Broken Gibson spindle plates are very common, and we have repaired MANY of them over the years using various techniques such as backstrapping, laminating multi-layer overlays, routing reinforcement splines, and sometimes a combination of everything. We see so many broken Gibson spindle plates that we have developed our own proprietary tools to produce repeatable and reliable results when gearing reinforcements. We have also seen a lot of previous repair failures that we had to deal with, which can make the approach to the job much more difficult. This was one of those jobs. That’s how I repaired a broken Gibson headstock on this Les Paul.
This headstock took a blow and snapped right at the neck rod access lumen like many of them do. It was then previously repaired with epoxy and reinforcement serrations and the cavities were filled with epoxy putty. But the splines were made up of two 1/4 inch pine dowels that proved ineffective against 100 pounds of constant tension on the electric guitar strings. That wasn’t the biggest problem though: if the headstock was reattached, it was at the wrong angle. When I attached it dry, the angle was almost as flat as a fender headstock. This would make the truss rod nut inaccessible and also cause pressure problems for the strings when they sit on the guitar’s string nut. The best solution I saw was to make a new section of the neck to reset the headstock angle. Below is a photo diary of my process of restoring this instrument.
This was a pretty complicated fix: fixing bad repairs makes things a lot more complicated than it could have been if we had had the first approach. But all well, that ends well. This Les Paul headstock is now stronger than it left the factory and ready to rock for decades to come.
Check out New Orleans’ own Penguins with Knives and hear Benjamin Deffendall rock this guitar!
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