Broken off headstock!

Lyndon rang to tell me that his favourite guitar had suffered a casualty- it had gently slid to the floor and when he picked it up- snapped headstock…

On Monday, Lyndon appeared at the workshop door with the patient and on close inspection, it was the ideal- if there can be such a thing- break in that the headstock had cleanly snapped right off and Lyndon had saved the major chip that had split off as well.

The technique was to remove the machine heads and then perform a “dry” fitting of the headstock back into its original position. When I was satisfied that it would go back exactly where it came from, glue was applied and the repair thoroughly clamped up.

This is what I want to see- glue  squeezing out all around the clamped join…

The glue was allowed to harden until Wednesday and on unclamping the repair, all looked promising.

Some filler was always going to be necessary…

…but the repair is the fainter line that’s visible at the site of the damage. The straight line is the headstock scarf joint.

The filler is sanded back until level…

…and reapplied where there are still gaps visible. The rescued chip is adjacent to the high “e” machine head hole.

When this guitar was made some 30 years ago, it was finished in nitrocellulose lacquer and this type of finish lends itself to just partially respraying the damaged areas.

I’ll let the new finish harden over the weekend and polish it on Monday…

Monday morning and before polishing, the repair is rubbed back using 1200 w&d paper…

…and then polished.

The guitar is re-assembled and restrung…

And the repair? Very hard to find…and we’re looking at unfinished wood as Lyndon removed the finish from the neck a lot of years ago…

So the moral of the story? Even a gentle drop onto carpet can snap a headstock. But if the unthinkable happens, gather up any wood that’s chipped out and it’s usually fixable…