collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

I work too hard, baby, that's why I look so beat. I strain every nerve in my attainments, tryin' to make my poor ends meet - Gabriel Brown, Got No Money Blues

Author Topic: I broke my guitar :(  (Read 2152 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
I broke my guitar :(
« on: March 19, 2014, 07:08:36 AM »
Feeling pretty stupid right now... I set it against a wall while I got up to answer the door.  It somehow fell forward onto the strings and snapped the headstock.
I'm really glad this was not my Martin but am still upset.  I like this guitar a lot but have no idea if getting it fixed is going to cost more than it's worth.  Could anyone please give a guess at what this is going to cost me?  I've never had to visit a luthier before and am not sure there is even any around here!
Share my pain - pics attached :



Offline bnemerov

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 08:03:13 AM »
Sorry to see this Laura.
From the pics, I'd say you can easily repair this yourself. Since the break didn't go all the way through the headstock, you can remove the strings; gently open the crack just a bit (being careful not to make it worse) and work some hide glue or carpenters glue (NOT epoxy) in as far up as possible with thin palette knife (not really a knife---a rounded-blade metal tool artists use).
Put a C-clamp on it with some padding on the clamp faces to protect the guitar finish...clean up the squeezed-out glue with a damp cloth before it dries. Let sit for a day or two.
Cosmetically, it won't be an invisible repair as a luthier might achieve. But it won't cost much either.

best,
bruce
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 08:07:10 AM by bnemerov »

Offline Pan

  • Member
  • Posts: 1900
  • Howdy!
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 08:35:23 AM »
Sorry to hear about your guitar. Just to add on Bruce's excellent advice, I wouldn't think that repairing this by a Luthier should be terribly expensive. Perhaps it's worth asking anyway, if you hesitate working on it yourself. With Bruce's advice you should be able to get the guitar playable quite easily, though.

Good luck, whatever you choose to do.

Pan

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 08:41:19 AM »
Hi Bruce, thanks for the reply.  You've reassured me a little in that it won't be too difficult to repair.  However.  I don't have a clamp, or glue, or a palette knife and I've never fixed anything before  ::) I suppose there is a first time for everything though...
I've emailed a luthier who is about 2 hours drive from me - I'm waiting to see if he'll give me a quote but with the drive and repair costs - it might be time to get handy and hope for the best!

edit: Thanks for the support at this difficult time, Pan :) Really though, it was so clumsy of me - I hope it doesn't cost too much!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 08:42:30 AM by Laura »

Offline Parlor Picker

  • Member
  • Posts: 1624
  • Aloha
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 09:11:49 AM »
Really felt for you, Laura.

I know it's closing the stable-door after the horse has bolted, but I would advise getting a cheap guitar stand which you place the guitar on whenever not in use. Then again, I seem to remember you have a small child, so do be careful where guitars are concerned in that respect as well (I used to leave mine out, but after my grandson put a ding in it, I got into the habit of putting it back in the case - which inevitably means you don't play as much...)

Where are you based now? Maybe a fellow-Weenie can recommend a luthier. However, Bruce's advice seems sound and doing the repair yourself might be a viable option.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline Slack

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8823
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 09:37:46 AM »
Hi Laura,

That is a lucky break - and Bruce's advice is excellent.  buying a clamp, glue, and thin putty knife is pretty cheap - but then your luthier friend might not chard much for it either.  Good luck!

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2677
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 09:48:45 AM »
Hi Laura:

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. However, it's not as bad as you might think. What you now have is a modified scarf joint waiting to be glued and clamped--and believe it or not, it is actually used on guitars where the neck meets the headstock. For example:

http://www.petermalinoskiart.com/info_pages/page_how_to_neck.htm

And as it's a common repair, there's quite a bit of info on the web. Search "repair broken guitar neck headstock" and the variants. Here are a couple:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-repair-a-broken-guitar-neck-headstock/

The following are FYI--for informational purposes. I would do things differently--but they will give you an idea of how it's done on one where the headstock is completely snapped off.





I've seen these breaks repaired so that you can hardly see the glue line, so don't worry. And I've fixed things over the years with the same kind of break.

A couple of tips: Use the right kind of glue. (But don't use too much.) Basic wood glue should work just fine. (Not the stuff the guy in the video uses.) I don't know what's available where you are (you're in the U.K., IIRC), but I would probably go with the original Titebond (not Titebond II or III). I have a couple of shop projects that I built 50+ years ago with basic wood glue that have never come apart, so the enhanced versions aren't necessary. Older instruments were built with hide glue or wood glue and have never come apart either. Newer, hi-tech stuff isn't necessarily better.

