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View Full Version : Cracked headstock help



kenikas
10-24-2009, 09:00 PM
I hope I'm putting this in the right board (if not please feel free to move to the luthiers board). This question technically isn't about any of my uke's, thank goodness they're all OK! But my Takamine guitar has a crack in the head stock that runs from the top through two of the tuners holes and I was hoping someone here could give me some recomendations on the best glue to use to repair. It seems most use Titebond for building ukes, but I also have some structural aircraft epoxy that we use for wing spars etc., increadably strong stuff. Any repair ideas are welcome, thanks in advance.

Brewerpaul
10-25-2009, 02:01 AM
Could you post a picture of the crack?
Is it just a hairline, or has it spread apart?

Sigmund
10-25-2009, 02:22 PM
Pictures would help a lot but Titebond or hide glue, if properly applied will form a bond tht is stronger than the original wood. The operative words here are "properly applied". Neither Titebond nor hide glue is good for filling gaps. If there is any wood missing it might be better to go with a product like epoxy that flows to fill gaps. If the crack fits tightly back together I would go with hide glue because it can be released with heat and water and removed later if you ever want to revisit the repair. Titebond is also good, although harder to remove if you ever want or need to. It's a lot easier to use, however, if you don't already own a glue pot and a lifetime supply of dry hide glue. Epoxy, on the other hand, is forever (and usually unnecessary). I only use it if the parts are already pretty well buggered up.

There is also another issue to consider. Is the crack causing any problems? If it goes right through the holes for the tuners then the head may be stabilized by the screws that hold the tuners on. This would fall under the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule.

eleuke
10-25-2009, 07:46 PM
Pictures would help a lot but Titebond or hide glue, if properly applied will form a bond tht is stronger than the original wood. The operative words here are "properly applied". Neither Titebond nor hide glue is good for filling gaps. If there is any wood missing it might be better to go with a product like epoxy that flows to fill gaps. If the crack fits tightly back together I would go with hide glue because it can be released with heat and water and removed later if you ever want to revisit the repair. Titebond is also good, although harder to remove if you ever want or need to. It's a lot easier to use, however, if you don't already own a glue pot and a lifetime supply of dry hide glue. Epoxy, on the other hand, is forever (and usually unnecessary). I only use it if the parts are already pretty well buggered up.

There is also another issue to consider. Is the crack causing any problems? If it goes right through the holes for the tuners then the head may be stabilized by the screws that hold the tuners on. This would fall under the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule.

:agree:

Sigmund offers sound advice on this one. If it hasn't come apart, leave it. If it has? Then see how the parts fit back together. If they fit back together well, like puzzle pieces, then go ahead and glue them. Hide glue is not for beginners. Use Titebond (red cap). I just did a repair on a classical guitar with the same problem, only the owner decided to glue the lost headstock part back on himself. Crunk! It took hours to clean out the holes for the rollers, and even then they still didn't work quite right. Anyway, listen to Sigmund first, then listen to me. Good luck!

kenikas
10-26-2009, 07:36 PM
:agree:

Sigmund offers sound advice on this one. If it hasn't come apart, leave it. If it has? Then see how the parts fit back together. If they fit back together well, like puzzle pieces, then go ahead and glue them. Hide glue is not for beginners. Use Titebond (red cap). I just did a repair on a classical guitar with the same problem, only the owner decided to glue the lost headstock part back on himself. Crunk! It took hours to clean out the holes for the rollers, and even then they still didn't work quite right. Anyway, listen to Sigmund first, then listen to me. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply's. I've tried to get a picture of the crack, but cant figure out how to post it here. The crack does go through the holes for the tuners, and thats how I noticed it, I was slacking the strings for G Wahine tuning and noticed a little movement. The crack is very clean and fits together very tightly, so I'll probably go with Titebond since I've never used hide glue. I think I'll try to use a fine needled syringe and sparingly put it into the crack keeping it away from the tuners. I was a bit conerned about getting glue to close to the tuners and gumming them up. Mahalo again.

Sigmund
10-27-2009, 01:37 AM
A glue syringe is a god idea, but I'd also remove the tuners and try to spread the crack just a bit to get the glue into the separation, Then put a clamp on it to hold it while it dries. That will get you a doog glue joint that should be stronger than the original wood.

erich@muttcrew.net
10-27-2009, 09:31 AM
I've tried to get a picture of the crack, but cant figure out how to post it here...

When you click Post Reply and enter your text there's a tool bar above the text box with a little icon of a mountain on it - click that and then just select the pic (on your computer).

Hope this helps,
Erich