This instructable will show you how to repair a broken guitar neck and, depending on how severe the damage, how to do some minor cosmetic repair.  The guitar in question for this example is an Epiphone Les Paul Studio.  I actually bought this guitar about a year ago for the very purpose of practicing neck repair - as it already had a broken neck.  I fixed the neck about 9 months ago (and you can see the results of that fix in this series).

Fast forward to the arrival of a new puppy... long story short, another broken neck (the old fix held up though!!!) and a chance to create a new instructable.

In the case of the Epiphone, they are great, affordable guitars... And with these broken neck ones (depending on the nature of the break), these can be a great deal for someone with the time and tools to fix them.  And if you happen to bust the top off your Gibson ES335, that can be fixed too!

Step 1: Anatomy of a broken neck

Gravity, headstock geometry and thin wood can lead to a frustrating situation!  The pics show how a clean break can occur... 
<p>excuse me sir can I fixed this guitar ? please pm me thanks and please help me to fi it </p>
<p>That's a nice clean break. You should be able to just follow the steps in my instructable. I would suggest that you NOT try to do anything to hide the crack - if you do it correctly, the crack should be barely visible. Good luck with this - post some pics when you get done!</p>
<p>yes sir :)</p>
<p>someone knocked over my hardcase that had my guitar inside,I thought nothing of it til I opened the case to play.i almost hyperventilated.The headstock was cracked and gaping, so i unstringed it and inspected it.I've been hoping this is diy-able.I love this guitar,got it this summer, it plays real nice.Its a Fender and has a smooth mahogany finish.Was wondering how i'd be able to fix it?</p>
<p>do i need to remove the bottom and top tuner?since the crack reaches there from the front.Its not cracked in the back though.</p>
<p>Bummer! That;s a nice looking guitar. I would definitely remove the two tuners and get them out of the way. I guess your next choice is to either complete the break or glue it back together as is. Without seeing it in person, it's hard to tell what the best approach would be. Structurally, your fix will work just fine and should last a lifetime (or until someone knocks your case over again :0P). But I'm worried that the crack on the front side of the headstock will be not so clean looking no matter what. </p><p>If you complete the break, when you reassemble it you can then play with the re-positioning of the two pieces and maybe get the crack to match up tighter and make the crack a little less noticeable. Maybe. If you just sandwich the pieces back together, you get what you get.</p><p>Good luck and post some pics after you fix it!</p>
<p>Thanks so much for your reply!I don't care so much for looks as having my guitar back and being able to play again:)will be picking up tite-bond and a clamp shortly!I think its going to be a little more than slightly visible on the neck,but I'm not sure I want to mess with finishing.Thanks again.And I will definitely post afterwards!</p>
Hello sir , <br>Guitar is totally new thing for me and I've got one acoustic six string guitar from one of my friend but I've doubt in regards with the headstock that it has got band so will you please se that and let me know about .
<p>I am not sure what your asking about. Can you post a picture?</p>
<p>i broke my teachers guitar, the lower part of the body. please help me and suggest me something.</p>
<p>If you post some pictures, I'll take a look.</p>
<p>How can I fix this? </p>
<p>That one looks like a drag :o(</p><p>Can you post some pics of the top as well? What brand/model of guitar is that?</p>
Here's some more pictures hope it helps, the rest of the neck seems fine.
<p>The pics didn't post for some reason. Can you try that again?</p>
Help what do I do?
<p>I think you have one of those breaks that you fix in place. Bases on some previous comments, it looks like you might be able to bend the crack open enough to work the glue in without separating the neck from the fret board. But if the fret board starts to crack or separate from the the rest of the neck then it becomes a bigger job. See if you can find a syringe and large gauge needle (18 maybe?). You could potentially inject your glue into the crack using that. Just make sure to get as much coverage as deep as feasable.</p>
Help what do I do?
Help what do I do
<p>Hello mate</p><p>really interesting guide, thank you. In my case the neck is broken but not completely detached. Actually is seems a pretty wide area is still attached to the neck and It seems to me a pity to take it apart. I'm trying to upload a picture but the system doesn't seem to work. I'll try later ... <br><br>What do you think? I'd like to ask you a couple of things about the material to use.</p><p>This is an acoustic guitar, would &quot;titebond original wood glue&quot; work with this? would you recommend using a different glue? Also could you please let me know what is the name/make of those clamps you are using. Can't find anything that look like that on the web. Thank you very much for your help!!</p>