To work the glue all the way down in the joint, have someone hold the guitar upside down so gravity can work for you. Use a small brush (like a flux brush for soldering available at hardware stores) for around the edges as far as it will go, but don't force it in. With the guitar upside down, use a piece of thread to work the glue down to the bottom of the break, in the way that you  use dental floss on your teeth.

Make sure that everything lines up exactly  before you clamp--And don't over clamp. This is where experience comes in. You need enough pressure, but not too much. Someone with woodworking skills and enough experience to have the "right touch" would be the person to call on.

If you decide to have it done by a pro, it shouldn't be too expensive as all-in-all, it's about a half hour job, if that.

Best of luck.

Stuart
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 10:04:37 AM by Stuart »

Offline Gumbo

  • Member
  • Posts: 873
  • So Papa climbed up on top of the house
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 10:36:17 AM »
but then your luthier friend might not chard much for it either.

Lettuce hope not! :D

Good luck, Laura. Ain;t hope a wonderful thing! I have an old yamaha that fell off the roof of a bus in india, cracking the veneer, and I always smile to see that it survived:)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 10:37:21 AM by Gumbo »

Offline Prof Scratchy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1637
  • Howdy!
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 11:16:04 AM »
Laura, I'm not lending you my Ming Dynasty vase anytime soon.

Sent from my HUAWEI MT1-U06 using Tapatalk


Offline funkapus

  • Member
  • Posts: 42
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 11:20:19 AM »
On a related note, it's my understanding that most hardshell cases -- even Caltons and expensive flight cases -- are still not very good at protecting against these whiplash breaks that come from the guitar/case falling forward or backward.  So if you're shipping or travelling with a guitar, even if you have a very sturdy case, it's worth considering making an effort to cushion the neck and headstock both from above and below to prevent breaks of the type Laura suffered (sorry Laura, that really sucks).

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/GenMaint/Packing/packing1.html

« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 11:24:43 AM by funkapus »

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2014, 07:42:01 AM »
Thanks everyone for the encouragement.  I decided to give it a go myself... The wood had contracted quite a bit by this morning when I took it out of the case and removed the strings, as you can see in the first two pictures.  I couldn't get the palette knife into the crack so cut some flexible plastic from a food tray and used that to ease the glue in.  Got more in with the little paint brush.  I'm hoping enough actually went in (and stayed in) a lot oozed out when I clamped it.  Guess I will wait a couple of days, put some strings on and hope for the best.  Here is a whole bunch of giant photos.







Offline Slack

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8823
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2014, 07:48:48 AM »
Good work Laura, that will probably do it.  What kind of glue? out of curiosity...

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2014, 07:56:17 AM »

Offline Slack

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8823
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2014, 08:17:21 AM »
Hehe,  Nah, it is perfect.  I was just curious to see a UK wood glue. 

Offline Norfolk Slim

  • Member
  • Posts: 983
    • Moonshine - Available at Bandcamp now...
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2014, 08:27:33 AM »
You must lead an exciting life Slack!

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2014, 08:30:46 AM »
Well, possibly even rarer - this is Irish wood glue!

Offline Slack

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8823
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2014, 08:39:09 AM »
You must lead an exciting life Slack!

Ha!  Just a long time woodworker.

Yes Laura, Irish glue - even better! ;)

Offline Norfolk Slim

  • Member
  • Posts: 983
    • Moonshine - Available at Bandcamp now...
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2014, 09:01:52 AM »
I used the same stuff making cigar box guitars so its a UK glue as well :-)

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10912
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2014, 09:28:58 AM »
Good on you for having the fortitude to have a go at fixing your guitar yourself, Laura.  I'm sorry it was necessary and hope that all pans out for the good.  I realize I'm preaching to the choir at this point, but whenever I see students lean their guitars vertically while doing something else, I always ask them not to do that.  I'd always set it flat on the floor--you may step on it, but at least it can't fall over.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2677
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2014, 09:52:04 AM »
I'm sure that it will work just fine, Laura. Given the nature of the break, it shouldn't affect the playability.

