Fixing a Cracked Gibson Neck
Do you own a Gibson guitar? Do you know what it's weakest point is? Let us show you a very common repair that we do here at the shop. The way that Gibson guitars are constructed- with a tilt back headstock, and no reinforcing volute in the back of the neck- makes them very susceptible for breaks. The wood gets really thin right between the nut slot and the truss rod channel, and if you rock too hard, or your case isn't up to par and your roadie tosses it in the van, or your Gibson experiences any other kind of shock (airplane ride?), this is usually the first thing to give. Fortunately, in most cases, this is not a complicated repair.
Something that we can't stress enough: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIX IT YOURSELF. Not even with the help of your uncle that has glue in his garage... You only get one chance to do this right, and if you don't have lots of experience doing this stuff, you might make your guitar unfixable. Once there is glue in the crack, there is no chance to remove it and redo it.
Owner of this guitar came in with little hope. The neck was cracked in several places, and the more cracks, the harder it is to put together. They were also really long, following the grain of the wood.
The neck had to be properly prepped- any debris and slivers that were in the way of the pieces closing back together had to be removed. Then, with the help of lots of clamps, the pieces got glued back together and left to dry over night. The customer didn't want to spend money on going all out with the "perfect" finish job, especially since he just wanted to be sure that the repair would be effective first. Playability was the outmost concern. The back of neck got cleaned up and sanded smooth, and a thin coat of lacquer was applied to preserve the exposed wood and to make it feel consistent with the rest of the neck. It got a full set up and although you can see the scars, it is revived and functioning great!