These clamps you can get at home depot. The long one sounds like a band clamp. The other can be in a bag of mixed clamps. They will be in hardware at the end of the isle there's a display. Hand tools are on wall opposite clamps
<p>here is a picture of the crack</p>
<p>Sorry to hear about the break. Every time I see one these pictures I cringe! But I think your's should be relatively straight forward to fix. What brand of guitar is this?</p><p>The long break along the grain is good. When you glue it, you'll have a lot of surface area for the glue to hold. As far as whether or not to completely take it apart - I wouldn't venture a guess unless I saw it in person. But I will say that it looks like the lacquer finish is what's holding on the last bit. The wood part is an easy glue job (and your Titebond should be fine) - but I think trying to glue a slab of lacquer back to the wood might be a challenge (if that's what it actually is). I would try a superglue type glue for that (like you use for frets/nuts... and your fingers if you're not careful). </p><p>I got the spring clamps years ago - it was a bag of clamps on the budget table somewhere (Sears Hardware? Ace?) - In the US, Harbor Freight has these sold individually (and still pretty cheap).</p><p>One nice thing about the shiny black lacquer finish - I've used black automotive touch-up paint on some old pawn shop guitars and it's pretty easy to do a finish fix on those.</p><p>Good luck on this - let us know what you end up doing!</p>
<p>sombody stepped on the neck of my guitar and it is really brocken, it was a $3,000 guitar and i don't have the money to repair it, what do i do?????</p>
<p>Sorry to hear about the guitar! Even though I would normally just fix it myself, at $3,000, I think I would partner with someone that could take care of the finish issue. But if you don't have the money, don't touch the finish! Just do the fix and you should only end up with a hairline at the end... Of course, not seeing the actual damage, it's hard to say.</p>
<p>This is great to know. The other day my younger sister was playing with my guitar. She broke it on accident. I hope that I will be able to fix it soon. There are a lot of ways to fix it. I hope that I will be able to fix it soon. </p><p>&lt;a href='http://www.hoffmanguitars.com' &gt;http://www.hoffmanguitars.com/&lt;/a&gt;</p>
<p>My guitar was damaged by my dog who got too excited and knocked it over and then stepped on the neck. The crack is pretty big but it isn't completely broken off. This is my favorite guitar and I really want it to look nice! I may try this out and if I don't do a good job or it doesn't look good I think I will take it into a guitar shop to be repaired. I better make some calls and see if there are any guitar repair shops near me. <br>Emily Smith | http://www.hoffmanguitars.com </p>
Hey<br>The neck of my acoustic guitar isn't completely detached. The crack is pretty small. Extends only till the tuning keys on both sides. Can i directly apply the glue inside the crack without taking the whole thing apart?
<p>Just another thought - if you post a picture or two, maybe I (or someone else here) can give you a better answer.</p>
<p>My initial suggestion would be to finish the break. But Michael Beaton (see his comment below) seemed to have luck by opening it up and working the glue as as far as possible. Assuming that you can get most of the surface area covered sufficiently with glue, his method should work in many cases. The only watch out is that it's not 100% bonded and will not have 100% of the strength potential - so keep that in mind if that's a concern. So say the visible part of your crack (the part you can easily open) is about 25% of the neck width. Depending on the structure, grain and strength of the wood, the crack may actually be 75% of the neck (and growing). But you just can't see it... yet. If you are not sure or comfortable what to do, I would strongly recommend you take it to a shop to get inspected before doing anything.</p>
Hey<br>The neck of my acoustic guitar isn't completely detached. The crack is pretty small. Extends only till the tuning keys on both sides. Can i directly apply the glue inside the crack without taking the whole thing apart?
<p>Well, I asked a well known guitar-repairing/musician friend of mine(before I read your last comment), and he instructed me not to break it, but pull it apart, wiggle it, whatever it takes to get the glue down in there. I did just that using a plastic puddy knife wedged in the crack while releasing the glue down and using a small zip-tie to push the glue in. I feel confident that I have a good joint but I'll find out for sure soon! Thanks for your feedback and expertise!</p>
If the headstock is still attached to the neck(not by much), would you consider finishing the break to ensure repair.
