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Help! How to repair a cracked neck?

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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:21 pm

Saw some stuff online, said to string it up, use the string tension to pull the crack open, then pack it with glue. After packing with glue, relax the strings to close the crack, then clamp it.
I don't have any clamps. Heavy books?

I have:
Gorilla glue
Elmer's white school glue
Liquid nails

Which one will work best? I've heard repaired neck cracks are sometimes stronger than the original wood. True?
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Post by mortarman120gang11c Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:26 pm

The Gorilla Glue works wonders
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Post by Westbone Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:39 pm

Clamps without fail and monkey glue.

What happened?
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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:58 pm

bought cheap because of the crack with the intent to repair.

So the Gorilla glue is the best, eh?

Does the "using the string tension to spread the crack open" method make sense?
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Post by hoax Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:08 pm

I use a good quality PVA white glue. Take the string off and open the crack using hand pressure or clamps.

Use some very thin plastic to load up glue into the crack as far as you can. Release pressure, wipe off excess and then clamp it shut.

Sometimes I will bind it with thin rubber tubing if placement of clamps is difficult.

Leave for a couple of days and then restring.

I haven't had one fail yet.

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Post by Barry Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:14 pm

Brainfertilizer wrote:Saw some stuff online, said to string it up, use the string tension to pull the crack open, then pack it with glue.  After packing with glue, relax the strings to close the crack, then clamp it.
That works if the crack is at the rear of the headstock. If it's on the the nut side...not so much. You need to reverse the procedure and spread the crack mechanically. Then use the string tension to help hold it closed. Neutral 
I don't have any clamps.  Heavy books?
You really need to clamp it.
I have:
Gorilla glue
Elmer's white school glue
Liquid nails

Which one will work best?
If you have to choose, the Gorilla Glue. Best results are had with a good quality PVA (Carpenter's Glue)
I've heard repaired neck cracks are sometimes stronger than the original wood.  True?
Yep. Given the right glue.

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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:09 pm

Cool.
Yeah, the crack is on the back side of the neck.
When not strung (current status), it is so tight you almost can't see the crack.

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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:21 pm

Decided to try to find a waterproof PVA, because I don't want to deal with the foaming up of gorilla glue.

Searched on Amazon and saw Titebond II.

But I'm not sure what the difference is between 5003, 5004, 1415, 1416, 5006, 1414, 5064, etc...
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Post by METESKY Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:29 pm

Always clamp. Good excuse to buy some... you can never have too many. I still have most of the clamps I bought for my repair shop in the 60’s/70's. The good ones only get more expensive, and more difficult to find... and I'm not talking about specialty clamps. In a pinch you can get a fair amount of pressure using band clamps (like the kind used on radiator hoses). Make sure you get them large enough for the bracing. Don't put a clamp directly on the repair area.

Gorilla glue is great stuff but you'd better get it right. You won't be able to free it up again. I only use it in a pinch. I'm not knocking it. There's something like a bazillion (technical term) kinds of adhesives, and each has it's use. It's the kind of thing where it really pays to read up on the product specs.

Good luck!
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Post by METESKY Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:34 pm

Sorry! I was writing when you posted.

I use TiteBond III. It's called "Ultimate." Different ones are light duty, heavy duty, waterproof, exterior use, et cetera. I buy the III by the gallon. Easy to clean up, strong as hell. I highly recommend. ;-)
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Post by Barry Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:59 pm

METESKY wrote:...I use TiteBond III. It's called "Ultimate."... Easy to clean up, strong as hell. I highly recommend. ;-)
This the one most often recommended if available. Hard to find this particular version here for some reason. In Canada, you're more likely to find something like Elmer's. You'll be fine as long as it's a  "carpenter's grade" and not Dollar Store / school stuff.

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Post by Guest Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Let's see some pics of the crracks - if they are hairline, I tend to use a much thinner glue - super type glue as oppossed to wood glue.  But as others have said - ya gotta clamp it.  for a small crack you just mak need 1 clamp so worth the $
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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:14 pm

Will something like this work as a clamp?
http://www.greatnecktools.com/products/show/LP10CR
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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:33 pm

pictures of the crack.
It only shows up because of the flash.

