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Unread 10-08-2012, 06:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1965 SG Special Neck Joint Crack

Hey Guys,

I picked up a mid '65 SG Special (with OSC) on ebay for what I thought was a pretty good deal--I paid $2300 + shipping. The seller said she was the original owner and said that the guitar had been stored most of it's life (played for 2 years in the late 60's by her, then played for 3 years in the 90's by her son). Needless to say, I thought I was in store for an amazing deal on a "closet Queen". Based on the look of the finish and condition of the frets, I would imagine that what she said about the amount of play time the guitar got is true. I say it's a "mid '65" because, from what I've read on here, that's what the neck joint looks like; it's got the smaller 1 9/16" nut and a mix of nickel and crome hardware.

Now, onto my issue. She said that there was a small crack in the finish by the neck, but that it was in the finish only and not through the wood. Her pictures were blurry, and my gut said that the neck joint would have some issues, but I figured that even if I parted it out, I could still recoup $2300. I got the guitar today and, of course, the crack is more the a simple blemish in the finish. The high e and back side of the joint is perfect, but the low E side has a pretty sizeable crack. I've played it for a couple hours, and it doesn't go out of tune or anything. What do you guys think? Should I have some Hide Glue injected in there? Is the guitar still worth what I paid for it at least? Should I try to return it or get some money back?

Here are a few pics to better explain the issue (I took these, not her. Pics in the add were much less detailed. She actually didn't even mention the crack in the ebay ad, but did mentoin it in an email prior to my purchase):











I really do love how it plays. The smaller nut is great as I have small fingers and hands. It feels a lot better to me than the 1 11/16" nut on my VOS SG Special. Plus, I really like the look of the Epi style Vibrola, which I've only seen on a few others here and there. I'd rather not get rid of it, so I'm hoping the issue can be fixed without much pain and suffering. I certainly am not going to pay the $4000-$6000 for one in perfect condiiton, so is this about the best I can expect anyway for the price? From what I can tell, and as was described by the seller, all parts are original.

Thanks for your help.
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Unread 10-08-2012, 06:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Dude! That is one sweet axe! *extremely jealous!*
I'd bring it to a luthier or tech, and get their recommendation. Find a tech you TRUST though... With a vintage SG like that, you want a good job done, not some half-assed attempt to fix what could be potentially a bigger problem.
Hope this helps!!
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Unread 10-08-2012, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks man. Other than the crack, it's really in great condition. If anyone knows of anybody "good" in the Charlotte, NC let me know. What sort of price should I expect to pay? I wouldn't imagine it would be any more than a couple hundred bucks??
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Unread 10-09-2012, 04:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm with Alex. Get it checked out by a good luthier.

My own '64 Standard had neck issues when I got it (in 1979) but it was fixed up by the late Dick Knight and has been fine ever since. The neck joint still looks no prettier than yours but has given absolutely no trouble in the 33 years I've had the thing. That's the value of using a craftsman rather than a chancer!
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Unread 10-09-2012, 08:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I took it to a local luthier. He inspected it and said that while he could try to do the repair, he wasn't certain it would turn out looking "restoration quality" since restoration wasn't really his specialty. He talked about filling the crack with gorilla glue, using some mahogany to fill the cracks, and then using some sort of stick lacquer to finish it off. However, he reccomended another luthier in the area that specailized in restoration work. I gave him a call and have setup an appointment for him to take a look. He sounded a little more confident about the repair on the phone, so we'll see what he says in person. The worst part is feeling like I should wait to get it fixed before I play it... I bought it to play it!
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Unread 10-10-2012, 05:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Play it, he can still fix it even it it's worse.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampjam View Post
I took it to a local luthier. He inspected it and said that while he could try to do the repair, he wasn't certain it would turn out looking "restoration quality" since restoration wasn't really his specialty. He talked about filling the crack with gorilla glue, using some mahogany to fill the cracks, and then using some sort of stick lacquer to finish it off. However, he reccomended another luthier in the area that specailized in restoration work. I gave him a call and have setup an appointment for him to take a look. He sounded a little more confident about the repair on the phone, so we'll see what he says in person. The worst part is feeling like I should wait to get it fixed before I play it... I bought it to play it!
IMHO, you made a good decision about trying someone else to do the repair. Your SG is in excellent condition and you want the repair to reflect the condition of the guitar. When you meet with the other luthier, ask to see some of the other similar repairs. That way you'll be better able to judge the quality of their work.

