Friday, 12 December 2014

One way to mend a broken neck on a guitar.

This Takamine guitar has not only suffered a broken neck, this is the second time it has suffered this fate. The attached photos show the stages of repair to get the guitar back in full playing condition and hopefully never to  suffer from this fate again.

The surfaces of where the neck was broken have been cleaned, but not sanded or altered in any way. Aliphatic glue was applied to both surfaces and the head put back to as close to the original position as possible and the whole assembly was cramped with cauls to keep the head in position as the glue dried. 

Unfortunately it was not possible to align the head to the neck as it was when first made as the first repair was slightly off center. The original repair was not the problem. The grain of the neck wood was not parallel to the neck 
making that area susceptible to future breaking. As can be see from the photos, the head veneer was badly damaged by the two breaks and the misalignment of the original repair is shown by a light line on the side of the neck.

This photo shows the damage done to the side of the head when the neck broke. A suitable piece of mahogany will be inserted after the damaged edges have been cleaned.

The head veneer has been cut back below the break and a new, matched (as far as possible) section of rosewood veneer will be put in place to cover over the break. Before the new veneer is attached  two small stainless steel pins, 2 mm in diameter will be inserted from the tuner holes up through the re-glued break in the neck.

By inserting the pins through from the tuner holes their presence will be invisible after the repair is complete.

 Photo on the left shows the new veneer butted up against the remaining veneer. It was done this way to preserve the original head logo which was a transfer sitting on the surface. Photo on the right shows the new veneer trimmed to shape and darkened with stain to match the original colour. Note the tuner holes have also been opened up.

Before the new veneer could be lacquered, the grain on the new veneer had to be filled. Next, the lacquer on the new veneer was built up over several days, care had to be taken when sanding so as not to rub through onto the 
Takamine logo.  
At the same time the repaired area on the back of the neck was faired and sanded smooth. A rubdown with rosewood stain returned the original patina of the aged mahogany. After a 
suitable number of coats of lacquer on the back and after the lacquer had set, the lacquer was gently rubbed with steel wool to match the mat finish of the rest of the neck.

The front of the head was then given a couple of coats and left to dry. Bottom photo shows the completed repair, not an invisible one, but as good as could be done under the circumstances. The guitar is now ready to rock n roll.

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