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The Gibson problem

Hey there folks! Its about that time again!

Its been a little while since my last blog. I have a feeling this blog is going to become more of a repair blog than anything else. But thats ok! There are plenty of things to talk about in the repair world. Right now, my hot topic is the “Gibson problem”.

The Gibson problem is very common. Anyone who owns a Gibson has the potential to run into this problem at one time or another. “What problem” you ask? Pictures can only tell this story….

Thats right folks! the famous Gibson has a weakness! Very soft wood coupled with a lot of tension and any kind of impact create a lot of unwanted problems! Gibson uses mahogany for their neck woods. Its a fairly common wood in the guitar world. Lots of sustain and warmth dwell within this wonderful woody grain. Problem is, unless there is a lot of mass or a good joint (like a scarf joint) between the neck and the headstock, you will almost always have problems.

From what I read, Gibson makes all their necks one piece out of mahogany with a 17 degree headstock angle. the weakness is where the truss rod adjustment screw is near the headstock. When strong enough impact or stress affect this area, it usually cracks. Most cracks and breaks happen in the same place. It is a fairly easy fix, just some glue and a good 24 hours of clamping. I just wonder why Gibson has never made any effort to fix this reoccurring problem?

I recently had to fix one of these wonderfully designed headstock issues. A friend of mine has a Gibson that he loves to death. He went to pick it up off his stand and accidentally dropped it, strings down on a padded floor. The headstock instantly snapped off. Here is a picture of that…

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Wow, look at that! Looks a lot like the breaks in the pictures above, doesn’t it? There you have it! The Gibson problem!

Ofcorse with some glue and a few clamps, this problem is easily solved…..

Some sanding and touchup of the finish is required in this instance. You almost can’t tell anything went wrong!

Anyway, thats all for now! stay tuned for more on this and many other interesting problems!

~Caleb

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