Fixing a broken headstock for The Revivalists

We do a lot of work for The Revivalists. Three of their seven members play electric, acoustic, and/or bass guitars, and as they seem to play them pretty hard and tour a LOT,  the band keeps us pretty busy. This week Zach brought in his vintage Guild Starfire, which had it’s headstock broken and then glued multiple times.


Zach felt that it wasn’t stable enough to handle the rigors of touring, and asked us to make it awesome. With this particular broken headstock I opted to carve away a section of wood across the multiple cracks and secure them with a Sipo mahogany backstrap overlay. Here’s a brief description of how I dd it.

First, I carved away a section of wood extending from the neck to the headstock:

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Next, I carved a thick piece of Sipo (a variant of mahogany that is extremely dense and stiff, and hence, stronger), and mated it to the neck. I stuck some toothpicks into the tuner screw holes, which wedged the Sipo perfectly in place and prevented it from slipping during the glueing phase:

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Next, I carefully hand carved the Sipo so that it would blend into the rest of the neck. In order to create a stronger neck/headstock, I carved a volute into the Sipo, which leaves more wood at this critical point in the neck.

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Once satisfied with the shape, I worked on making it look good. The neck had been well played and worn in, and I wanted it to blend into the neck without it looking too new. I used a combination of stain and gunstock oil to achieve a worn-in sort of look that blended in well with the rest of the neck.

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We’re pretty happy with how this came out. It looks great and it’s a super solid repair. Thanks, Zach!

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