Today David picked up his guitar to get a little practice in and found that it was way out of tune. He sat down to tune it up, but was having a pretty difficult time of it. That’s when he noticed that the guitar’s neck was broken just above the nut near the tuning pegs. I think that’s called the head, but I do not remember the proper terminology for sure.

The break was such that the more he tightened the strings, the wider the crack would open. The crack was a quarter inch wide when he noticed. Ouch. I unstrung the guitar and decided that some epoxy and some judicious clamping would most likely be able to effect a repair.

I have about a gallon of marine epoxy in the basement. I discovered this stuff when I built my canoe back in 1998. That took all of two gallons. I bought another gallon for general woodworking and for making repairs on the canoe.

This epoxy comes with measuring pumps. A single stroke from the resin pump outputs 5 times as much as a single stroke from the hardener pump. However, these pumps no longer operate correctly. I would most definitely want to replace the pumps before undertaking a project that needed more than a tablespoon of epoxy. Hardly any comes out from the resin pump at all – just a drop or two at a time.

I went upstairs and found a medicine cup – the little plastic ones that come with children’s liquid meds. I pumped the resin about a hundred times until I had 12.5ml. Then one stroke of the hardener topped it off to 15ml, giving me the required 5:1 ratio.

I opened the crack and applied the epoxy to the bare wood with a small artist’s paintbrush. Then I wrapped it with wax paper and got a couple of pieces of wood to place against the head to shield the guitar from the C-clamp. The wax paper was there to prevent those pieces of wood from getting glued to the guitar. After all, an epoxy joint is normally forever.

I wiped away as much excess epoxy as I could, but I’m sure there’s a lot more on there where I can’t reach. Tomorrow I will take it out of the clamp and clean it up as best I can. I think I will let it cure for an additional day before restringing it again.

I should have taken a photo before gluing it up. Oh well.

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