In addition to floor stands and keeping it in the case, you can always hang it on the wall--just don't shake it and break it first--you've already had enough of that.  :P

Offline frailer24

  • Member
  • Posts: 337
  • Good Mornin', Judge
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2014, 08:01:53 PM »
As an amateur luthier, I can say that these breaks are probably the easiest to repair well. As long as you have a good gluing surface like that, it should hold up well. Best wishes!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Mr.OMuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 2605
    • MuckOVision
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2014, 08:10:13 AM »
Good going there Laura. Don't feel bad, no guitar player gets away unscathed! As far as cracked headstocks from whiplash in the case goes...SOCKS! Hey you probably need a few pairs wherever you're going, I've found balled up socks under around and on top of the headstock works wonders. I've had plenty of cracks from flying my guitars but never a cracked headstock. Just out of curiosity, what kind of guitar is it?
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2014, 10:24:25 AM »
Thanks again, all.  I'm going to leave it clamped a few more days then re-string.  I suppose that will be the test - if it's gonna snap it'll happen then.
I am going to buy a stand for sure.  I used to have a couple of those Hercules hanger things and they were great - never had an excuse to leave a guitar lying around.  My current landlord doesn't want me drilling his walls though - and who can blame him!
Phil, this is the Tanglewood.  Would you like to buy it? -very cheap :P  I have my eye on something right now...

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2677
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2014, 03:32:26 PM »
This came in today with my daily Stew-Mac e-mail advert:

http://www.stewmac.com/npa/7012?utm_source=NPA&utm_medium=email&utm_content=hero_learnmoregrph&utm_campaign=NPA_7012_C_20140328

As an FYI--I've never used the stuff.

Offline bnemerov

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2014, 01:08:40 PM »
Hi Laura,

That Irish glue ain't gonna get any drier....strung up the guitar yet?

best,
bruce

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2014, 01:14:55 PM »
Ohhh!!! Sorry, Bruce. forgot to update :)

It's GREAT! I put some strings on it on Friday. Was a little nervous stringing it up but it went smoothly, nothing snapped, no bits came off.
I let it settle then the next morning went straight at it with fingerpicks and a mean Gary Davis tune and it was completely fine.  I am very happy.

Offline bnemerov

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2014, 01:16:58 PM »
Way to go, kid!
We all knew you could do it.
b

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2014, 01:20:24 PM »
Thanks :) Really, I wouldn't have even considered trying to fix it myself.  WC once again proves a fantastic resource!  I just hope I don't need to use Stuarts "De-glue goo" anytime soon...

Offline Slack

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8823
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2014, 02:09:01 PM »
Congrats Laura!  Nothing more satisfying than a little do-it-yourself repair!

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2677
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2014, 04:03:49 PM »
Glad to hear that the repair worked. The link to Stew-Mac was nothing more than an FYI--no subtext intended. I hadn't seen it mentioned associated with guitar repair before, so when the blurb came in, I figured that this was as good a thread as any to post to.

Offline frailer24

  • Member
  • Posts: 337
  • Good Mornin', Judge
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2014, 08:36:22 AM »
I have repaired breaks like that at least 100 times, and it's always nerve-wracking at the first stringup. Glad it worked!
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10912
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2014, 08:59:45 AM »
Congratulations on getting your guitar back in good playing condition, Laura!
All best,
Johnm

Offline harriet

  • Member
  • Posts: 516
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2014, 09:08:53 AM »
what they said :)

Offline unezrider

  • Member
  • Posts: 390
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2014, 09:25:24 AM »
Thats awesome! I'm glad to hear it worked out.
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Pan

  • Member
  • Posts: 1900
  • Howdy!
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2014, 09:51:01 AM »
Well done!

Cheers

Pan

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2014, 07:47:07 PM »
Yes, way to go, Laura, you've given us woodworking clods some inspiration. :D Thanks in particular for documenting the job with photos. Good to follow along with the break and the steps to fix it. Maybe I'll take a shot at regluing a bridge on a beater I have.

Also, Gumbo deserves points for "Lettuce hope not.", IMO.  :P

« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 07:51:26 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Laura

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2014, 10:21:24 PM »


Also, Gumbo deserves points for "Lettuce hope not.", IMO.  :P
ahaha! That's very funny. Totally missed it before  :)

. Maybe I'll take a shot at regluing a bridge on a beater I have.

You absolutely should. I mean, it's not rocket science is it?  ;D

Offline frailer24

  • Member
  • Posts: 337
  • Good Mornin', Judge
Re: I broke my guitar :(
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2014, 08:47:08 AM »
As long as there are clamps to fit the work, it's fairly easy.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Tags:
 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal