Fixable? Neck snapped off body of guitar.

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bigviolin
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Fixable? Neck snapped off body of guitar.

Post by bigviolin » July 16th, 2018, 6:28 am

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Model is Lorenzo Flame L-806, I haven't been able to find out what wood it's made of, if that matters. I've searched and found some roughly similar posts, with mixed views, with all kinds of glue being mentioned. It seems the neck of the guitar was attached to the body via glue so I'm not sure if glue would be able to bind to the glue already .there. Also the place the guitar was manufactured for (FCN Music) is now no longer in business, so I don't know how to get more information about it.

What should I do? I'd prefer to fix it rather than spend money on a new guitar, as long as any fixing is no more involved than gluing and clamping.

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Re: Fixable? Neck snapped off body of guitar.

Post by NoteBoat » July 16th, 2018, 8:23 pm

I haven't seen that specific construction before - it was doweled to the neck block (a wood support inside the body). Most guitars with a separate neck block use a dovetail joint with a lot more gluing surface and supporting wood.

It's probably fixable, but not easy. And the effort probably isn't worth it in comparison to the value of the guitar.

The neck will need to be re-glued to the neck block. In order to clamp that well I'd take the top off. The fretboard will need to be replaced, as it broke at the 12th fret.

Neck angle is critical for a guitar's action, so the re-gluing of the neck needs to be precise. Then you'd need to replace the top, then the fretboard, making sure it's exactly parallel to the nut/saddle.

So it's a lot of time consuming precision work. And a quick Google finds these guitars for sale for cheap - less than $50 US.

I wouldn't bother fixing it unless you wanted to use it as a learning project, and had realistic expectations of its playability after you're done.
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bigviolin
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Re: Fixable? Neck snapped off body of guitar.

Post by bigviolin » July 17th, 2018, 1:34 am

NoteBoat wrote:
July 16th, 2018, 8:23 pm
I haven't seen that specific construction before - it was doweled to the neck block (a wood support inside the body). Most guitars with a separate neck block use a dovetail joint with a lot more gluing surface and supporting wood.

It's probably fixable, but not easy. And the effort probably isn't worth it in comparison to the value of the guitar.

The neck will need to be re-glued to the neck block. In order to clamp that well I'd take the top off. The fretboard will need to be replaced, as it broke at the 12th fret.

Neck angle is critical for a guitar's action, so the re-gluing of the neck needs to be precise. Then you'd need to replace the top, then the fretboard, making sure it's exactly parallel to the nut/saddle.

So it's a lot of time consuming precision work. And a quick Google finds these guitars for sale for cheap - less than $50 US.

I wouldn't bother fixing it unless you wanted to use it as a learning project, and had realistic expectations of its playability after you're done.


Thanks a lot for your reply
Sorry, this may sound like a stupid question, but take the top off what?

What would happen if the fretboard wasn't replaced?
Or if the fretboard wasn't parallel to the nut/saddle? And wouldn't the wooden things that stick out of the neck ensure that it aligns properly, sort of like this one https://hazeguitars.com/blog/mass-manuf ... eck-joints Presumably, too far forward means more likely to snap in the future but I don't know.
If I were to try fixing it, I probably wouldn't get it perfect, but I don't really have high expectations. Also, in retrospect and after looking at lots of pictures of what a guitar should look like, I think the neck was leaning forward a bit anyway and the strings were really far from the fretboard which i think means it had a big action, but it was still reasonably playable, so my expectations are rock bottom and I'd be fine with a meh repair, unless it's a bad idea to learn on a poorly playable guitar when I go to a more playable one. Also I was trying tuning using the 5th fret method and my 5th/4th fret notes were the next string, so despite the very big action it seems the fretboard pointed to the right sections of the string
What glue would you recommend I use? I've seen a lot of recommendations of Titebond Original but then with that my understanding is I wouldn't be able to glue over that, so it's one attempt and if I fail I do so forever. And the other alternative in that respect, hide glue, seems to not be a good choice for beginners

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Re: Fixable? Neck snapped off body of guitar.

Post by NoteBoat » July 18th, 2018, 6:57 pm

Take the top of the guitar.

If you're going to do it right, you need to be able to clamp the joint you're gluing. You're gluing two pieces together: the neck that's snapped off, and the neck block - which is inside the body.

So... how are you going to clamp it? The distance from the sound hole to the neck block is probably around 4" or so. The neck heel is probably a little less than 2" thick, plus you'll have to fashion some kind of caul to apply the pressure to the heel without damaging it. If you try to glue it with the top on the guitar, you've got one additional problem: the neck heel is BEHIND the rest of the neck.

I'm not saying it would be impossible to clamp securely with the top on... but it's sure going to be easier to arrange your clamps without having the top in the way. (Actually, it'll be easiest to clamp by taking the back off rather than the top, but I think taking the top off will be a little bit simpler.)

If you don't replace the fretboard you're going to have a hard time playing it - it snapped right at the 12th fret. Fret wire is shaped kind of like a "T" - the top of the T is the fret itself, and the vertical line is the tang, which has little bumps to grip the wood firmly when it's tapped into place. If the wood isn't a solid piece - if it's two separate pieces instead - you'll have trouble keeping it in place.

EDIT: I didn't address a couple of your other questions....

The wooden things are dowels to give some strength to the joint. Yes, they'll help line it up - and no, they're not precise enough. The tolerances of musical instruments are on the order of thousandths of an inch. It'd be pretty easy to be off far enough to cause playability problems. You mention the neck was leaning forward a bit - that's probably due in part to the dowels not providing sufficient support. Most glued necks use a dovetail joint, as in the drawings on the page you linked to.

As far as glue goes, lots of people are using Titebond now. It has some advantages over hide glue, but I'm kind of old school where it comes to glue. Hide glue has the advantage of softening when heated, so if the repair isn't right it can be fixed a lot easier. Yeah, it's trickier to work with - you need a glue pot to heat it, and it does stink while you're working with it. Titebond makes a "liquid hide" glue that doesn't need heating - I haven't tried it yet, but it might be a better option for you: http://www.titebond.com/product.aspx?id ... 7daa20f8ed
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