Board index » Rick restoration from part to finish

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 Post subject: DB122 Hypothetical Fix?
 Post Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 345
Location: Philadelphia
Ok Guys I have a hypothetical question had you been commissioned to repair the neck crack on DB122.
I can't give you a picture of the crack, but to give you an idea, it's cracked on the back of the neck just under the headstock.
The crack goes entirely across like Charlie Brown's shirt. That's the best description I can give ya.
iIt looks like it will become two pieces if you tighten all six strings.
That's how weak the crack appears to me...

If the factory or Dale repaired it how would they go about doing something like that?
I'm just curious...

 Post subject: Re: DB122 Hypothetical Fix?
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:04 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:00 pm
Posts: 345
Location: Philadelphia
Ok I got an outside opinion on my own, maybe people here would like to add to it?

I also have a picture of the crack on the back of John Lennon's 325 Miami here: ... nons05.jpg

Luthier Mark Arnquist had this information to offer on repairing John Lennon's broken instrument if it were an option:

There are three broken headstock fixes that I use ...

* The first version , it would not work on this . It is a first time fix for a clean break .

*The second version , is to fix a poorly glued break that was 'dry' . The 'fixer' did not inject enough glue into the crack or used the wrong kind of glue or clamped the joint so hard it squeezed out the glue or it was left cracked for so long ... months or years ... that the seam was dirty and contaminated ...and swollen from exposure to moisture in the air .

With a completely severed headstock ... you are dealing with severe structural problems .
Simply gluing it back on won't work ... guaranteed .
It does not matter wjat glue you would use the joint acts like a hinge and the glued area is stronger than the wood around it .. so it would snap again parallel to the original fix.

* For the third version here is what I would do ..and while it is radical ... it works fantastic .

First ... epoxy the headstock back into place . I use a good 24hour type.
The version I used was formulated to glue TEAK together and other oily /waxy hardwoods.

Remove all the hardware from the guitar, and the truss rod(s) .
Rig a clamp system so the face of the headstock sits on a sheet of plywood (screws can be put through the tuner holes ).

Then mill a 3/8" slot down the back of the headstock ... crossing the crack at least 1/2" to 3/4" .
As the Rick neck may have two rods .... this also needs to be done where there are no rods in effect you get three channels on a Rick .

To glue in the 'splines' I use either Resorcinal glue , Polyurethane glue or 24 hour epoxy (I favor epoxy as I can color the glue to match the general color of the original wood)
Both are non water soluable .

After the splines are dry ... The rear of the headstock is milled away . Only 1/8" needs to be milled .
Then a sheet of the same kind of wood is used to lay over the milled away area . This covers most of the splines .
IN the case of rebuilding a Rick ... I would make a template of the headstock .... and then cut off the original wings.

That sheet is glued on next with Yellow woodworkers glue .

After it has dried ... the headstock can be reshaped to the original outline , less the wings ... then new wings glued on and then the splines over the neck trimmed down and shaped to match the neck .

Once the woodworking is completed ... most of the original wood around the truss rod(s) is now replaced with securely attached material .
The splines can even be cut into the fretoard slightly to gain a better footing.

None of these three splines should directly parallel the others ... this helps to hold the tresses to a minimum and hold the headstock together . The overlay retains the whole thing and helps to hide the repair .
New wings hide the repair even further as the seems are minimal the end of the headstock in the round over edge ... and at the 'volute' on the rear of the headstock .
Respraying the whole neck finishes the job . The guitar is now road worthy and will take far more abuse than an unbroken guitar or one that was just slightly cracked .

I have used this method for decades ... and have saved Les Paul's from the waste basket ..... A new neck could also be made ... but on a Rick ... that is more of a headache to remove the neck from the body then to rebuild it my way .
Plus trying to save the fretboard is also hard to do ... and then you deal with a possible refret ,etc .

Mark Arnquist -Arnquist Musical Designs Inc
Arnquist gutars

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