Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

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mjet
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Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by mjet » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:39 pm

I've got a lead on a Gibson Sonex at a good (like "must buy") price. Only issues are some dodgy wiring (simple enough to fix) and a crack in the neck joint (see below). (Note - Sonexes were one of Gibson's cheaper offerings in the late 70s which had bolt-on necks.)

This looks to me either like a deep finish crack in a naturally weak spot, and utterly fixable/glueable. Or no? :unsure:

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Larry Mal
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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:21 pm

Well, the body underneath that point isn't wood, so I don't know what that is. It's not a crack in the wood.

The Sonex finish isn't really a hard gloss, either. I can't imagine what I'm looking at, truthfully. But it probably is just a crack in the finish- is that possibly a Sonex Artist or something? Those are wood and nitro, from what I understand.

Do you have more pictures?

I own a Sonex, have had one for years. I love it. I got mine for $200 so I got a great deal. The neck is super playable, great Norlin playability.

Good luck, either way. Does yours have the Velvet Brick or the Dirty Fingers pickups?
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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Edit: sorry, it is wood at that point. So, it could be a crack in the underlying wood under there.

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But if you'll look at those pictures on that ad, you'll see what I mean, the Sonex is a wooden frame of some kind with space age polymer or whatever around it. It is "finished" but not really in the typical sense. I have never seen the black, so I can't say if it's not more of a real finish, but I don't see how the finish of my Sonex could crack in that way at all.

I don't know, but I would guess that is a crack in the underlying wood.
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Larry Mal
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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:30 pm

Of course, when you look at this one, you see that where one of the screws are, the space age polymer ("Resonwood" I now recall) has cracked in exactly the way I just said it wouldn't:

Image

So I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. I have no idea what I'm looking at.
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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by kimson » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:35 pm

I have no idea, but a look at that screw certainly made me feel uneasy.

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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by oid » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:56 pm

I would want to see in the neck pocket and under the plate before buying unless it is dirt cheap. The crack from the screw on its own would suggest a finish crack, that other one makes me wonder, it is not a normal path for a neck pocket finish crack. This picture is not enough to say for certain.
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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by mjet » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:11 am

Here's a shot of the neck pocket on the same one you posted - looks pretty "woody" to me.

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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:06 am

Right, it does at that point, but then that other crack that radiates over towards the bout goes into where I don't think that it's all wood.

So I don't really feel I can predict what exactly is cracked here, the wood, the finish, the Resonwood covering, a combination or what. I'd want to see it with the neck pulled or something.

I also don't really know what one would use to glue Resonwood. Wood is easy. Maybe Resonwood is no big deal.

I don't think this crack is all that big of a deal, either, I doubt it will spread much or present much of a problem. Sonex guitars are tough as shit.
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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by mjet » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:43 am

Right. Surely any crack that could be slightly pulled out could have some epoxy squirted in there to keep things solid - wood or resonwood. This one is going for $300 so I might give it a shot. Thanks!

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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by gm1cusnr » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:39 pm

Borden's 'Resourcenol' which is an epoxy type glue - IIRC; should make a permanent workable repair which is able to be finished to Lutherie standards. It is a little finicky - needs to be clean in the join surfaces, and you should be wearing latex or equivalent latex-free gloves. Hope this helps someone in a similar situation. Respectfully, William

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Re: Help me assess this neck joint - big problem or not?

Post by mgeek » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:12 am

At that price you may as well just have it. Neck pocked cracks can *look* scary, but practically speaking it's not that much of a disaster

That crack can deffo be filled (though it might be worth dowelling it too...been researching this as I've just bought a cracked body and this seems to be the preferred technique)

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