Instructables

Repair Guitar Neck

This instructable is about repairing the neck of a guitar.  Repairing a broken musical instrument looks like a difficult task, but it can be easy enough.  In this case, the neck and finger board broke off cleanly, and the following steps are how I repaired the damage.

Before you begin, make sure the guitar isn't worth more than a few hundred bucks.  If it is an expensive instrument, have it repaired properly by a professional.  However, if it's a cheap guitar with plywood plates, you could probably by a new one for less than the cost of this repair, so the risk is small.

Other instructables about repairing non-electric guitars:

     http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-fix-the-backing-of-an-acoustic-guitar/
     http://www.instructables.com/id/Guitar-Head-Repair/    (with style)
     http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-repair-a-broken-guitar-neck-headstock/
     http://www.instructables.com/id/Poor-Mans-Fret-Job/




 
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Step 1: Diagnose

Before you begin the repair, try to figure out what caused the problem.  If your kid dropped the guitar, that's easy to know what's the problem and there's nothing you can do about it.  On the other hand, the broken neck may be a symptom of another problem. 

In the case of my guitar, I found that the previous owner had strung it up with the wrong kind of strings.  As you can see from the images below, the guitar was meant for nylon strings.  There are structural differences between the two kinds of guitars.  The differences are so great that you can feel it simply by lifting the guitar---the steel-string guitar weighs 2-3 times more than a classical guitar.  All of that mass is due to the bracing and other measures taken to strengthen a steel-string guitar so that it can resist the pull of the taut strings.  When my classical was strung up with steel strings, the neck broke off cleanly.  Clearly, fixing the guitar won't solve the problem unless I use nylon strings in the future.
rghoff3 years ago
Great instructable! I did the headstock one and was intrigued by what happened to yours I used white glue for my fix and would probably do just as you did on this guitar (white glue). But one commenter mentioned hide glue - could you tell if the original glue was hide glue or white glue? The reason I mention this is because the break on yours was extremely clean... indicating to me that the glue failed before the wood broke - Which, in this case, is a very good thing!

BTW - I liked your clamping set up also.
neffk (author)  rghoff3 years ago
Perhaps it was. Hide glue "dries" much more quickly the PVA-based glues, which is an advantage in manufacturing...

I, too, had a headstock break years ago. Broke right across one of the holes for a tuner. I glued that up with yellow glue and it's been fine ever since.
Ouch. I have a nylon classical that luckily has never been mistakenly strung with steels - although when I first found it in my attic and brought it to a shop to buy replacement strings, the guy came very close to picking the wrong pack. Personally I prefer the sound of nylons...but since this guitar has been in the family for 40+ years, I may be a bit biased...

Nice fix, though - I'd like to clean mine up a bit (crackled varnish), but it's a bit too old to risk. Can't tell from your pictures - what company made your guitar?
neffk (author)  valhallas_end3 years ago
It's funny because the tuners are the type you'd expect for steel strings. Still, there's no truss rod and it's super light weight.

It says "Amigo by Lotus AM22 Made in Romania"