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Ibanez Gio Electric Guitar
This guitar seemed beyond salvage, but I decided to attempt it anyway. It was severely splintered and large pieces of the wood were missing as received.
AS RECEIVED 9/12/2013
The first few photos below show the condition as received. The neck was broken completely off, and the nut was missing. The nut was not a concern, but the missing wood (shown in Photos 4, 5, and 6) was a concern. However, if you've seen the Epiphone acoustic guitar I repaired, it had a similar issue, and is still being played to this day.


Photo 1: The headstock is completely snapped off. Pieces of loose splintered wood must be removed before attempting to put this "puzzle" back together.


Photo 2: Shown here is the neck, where the headstock snapped off. You can see the truss rod protruding.

Photo 3: Here you can see the splinters removed. If they're not removed prior to attempting to put the parts back together, they can become lodged where you may not see them and prevent a good fit of the broken pieces.


Photo 4: After removal of loose splintering the parts can be fitted together. This now makes it obvious where large chunks of wood are missing. This will need to be filled in with new wood.


Photo 7: Again you can see where a large chunk of wood is missing. Filling in these areas with solid pieces of mahogany will insure a good strong repair.


Photo 6: Viewed from the fret-board, you can see the severity of the missing wood.

BEGINNING THE REPAIR -- Preliminary Work 9/14/2013
I started the repair on 9/14/2013. First I had to cut some pieces of mahogany from a solid piece I had on hand. I cut the approximate length, shape and angles. Then I fitted the small pieces to the guitar, sanding, filing, and forming them to the correct shape that would best fill the missing wood areas, and provide the most strength. Photos below show the fabrication of the pieces.

Photo 7: Pieces cut were approximate shape.

Photo 8:  After sanding to shape and size (sandpaper shown in photo 7 at left), pieces were custom fit into the areas where wood was missing. Small gaps are acceptable and will be filled with glue. Generally the fit was good.

Gluing Parts into the Gaps 9/14/2013
Glue was applied to both halves of the neck break, and it was put together. Then the fabricated chunks of wood, made to fill the gaps, were glued in place and secured there with Frog tape. Frog tape is used because it is easily peeled away.

Photo 9: Shown above, the glue can be seen through the gaps in the Frog tape. The wedge-shaped wood is securely in place. NOTE: Brass instrument valve oil was applied to the outer surface of the truss rod before gluing, because glue will invariably be forced into the area surrounding the truss rod. The oil prevents the glue from adhering and makes the truss rod still useable after the repair.

Photo 10: The same joint shown with both chunks of wood in place and secured by the Frog tapel

Photo 11: Clamping insures that the fretboard is securely bonded to the neck wood during re-gluing. The wedge-shaped piece can be seen protruding on the right top. The missing wood on the headstock near the tuner is of no consequence. That area will be blended and refinished with black polyurethane.

CLAMP REMOVAL, AND APPLYING FILLER -- Work Continues on 9/15/2013
Clamping removed, and wood filler applied to fill in low spots in preparation for filing and sanding, and painting.

Photo 13: Viewed from the side, the strips of "fill" wood are now supplemented by wood filler. The wood filler I use is acetone based; the "good stuff". I don't use water-based wood fillers...I just don't think they're as strong or durable.

Photo 14: Viewed from the headstock, (aft of neck) looking toward the body. You can see here how the wood filler fills in the crevices left by a less than perfect fit. A perfect fit with splintered uneven wood is difficult to achieve.

Photo 15: Viewed from the top of the headstock, I've used the wood filler to fill in the unevenness caused by the break at the curved top. Also I've filled in where the nut will be. All of the excess will be filed and sanded smooth, then covered with black polyurethane. The goal will be twofold (as I may have already said): 1) strength of the joint, and 2) a repair that is difficult, if not impossible, to detect.

These photos (16 thru 19) show the removal of excess wood material and wood filler in preparation for final sanding and painting. I have held the body in my hand and flexed the neck--it is strong, and will hold under string pressure.

Photo 16: After finishing the excess wood and wood-filler, gaps can be seen that would not have been obvious before flushing the repair.

Photo 17: Again, after flushing the excess wood, and the wood fill, gaps are now seen. These will be filled again.

Photo 18: This where the large chunk was missing. Patched-in mahogany (same material as the neck) can be seen--now flushed to the surrounding surfaces.

Photo 19: Overall view. After all remaining gaps are filled, and the finish is fine-sanded, the black finish will cover the patched areas.

Below you can see that the repair is progressing nicely. I filled in the spots shown above where there were small voids. Then after drying then sanding, there are still places that are "rough" that only show up when you apply the paint. They are not what I would call severe, and can be sanded lightly to blend, then repainted, sanded, repainted, then lightly sanded and buffed, and polyurethane (clear) applied, to complete the job.

Photo 20: Shown from the back, the paint covers the repaired area (dull area is where I sanded). After the black is applied and the rough places seen above are worked out, clear polyurethane will complete the job.

Photo 21: Same time/date showing the front side of the headstock. The pin stripe is no longer there, but may be re-applied. Not sure yet how I will do that. It takes a steady hand and very thin brush (mostly the steady hand). Nearing completion.