How To Fix A Broken Neck

Boy it was a bit weird when this video pop up as a recommended watch on my YouTube. Got the feeling I was either being stalked or another imminent disaster was about to happen. Especially as its 2 years since this happened to my LP (see below) and led to me finding a magical luthier literally on my doorstep.

This was pretty painful to watch, given what I had gone through but in some ways pleasing that my good old French house stone floors, led to a nice clean break and not this raggedy torn off tale of woe.

A good fix but I am pleased my man Mr Steve Bell did not leave a great hunk of wood underneath the nut. Sure looks a nice hand rest but butt ugly in my book and not quite a mirror image of the original lines but heck at least it was all in one piece again.

My happy ending courtesy of SRB Guitars, Manche Normandie (he’s a Geordie to boot !).


oh man what a rollercoaster. A relief to see she’s ok now :o

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I don’t think I’d be using the guy in that video for any neck repairs.

It’s quite amazing what good luthiers can do.
Here’s a good page for a full neck replacement - Spotlight: Judas Priest Les Paul Rebuild – Feline Guitars

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I’ve had a few Jay Turser guitars, 3 actually, and they are absolutely a diamond in the rough brand but I don’t know if I would spring for a headstock repair on one.

@TheMadman_tobyjenner I don’t yet own a Gibson but the first time I heard about headstock breaks being a thing I bought a big bag of straplocks, I’m glad it all worked out for you!

@mc Have you seen Ted Woodford yet?

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Very, very cool!

I was watching Crimson Guitar’s ‘What’s on the Bench’ stream on Youtube last week.
They went through different things, looked at the students, and then right at the end Ben said he had something to unbox - it was a lovely Les Paul.

He opened the case carefully and was super-excited, then ‘oh, ****!’
The head had broken.
The sender was well known to them, so it wasn’t them. They had sent packaging to the sender, so it was wrapped up nice and snug.
But the damn thing snapped anyway. It must have been a flat-drop somewhere during collection and delivery (maybe the box falling from vertical onto the flat side) which transferred the shock straight to the weakest point.

…And we all know where that is on a LP!

So now they are apparently going to do a video on fixing a LP neck/head snap.
Probably should be a sticky at the top of Youtube on all guitar sites.

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I sold a Les Paul a few years ago online and despite saying collection only, there was several offers for more than the asking price if I’d send it. At the time I just didn’t want the hassle of posting any guitar, I wasn’t aware at the time they were more fragile than most. I was mostly thinking they’d be looking for little blemishes and being a pain over them. Fortunately I was patient and didn’t have to wait long for a buyer who was prepared to collect, I definitely think I dodged one

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Yeah that was 22 months ago when Cherry came back good as new. It was just freaky that the video popped up on my YT fed the other day, as its not something I’d actually gone looking for when the accident happened. As I thought she was dead and buried I just dialled up Thomann and got Smokey delivered ! As I said at the time, I ended up with a Gibson double album ie 2 LPs !

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@TheMadman_tobyjenner You know, there are people out there who insists that a LP always sounds better after a headstock repair :slight_smile: Some mumbo-jumbo about added wood mass etc… (although I wonder how many of those actually have gone through a broken neck experience themselves, and are now trying to convince themselves that it was all for the best…)

But in any case, with a good repair it should not affect playability!

I think I’ll make sure to keep my new LP upright and safely locked on to my strap though - despite always being on the lookout for best possible tone :slight_smile:

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I some how doubt a few stabilizing pins, wood glue and good splash of nitro would make a significant difference and back to back Smokey and Cherry are indistinguishable to my novice ears. I guess I was lucky to get that really clean break though. But like you say they probably never experienced that “moment”. And yep nearly 2 years on its as solid as a rock :+1:

I don’t think Joe Bonamassa, Gary Moore or Bernie Marsden ever complained about fixed headstocks - some of them are worth millions now (I think someone offered Gary Moore £1m for his after selling it to him previously)

Interestingly, Crimson Guitars Youtube channel talked about this yesterday (It was the Great Guitar Giveaway on wednesday 15th Feb if anyone wants to check it out) and Ben was saying that it didn’t matter how well the guitar is packed, because the design meant that if it is dropped on it’s tail (i.e. where the rear strap button normally is) the stress will automatically find it’s way to the head/neck joint, with the well-known result.

I had thought that it was just if it were put in a case standing up, and then falling flat that the stress would go straight to the same place.

…Maybe it was a deliberate design to make them more rare and valuable :crazy_face:


A little bit of my brain has started working (yep, it happens) and I think that the addition of pins, wood glue etc. are unlikely to make any difference due to the design of the neck.
The LPs are designed to break just so that the nut is intact, so the tone is still transferred correctly down the neck! How thoughtful is that? If it broke halfway down the neck, then tone could be messed up, but no, just above the nut, or diagonally to the nut is the way!

I’ll go back to playing with my plasticine now :stuck_out_tongue:

Basically if you drop a Les Paul in anyway that it sends a sufficient shock through the neck/body/strings, the recoil of the neck/strings creates enough force to rip the headstock off.
It’s just a weak design.

If you ever transport one where there is a risk of the case being thrown around/dropped, slackening the strings will reduce the risk of headstock damage.

And even as my genius Luthier said, although it was fixed where it sheared off, that won’t stop it breaking elsewhere on the headstock, if it suffers another fall. Be careful peeps. :sunglasses:

I totally agree that people should be careful and not drop the guitar in any way but I’m thinking that something like this in the picture stiffens the headstock quite significantly.

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Yep, Ben mentioned that the strings really need to be slackened when transporting.
Perhaps a nice volute made of titanium stuck to the back would work :stuck_out_tongue:

Could’ve been worse… :wink: