to accept the veneer and it gets blended into the shape of the neck so that everything is smooth and the same shape as the original neck. The continuous grain of the backstrap provides the strength and ties everything together. Its not as hard to do as it may sound. Search this forum and maybe others to see examples. Some folks do this on new guitars too for strength and looks.

I've use to do splines for the reinforcement, but a backstrap is more elegant and possibly stronger.
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Re: Gibson lost his head(stock)

Postby Mario Kessels » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:34 pm

Created some space for the washer and the nut
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upl9.jpg
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