Tuesday, September 23, 2008
a very strong neck repair
Gary was out on a mission in the South-Eastern United States and, as he will, visited a guitar repair shop. As repair peeps are wont to do they start comparing notes about what ever happens to be
on the bench at that moment. This particular visit they shared a way to inlay a graphite weave and epoxy resin into the back of a guitar neck to repair and reinforce a cracked peghead. We've tried various resin and cloth reinforcement methods over the years but usually stick to matching a wood lamination over the back of the break. With our newfound knowledge and a taste for adventure we put Trevor to implementing this graphite weave.
What's nice about this method is the way it inlays. You can control the distribution of strength of the graphite cloth by altering the direction of the fiber lengths. The cupping effect of the cloth running lengthwise with the neck will also add strength and support. The success of this repair also depends upon finding an epoxy with the correct characteristics.
The repair was a grand success and has the added benefit of a look of it's own. Think tennis racket vs spaceship. In theory this is now the strongest part of the neck. The added stiffness may add some attack and sustain to the overall sound of the guitar. I'm guessing we'll be sticking to our matching wood laminates for most of the severe neck breaks since the laminates can be stained and finished to match most wood grain. Of course we can always paint over anything. Most important, the owner that paid us do this to his guitar is extremely pleased and back on the road touring. This peg-head that had broken repeatedly is now the least of his concerns. He can get back to the important stuff like where the band is sleeping tonight.