Scott's Guitar Blog: June 6, 2006

Broken Les Paul Jr. Headstock

This was a bad one folks…a 1960 Les Paul Junior with a nasty snapped-right-off headstock. Jrbroken1
To make matters worse it had been repaired twice before and didn’t hold either time. Due to this
in addition to the grain alignment being less than perfect, the wood pores were clogged with old glue making it very hard for the new attempt by yours truly to grab on. I got in there with magnifying goggles and used a dental pick to carefully scrape away as much old glue as I could and to scratch up the wood to wood areas I’d be gluing. I HATE seeing splices, splints and replaced headstocks on vintage guitars, so I really wanted to try to glue this one up without any non-original wood. It was a tough order as the break was nearly vertical and there was not a lot of surface area to work with. Jrbroken2_1

In addition I chose as I often do not to spray a touch-up over the repair to hide or mask the damage. Instead I used a marine epoxy (used on wooden boats) because of the extreme grabbing power and subtle ability to flex with the neck tension. After the initial glue-up, I used epoxy with a cherry stain to fill in the visible flaws and fracture lines. This was then wet-sanded smooth and buffed out. The result is a clean repair that still shows the break if you look closely but maintains the original spirit of the guitar, which is so important in a wonderful old Gibson like this! Please enjoy these before and after shots!