Scott's Guitar Blog: August 8, 2006

Cave-In Jig for Taylors

Hello again folks, I thought I’d share a neat little fixture I built to repair Taylor guitars that have “caved-in” at the head block. This is something that can happen to all guitars when neglected, typically from being severely dried out when under string tension. The top cracks along the fingerboard edges, the braces below give out and the soundboard wood under the fingerboard extension slips forward causing a cave-in at the sound hole. The actual top arc of the hole is pushed forward into the hole. Because of Taylor’s bolt-on neck system; it is a much easier and less costly repair than a Martin, Gibson or other glued-in neck joint.

This fixture is a piece of glued-up walnut and paduak scrap from an electric guitar body I made.
It is thick, solid and won’t bend under stress, so it was perfect for this use. It is shaped in a small “U” and lined with cork. There is a gap behind the head block on the outside of the body when mounted. It mounts with bolts going through the neck-bolt holes in the body. You simply tighten the bolts and it pulls the pushed forward cave-in right back into place, where the cracks are repaired and the braces re-glued! When the neck is remounted, it lines up like it was new.

It would be a mistake to repair the cracks and remount the neck without correcting the cave-in. I’ve seen plenty of guitars that were repaired in this incorrect fashion.

All the best, Scott