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 Post subject: Neck for X210 or X310
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:43 am
Posts: 3
My Electra les paul copy that I had for 27 years fell of its guitar stand and the neck broke , right beneath the head stock. I would like to find a replacement neck for it, if someone has a spare.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:11 am 
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2004 12:17 am
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You sould be able to repair that neck with urethane (gorilla) glue and get a joint as good as new. Most people don't realize how many vintage Gibsons have fallen over and had their headstocks glued back on- it's a regular epidemic. Shout if you need help or advice with this.

Beyond that, if you do go for finding a replacement neck, be sure to measure both width and height of the heel. I'm not confident these models remained constant year to year.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:47 am 
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Thanks. Is "gorilla" glue a brand name? Do they have it at guitar shops or hardware stores? Does it set quickly, how do you clamp the weird angle where the head stock meets the neck?

thanks for your prompt reply on this. Keeping what I have is oh such much a better option than trying to replace it. I realize about the measuring, and if there's one truism about the electras, it's that change remained constant.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:44 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 9:32 am
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Location: NYC
Gorilla is a name brand. Others can give you better advise on glueing technique. If you choose to replace you should be aware that some necks are tapered so they do not just come out when un-bolted or un-glued, you have to lift them out.
By the way my brother has an sg that did the dive. it plays as good as new after the fix.
Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:11 pm 
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This is all great news. I was scrambling around pulling stuff together for a gig -- wasn't going to use it, the electra was sitting on an a-frame stand on the floor and just toppled onto a carpeted floor.

I will let you know how it turns out.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:37 am 
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OK, here's the deal: Gorilla Glue is a brand name of urethane glue, and the easiest to find, so I call it that even though brand isn't important. It's not like any other kind of glue, there's a learning curve at first but then great results are easy. Still, I'd start with a broken scrap of wood first, because you don't want to learn on your neck first. Go break a broom stick or something so you have a nice jagged break to simulate the real thing.

We're not in Kansas any more Toto, and this isn't Elmer's. Here's what you need to know about this stuff before you start:

1: Urethane glue is activated by water, which transforms it from molasses into expanding foam insulation. This is why it works on wood so well- it forces itself not only into every nook and cranny of the joint, but into the grain of the wood.

2: Not much dissolves it, especially before it dries. It's guaranteed to ruin any clothes you spill it on, and if you get it on your hands you'll be peeling off layers of your skin (pretty much like super glue, except with no solvent). Wear gloves, latex or nitrile. It's pretty much like handling fiberglass resin, sticky and messy, except with no fumes. Actually that's one nice thing, there's really hardly any odor at all.

3: Urethane glue isn't particularly sticky, it doesn't even begin to hold the pieces together, not anywhere as much as white glue. You can't count on it to hold the pieces together, in fact the expanding foam action tends to push them apart slightly. So you'll need to clamp or otherwise hold the pieces- for guitar necks I like to wrap; them in tape- masking or box tape or anything really.

OK, with that in mind, get your glue and your broken pieces and go like this:

First dry assemble the pieces to be sure you have all the fragments, and you know how to assemble it perfectly with all the grain lining up. This is the key to a strong joint: you don't want any gaps, the fibers hold together with integrity like they did originally. Better, in fact- if you re-break the joint it'll split in new places, never where it's glued.

Image

Next, wet the pieces where they'll be glued. I use a soggy paper towel to sop water onto the raw wood, which soaks it up and is then damp. (side note: I know a furniture builder who uses this stuff with no water, relying on the existing moisture in the wood to activate the glue. It works sort of- there's not much foaming and so not nearly as much contact. I don't think his joint is as strong, but he's not stringing steel strings on a thin neck, either. Use water for guitar repairs.)

Now (got your gloves on, right?) apply glue and put the pieces together. When they're aligned perfectly and stuck with glue, tape it all up and set it aside to 'dry'. Do me a favor and scratch your nose before you get the glue out, we don't want you peeling this stuff off your face later.

Image

Within about 15 minutes you'll see foam oozing out of everything. Don't worry, cleanup is easy with a razor blade. In an hour the foam is dry to the touch but soft, I like to wait 2 hours before taking the tape or clamps off. The foam is very easy to razor off then. After sitting overnight it will harden and be tougher.

Theoretically it should be at full strength within 24 hours, and I think that's true. Still, I'm cautious, and I've let necks sit six months before stringing them up sometimes, sometimes not. I guess I feel like if it's going to break, it'll break in the first year, after that, it won't and I'd trust it to somebody else to play safely. But that's all probably unnecessary, none of them have ever broken on me, I've done several. (exception: broken scarf joints don't count, see below)

Image

At first there'll be glue all over the joint, but when you clean it up it'll reduce it to a white hairline where you see the glue. A pro restorer would probably color match and touch up this bit, but I've frankly taken the attitude with my guitars that these are scars of life and I don't care to hide them, providing they're smooth and functional and don't look hideous. painted necks are easy, of course. Touching up nicks and divots in clear poly necks is not easy, I recommend using clear nitro lacquer rather than trying to drop fill with super glue the way I would a body.

Image

One complication arises if you are gluing around a truss rod, as is often the case. Definitely you don't want to glue the truss rod into the neck! I had success wiping the rod and nut with vaseline near the joint area, and although the expanding foam surrounded it, it would still turn freely.

Likewise you can save yourself a lot of grief by masking off most of the neck except the repair area before you even start. You have no idea you urethane glue oozes everywhere, and it sucks to have to meticulously razor blade it off the logo on your headstock.

And all that said... once you get right down to doing it, this repair is remarkably easy and successful. I admit it, I've cruised ebay for years picking up instruments with broken headstocks, often for next to nothing- my great score was a new $3k cello with a snapped neck for 50$ plus shipping- that one glued up very well indeed. And with that secret out, I hereby renounce cruising for broken neck guitars on ebay, I'll leave that to younger and more intrepid souls, I already have a closet full of broken guitars I haven't had time to fix.

And speaking of which, if gluing a guitar neck is so easy, how about I get off my arse and glue one up? I just happen to have a very nice white Greco Vee, identical in many respects to an Electra Vee. this one a set neck with a big old whopping crack in the neck just below the headstock. The familiar 'fell over' crack.

OK, guitar- check. Glue- check. Gloves- check. OK, I'm gonna go glue this thing. I'll follow up with pics soon.

P.S. Oh right- the only time this won't work is you can't fix a broken neck if it's got a scarf joint that's broken. No Electra ever had this, it's a Korean thing, a cheap way to manufacture a neck with a 'Gibson-style' angled headstock. Look at any modern Epiphone and at the 2nd fret you'll see a seam where the scarf joint is- at an angle. This is the great downside of all the great Korean guitars out there- I really like the new Epiphone Vee. But... knock it over once and it is dead, period, zero chance of restoring it for less than the cost of replacing it. So all those cheap Epiphones are almost disposable, in a way...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:57 am 
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btw, i'll move this thread over into the restoration and repairs section eventually. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:36 pm
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Location: Upper Peninsula, Michigan
Well X, you might just have to copy, paste, and sticky it now! Great work X, good luck Dinsdale.


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