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Sheraton neck cracking - should I panic?


cognistudio
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Neck on my 1997-ish Sheraton is cracking at base:

 

4400132339_1d34dc5007.jpg

 

4400897048_f0e62ef69c.jpg

 

I bought this guitar new and it was sitting in storage for the last 8 years. Not necessarily in ideal humidity/temperature conditions. I was planning on changing hardware to chrome and upgrading pickups/tuners etc - bring her into really nice shape, when i noticed this. I have no idea how long it has been this way - minutes or years. If the neck goes, it would all be a waste of money and effort.

 

Has anyone experienced this kind of cracking at the neck and is this likely to get worse from here? The crack is developing along the line where small piece of wood is joined at base of the neck, so I'm hoping it is mostly cosmetic issue - I'm not sure if that spot is intended to carry important load. There is no apparent distortion in the neck, all measurements check out and doesn't need truss rod adjustment, action is fine too.

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I had a crack that looked exactly like that on my Kingston acoustic with a mahogany neck. Couldnt tell if it was just the laquer or a bonafide crack. So I scraped the laquer off an found out it was indeed a crack in the neck. So I broke the hadstock off and glued it up. It repaird just fine. Too bad the rest of the guitar is a piece of junk.

 

It looks a little too high to be a scarf joint crack. I thought scarf joints were a tad lower on the neck...not right at the base of the headstock. Hard to tell from the pics.

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Rob' date='

 

I think Cog said it's at the base of the neck (where it attaches to the body) not the base of the headstock (which is the OTHER end of the neck).

 

~MW[/quote']

 

Ha! yes, you are correct. I was looking at that totally wrong. Someone else mentioned the scarf joint first, so my eyes were seeing a headstock, I think. Ok, definately NOT a scarf joint crack. Best get it to a luthier and have it checked out.

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I hope it's a finish crack. I'm not familiar with the older ones, but everyone keeps saying "lacquer finish" and I was under the impression that Epi's were poly finishes. And shame on you for keeping a sheraton in storage for 8 years. JK, but I am sorry that your first post had to be about a crack instead of getting to show us that Sheraton after the upgrades you were planning to make.

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A scarf joint is anywhere two pieces of wood are joined together at an angle. Can be the at the headstock' date=' neck or anywhere else: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarf_joint

 

 

[/quote']

 

Yeah, I didnt think they put scarf joints that low on a guitar neck. All of the ones I've seen have been near the top...granted, it hasnt been many, but I guess that was the assumption I was going on.

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Thanks for all suggestions. I got a headband magnifier so I could examine it more closely, and I am about 99% sure at this point it is finish only. Additionally, there is no detectable difference between strung and unstrung. It may be an indicator of some underlying weakness that will grow into an observable crack eventually, but it would definitely be premature to unglue the neck at this point as a preventative measure. The only explanation I can think of for finish-only crack right on top of a joint would be that two pieces of wood expanded at different rates and finish couldn't keep up without cracking. Whether this could occur without significantly weakening the underlying joint I don't know, but I guess time will tell.

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I would strongly recommend you get it fixed NOW before it does much more damage to the guitar. There's no way it can be a finish crack only - think about it. Why would there be particular stress on the finish only, in a place which just happens to be exactly the same location as a joint between two pieces of wood, unless the two pieces of wood had moved relative to each other? That tells you there has been movement between the pieces of wood, so even if your magnified view doesn't show it to you, you have a direct piece of evidence which tells you that the joint there has moved. Since glue sets and then shouldn't move, you know there is a crack there of some kind.

If a luthier can find a way to inject glue into the crack (maybe even drill a tiny pilot hole to get a needle in there) then you can clamp it up, let it set for a couple of days and it's fixed with no further damage. Otherwise you are waiting for a crack, which you KNOW exists, to open up without warning and do an unknown amount of damage to the surrounding structure of the guitar. You really shouldn't give yourself a false sense of security about it.

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That's right at the scarf joint' date=' not a good sign.

 

Loosen the string tension and take it to a reputable luthier, for sure...[/quote']

 

That's not the "scarf joint". That's the heel. The scarf joint on Epiphones is located where the wood for the neck and headstock are joined together. It is created by cutting the piece of neck wood at a sharp angle, reversing the two pieces and joining them back together. Here's how Godin does it:

 

http://www.seagullguitars.com/reverseheadstock.jpg

 

A scarf joint is just a particular kind of joint. The heel does not use this kind of joint.

 

All that being said, I would definitely take this guitar to a pro to have them check it out. Shouldn't be difficult to re-glue if it needs it. It would be a nice clean crack.

 

Cheers

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That's not the "scarf joint". That's the heel. The scarf joint on Epiphones is located where the wood for the neck and headstock are joined together. It is created by cutting the piece of neck wood at a sharp angle' date=' reversing the two pieces and joining them back together. Here's how Godin does it:

 

http://www.seagullguitars.com/reverseheadstock.jpg

 

A scarf joint is just a particular kind of joint. The heel does not use this kind of joint.

 

All that being said, I would definitely take this guitar to a pro to have them check it out. Shouldn't be difficult to re-glue if it needs it. It would be a nice clean crack.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

[/quote']

 

 

Actually some Epiphones have two scarf joints, my G400 has one at the headstock and one at the heel. The tennon end is scarfed onto the neck.

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I see that nobody else has brought up this point: Doesn't Epi have a "Limited Lifetime Warranty against defects in materials and workmanship?" Might be worth taking this up with the company.

 

 

Well..maybe..it depends on how the damage was done..if the guitar was "abused", then the warranty against

workmanship and materials wouldn't necessarily apply,,they would fix it, but it would cost, not to mention shipping.

OTOH..if the guitar was never removed from it's original case, and you have documented evidence of that,

then the warranty would apply for the lifetime of the instrument...just a legality..but

Epiphone cant have thousand of owners whacking their headstocks and then claiming

repairs under warranty...

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