In my opinion, tite bond II wood glue works best for neck repairs, and probably any instrument repair. I've repaired two severe broken necks with it (one 2 or 3 inches from the headstock behind the fretboard) and my guitars play and look fine!!
Of course, I have yet to do the cosmetic work, but I'm lazy and I don't really know the best products to use, I wouldn't want to ruin the finish.
<p>i want to know which material used to Repair i mean Glue/or somthing else ?</p><p>wood glue/hide glue or something else ??</p>
<p>I just use a basic white glue designed for wood. I would NOT use hide glue - that glue is used for things that can be taken apart later. My understanding is that some classical instruments (e.g. violins) use hide glue so they can be taken apart for repairs. If you are in the U.S., then use something like Elmer's or Gorilla brand wood glue (based on a white glue) for the neck repair. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more information...</p>
<p>your immediate response will be appreciated, </p><p> my guitar body has been broken from Neck.</p>
Neck is holding up OK and string tension is holding; haven't had to re-tune even though I have new Elixer strings 10 to 54 installed. I feel the strings are a bit high, but he may want them high for his style of picking. I like my string about 10 thousandths because I play my strings very light.
<p>Thanks for the help. I pretty much did the same thing, but I wanted to check and see if there was anything I missed. I was thinking of putting dowels through the fret board to make it stronger, but I think I will see how strong the wood glue holds. Thanks.</p>
<p>@Bodie3</p><p>How did your repair hold up? Im thinking about doing <br>this kind of repair on my Takamine... Any issues with string tension <br>after repair? Thanks in advance</p>
On Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM, Bonifacio Dominguez wrote:<br><br> I didn't have to use the dowels, the neck seemed strong enough without them. I used a bit of backing soda and super glue to fill in some some cracks in the finish and some 00 steel wool to smooth it off. I thought about spraying some finish on it, but it felt so smooth that I wanted to leave the repair visible so that the kids remembered and maybe tell dad how it broke and how grandpa repaired it. Thank you for the video it was very helpful.
Did you read my reply? I may have to adjust the neck a bit, but the repair turned out great.
<p>Interesting idea about the dowels. My only thought is that since you're not dealing with much wood, the prep work to get the dowels lined up and everything might make things more difficult without gaining a significant advantage... maybe. If you can get the dowels in there perfectly, then it's probably a better fix. I think you're wise to try the glue-only first and see what happens.</p>
Didn't have to use the dowels, the repair is holding up. I may have to adjust the truss rod, the action seem high I did use some arm &amp; hammer soda and super glue mixture to fill in some cracks and chips on the finish. I used 00 steel wool to sand it smooth and I was going to shoot some finish on it, but decided to leave repair so that the kids can someday tell dad how it broke and hoe grandpa repaired it. Thank you for the video and help with the repair, it was very useful. there should be some pictures on facebook of the finished repair.
<p>A friend of mine snapped the the headstock off my Epiphone Les Paul Custom in a similar way. Used this guide to fix it and it worked out nice. brought all the stuff I needed from Biltema in Norway. Thanks !</p>
<p>I have a gibson to, my neck broke in the same spot </p>
Great write-up! I have an Epiphone PR-350 acoustic from about 1998 that had a headstock snap 6-7 years ago, in almost exactly the same pattern. Mine was sitting on its stand and toppled over onto a slate floor, when it got hit by something. I used Gorilla Glue and it's held up pretty well so far. I didn't clean it up very well at all though, until recently when I sanded it down some. The touch-up crayon thing is a good idea, I'll have to find one! Unfortunately I'm not sure if the tone is quite right or not... I've owned it forever but never really learned to play, after the initial couple of years. Lately I've been wanting to correct this, so I've picked it back up.
My Charvel 750xl has a crack going on the corner of the headstock thru the low E tuning knob. is his repairable by these step?
Without seeing it, it's hard to say. I'm going to guess that you would PROBABLY be ok depending on the nature of the crack. If you can't totally open up the crack, then the challenge will be getting enough glue in there. And if the crack is due to the wood warping in a non-uniform manner, that could present issues as well. Send a pic and I might be able to give you better advice.

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm just a compulsive DIYer that plays guitar and tries to fix just about everything around the house and garage. Sometimes I even succeed!
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