Also, don't be in a rush. If you have doubts... keep looking. Good luck! BTW, Very nice SG! Congrats!
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Unread 10-10-2012, 11:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by skeeterbuck View Post
IMHO, you made a good decision about trying someone else to do the repair. Your SG is in excellent condition and you want the repair to reflect the condition of the guitar. When you meet with the other luthier, ask to see some of the other similar repairs. That way you'll be better able to judge the quality of their work.

Also, don't be in a rush. If you have doubts... keep looking. Good luck! BTW, Very nice SG! Congrats!
Great advice. Thanks.
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Unread 10-10-2012, 11:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Like Skeeterbuck said, don't rush into anything. There are a lot of "luthiers" out there. Finding a good one is your goal. Nice SG by the way!
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Unread 10-11-2012, 10:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I decided to go with Craig Landau at NC Guitar Works in uptown Charlotte.

Welcome to NC Guitar Works | NC Guitar Works

I'll post pics of the repair job when I get the guitar back. He said it should be sometime next week.
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Unread 10-12-2012, 08:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Lovely!
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Unread 10-13-2012, 11:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I wonder if an x-ray would show the level of crack/separation involvement inside on a wooden object? would be interesting to see inside that spot without dis-assembly.
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Unread 10-14-2012, 05:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I wonder if an x-ray would show the level of crack/separation involvement inside on a wooden object? would be interesting to see inside that spot without dis-assembly.
I like the idea, but part of me would just rather not know... Excited to get it back and see how it looks.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 08:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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i saw you said the repair guy would use gorilla glue. i don't recommend this as i used this glue on the neck of the guitar i built. it took a fall and the neck blew apart at the glue joints. i repaired it with gorilla glue and it happened again! after that i repaired it with good old fashioned wood glue and it has not been a problem since. gorilla glue is good for other types of wood projects but i don't think it has the shear strength needed to be under the tension of a tuned up guitar neck (especially a vintage sg neck!).
just my 2 cents worth of experience.
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Unread 10-15-2012, 06:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i saw you said the repair guy would use gorilla glue. i don't recommend this as i used this glue on the neck of the guitar i built. it took a fall and the neck blew apart at the glue joints. i repaired it with gorilla glue and it happened again! after that i repaired it with good old fashioned wood glue and it has not been a problem since. gorilla glue is good for other types of wood projects but i don't think it has the shear strength needed to be under the tension of a tuned up guitar neck (especially a vintage sg neck!).
just my 2 cents worth of experience.
The first guy I saw said he was going to use gorilla glue, but I didn't go with him. The guy I went with said he was going to use some type of injectable glue (hide glue?).
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Unread 10-15-2012, 07:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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First off NICE GUITAR! Love the look of those old gibsons and that one looks really nice except for that crack. I am no expert on vintage guitar repairs but sure hope it turns out well since that is a sweet looking axe. Post up the after pics so we can talke a look at how it went.
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Unread 10-23-2012, 04:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I have a somewhat similar problem with my gibson es 175D - actually looks like the glue has started to come apart at the heel - prabably a consequence of storage in damp room and years of heavy use.

I took it to the best luthier I could find becouse I read about injecting glue in the cracks and thought it'd be a fairly simple task.

He said he wouldn't do it, becouse new and old glue wouldn't age the same and I could run into bigger problems later on.
The only way he'd do it is a neck reset, which is pricey.

finally, he said I should just play it until I notice a difference in sound or intonation / tuning problems. Worst case scenario, the neck would come off, in which case the repair wouldn't be any more difficult or expensive if he'd reset the neck right now.

So the guitar is still with me in the same condition, and I have been reassured it'll last for a long time if taken care of properly, before I need to take it for a repair.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 08:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I dont understand how new and old glue ageing would make 2 turtle sh!ts. I think I would take the chance and inject some in there. I mean what the hell is the worst that could happen? The neck come off? Didnt he say that was no big whoop. Id inject the glue and never worry about it again and would bet the neck wouldnt ever come off or give trouble.
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