A very common acoustic guitar affliction is it tipping over, and the headstock cracking, or breaking, or the neck cracking or breaking. 99% of the times, carelessness on the part of the owner, is the reason for the damage – both to the instrument as well as to the pocket. The funny part is no owner is willing
to admit that it fell and broke.
In a month I see at least one such case in varying degrees of damage.
El Classico, here, came in looking in rather bad shape. The first order of service was, of course, taking off the hardware to be able to reach the problem area. The problem is compounded when the break has an open end: the crack has broken off clean at one end. Thankfully, this crack was joined at both ends but a bad crack nonetheless. Pressed together, the sides of the crack refused to align.
What’s more, for a good repair, I needed the nut out of the way so that I could clamp down that lifting end and make it a seamless joint. But you just can’t ‘lift’ out nuts, the way you lift out saddles. Nuts are knocked out of their groove. However, knocking this nut out would mean more damage to the already lifted edge.
After much head-scratching and chin-stroking, I decided to tap the nut out from the side. With gentle repetitive taps with a hammer to a padded screwdriver end butted up against the nut, I managed to dislodge it.
Then began the slow and arduous process of dry runs to see how the misaligned sides of the crack could best be brought together. More knitted brows followed as I tried this and that and more.
Half-an-hour later I finally had it together. Glued, clamped, it stood there for 48 hours before I released it.
Providentially, I had just acquired these small C-clamps recently, and specifically to tend to headstock and neck repairs. This online order came just a few days before this Yamaha arrived at my doorstep.
After 48 hours, when I did release it from the clamps that held its head together, so happy was I with the results that I forgot to take photographs. Some light wet sanding later, it looked the best that it could have.
The owner, when he came to collect the instrument, concurred with my view.