Help! How to repair a cracked neck? DSC_8306_zpscc0725df
Help! How to repair a cracked neck? DSC_8305_zps3aaa7f9f
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Post by corsair Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:11 am

I used Cascamite on the Urchin project and was mightily impressed by it; can't find it here though!
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Post by Westbone Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:10 am

Help! How to repair a cracked neck? DSCF6412_zpsdee0daf9
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Post by Brainfertilizer Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:01 pm

How much does a clamp like that cost?
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Post by Sgt. Vimes Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:17 pm

http://greatnecktools.com/products/show/SBC12

$12
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Post by Sgt. Vimes Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:19 pm

http://greatnecktools.com/products/show/59001

best of luck with the repair, I did my 2nd glue n clamp job recently, 1 on a spectrum seriesII headstock  and the other on the urchin restore, both using standard pva which so far...touch wood....(pun intended)...have been rock solid.
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Post by Westbone Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:49 pm

Brainfertilizer wrote:How much does a clamp like that cost?
Around £20/25 each.

It's soft jawed.

You won't need tons of pressure on that crack. A cheap alternative will do the trick.
Help! How to repair a cracked neck? SANY0860_zps6af3992a
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Post by Brainfertilizer Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:00 pm

Here's what I'm going with:
This clamp:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000051WSG/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item
This glue:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000223UR/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item

The Titebond III Ultimate was significantly more expensive.

This should be good.

But I would like to offer my sincere, heartfelt gratitude to all of you who answered. If not for you, I probably would have made a significant mistake, or had significantly worse outcomes.

Thanks.
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Post by Westbone Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:25 pm

You taking your guitar out in the rain...Laughing
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Post by Brainfertilizer Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:55 pm

Nope!
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Post by Sgt. Vimes Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:07 pm

That should do the trick fine, but it's only a 2" jaw, a bigger clamp will be much more useful when repairing yer guitars in the future.
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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:42 pm

So I strung it up to see what the string pressure would do, and as a natural way to hold the crack open while I stuffed it with glue.

I got about 0.5mm of space opened up.

Is that enough to stuff it with glue? Or should I try to get it open wider?
I'm a little nervous about trying for wider, because I'm worried the headstock might actually snap off...
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Post by Sgt. Vimes Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:14 pm

looking at your pics I would guess 0.5 should be fine, you can use thin card to force the glue down into the depths of the crack where a spreader will not reach, or dental floss/wire.
get the glue in and wipe off the excess, let the join close and see where the glue seeps out, it should be a uniform seepage, if it isnt, open it up and apply more glue.
Good luck!
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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:19 pm

Brilliant!
That's exactly the advice I needed (about the uniform seepage letting me know I did it right).
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Post by Brainfertilizer Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:48 pm

Okay, so I packed the split with as much glue as I could. I used thin plastic envelope for the strings I just put on it to try to work the glue in as far as it could go, and to wipe up excess and push into the split.

The glue helped me to see the split was wider than I thought.

When I got all the glue in that I thought I could, I relaxed the strings, and glue seeped out all across the line, pretty evenly.

Then I grabbed the clamp and tightened it down, and more glue came out...glad you guys told me I'd need the clamp, even with the crack being pretty tight!

Wiped off the excess, and letting it set.

How long before I can take off the clamp and tighten up the strings?
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Post by Sgt. Vimes Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:04 pm

"they" say 24 hours, I left mine 3 days just to be sure.
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Post by Brainfertilizer Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:27 pm

Success!
The crack is sealed strong.
Can barely see the crack now, even under full string tension.
Great action.
Great single coil sound...sub-par humbucker sound. But sounds good split. So since it cost me $50 shipped to acquire, I might end up selling it. Dunno.
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Post by Sgt. Vimes Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:21 pm

Good job! piece of cake eh?

what is the guitar?   pix man!
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Post by Brainfertilizer Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:51 pm

Oh, just a Yamaha SE 312. Nothing special.
If I have a good day on eBay, it might go for $100.
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Post by The Chad Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:38 am

I think I saw Dan Earlewine use a hair dryer to force glue into a crack.  Great idea!
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