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I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:00 pm
by Highbinder
Hello all,

Long time lurker, don't post very often but I could do with some help.

I just dropped my resonator, it's an mm blues. it was leaning up and landed on the wood floor as far as
I can tell flat on it's back. I guess all the force went through the neck because the heel joint with the body is no longer flush and is lifting at the bottom.

I've taken a look inside and from what I can see the section of wood on the end of the long strut has a split in it.

Is this something I can repair myself? Or should I go to a guitar shop. To make things worse I've just moved to Barcelona and my Spanish isn't up to scratch for explaining something like this. And I left my other guitar in Scotland.. Is this something a normal guitar shop can even deal with? I don't know how often they see a reso out here..

Posting on my phone but I can get pics if you think it will help.


Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:10 pm
by VintageNats
Hello my friend,
Chances are good you can handle that if you're a bit handy. Sounds like the neckstick cracked/split, allowing the neck to pull forward. Here's what you do...

- Unstring the guitar to get all tension off of the neck/stick.
- Unscrew the two screws that go thru the pan the cone sits on and into the neckstick.
- Remove the two neckstick supports that sit between the neck and the body which hold it tight to the bottom of the pan. (pan is the ledge the cone sits on)

Once this is undone, you'll notice that there is some "play" in the neckstick up and down as it sits flat on its back. Keep in mind the neckstick and the neck itself are like a teeter- tawter (spelling?).
The crack allowed in effect the neckstick to drop downward, which allowed the neck to rise upward, hence the heel now off the body. It will now be attached only to the body at the fingerboard flap.

- Not seeing the split, but what you want to do is use a little wedge (small flatblade screwdriver?) to "open up the crack just enough to be able to seep wood glue inside the crack from both sides of it.
You can put the guitar on it's side, seep one side, then the other side, seep into the crack from the opposite side. Once you get enough in there, use one or preferably 2 small C clamps to clamp the neckstick tight together. If you have some you can use a little maple strip between the stick and the clamp so it doesn't dig into the stick and leave an impression. Not a big deal though. The wood on these imported necksticks is usually a bit softer than a typical maple stick. Once you clamp it together, glue will seep out both sides of the stick. Use a rag or paper towel w just a touch of dampness/water to clean off both sides. Let sit overnight. If you want it to look nice, you can lightly sand the remaining glue residue off the sides of the stick where the crack shows.

At this point, it's putting it back together. Screw in the stick to the bottom of the pan first from above, then reposition the two neckstick supports under the stick. A little touch of glue on top of each, not sure if those models put a nail thru the top into the support like Vintage National guitars did. If so, you'll need to be sure to reposition the support so the original hole lines up with the nail from above.
Or, if the support ends up being slightly off, you can drill a new pilot hole from above thru the necksticks original nail hole and down into the support. If you don't, it'll probably split when the nail drives in from above. If there's no nail and it's just pushed under, do the same w a bit of wood glue on top of the support.

You're now pretty much done. Pop in the cone, add coverplate, restring. More than likely it's be the same as new. Let us know how it comes out. Glad to help. Done this type of thing a gazillion times, not a big deal. Feel free to email me if you have added questions, I'll look for a progress report.
Cheers to all, Lenny

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 7:38 pm
by Highbinder
Hey Lenny,

Cheers for the reply. I took a look again after removing the screws in the neckstick.
I bought some glue but couldnt manipulate it to pry the split wide enough to use the glue.

I think the problem is the split is parallel with the body of the guitar and you would have to have the neckstick pull beyond the pan to open the split.

I took it to a guitar shop, the owner told me 2 days, but I picked it up today and they told me they hadn't been able to fix it.. They gave me a number of someone who might be able to help, the chap I spoke to said he was an old hippy type as some kind of explaination.

Would I be crazy to saw the neckstick in two, fix the split, then bolt the sawn pieces with a wedge?

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 9:09 pm
by zhyla
Highbinder wrote:Would I be crazy to saw the neckstick in two, fix the split, then bolt the sawn pieces with a wedge?

Probably anything that results in that stick being a solid structural element again is ok. Can you just glue some pieces on either side to kind of "splint" it back together?

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 9:51 pm
by Highbinder
I originally wondered if it would be possible to get a pair of metal brackets screwed in over the area but I wasn't sure if you really have the space to do that.

Ill try and upload a pic tomorrow

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:58 am
by diamond
Hey Highbinder ~ where are you? If you can give the guys here your location we can probably point you in the direction of the nearest recommended reso repairer :wink:

Slide On!


Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 8:21 am
by Highbinder
Ian, I'm in Barcelona, Spain. Photo is rather tricky too.

Think a brace over the area would work?

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 3:04 pm
by VintageNats
Hey pal,
Is there any way you could post a pic of this break? It shouldn't be so difficult.

-Is the crack visible from the side of the neck stick, which I assume, or visible from above?
-If you clamp the area together, does the neck and heel seem to settle in it's proper position?

If it goes back to it's correct position once clamped, then yes you can both glue and screw strips of maple across the break and clamp it all together. Be sure to drill pilot holes in the maple strips to add screws into so they don't split.

Or, you could go the next step and just take the neck out to repair the crack by gluing it. This is not a big a deal as it seems. You'll need to remove the screws on the fingerboard flat in addition to what you've already done. (remove pads and neckstick screws) Take a sharp finish nail, and tap it into the dots over the fingerboard screws, directly into the center of each dot. Once partially in, you can usually just push the nail to one side and the dot will pop out. You'll need to get some new dots, but they are super cheap. Don't wedge the nail between the wood and the dot, or you'll leave a little hole in the wood. If the dot breaks and part comes out, no worries, just finish removing what left carefully. I don't know if they use 3 or 5 screws on your guitar, but once the dots are out, you can remove the fingerboard flap screws. The neck should then pull right out of the body. Now you can correctly repair the stick and fix that crack.

Once done, just reverse all you've done. Just get 3-5 matching dot's from a local guitar shop, they are super cheap. Push them into the holes gently. You can either put a tiny drop of wood glue under each one, or seep thin super glue around the edge. I put a little thin super glue in a tiny "cup", then dip a sharp nail into the cup and touch around the edge of each dot with it. Very little is used. Heck, you can even just put the dots in and as long as they're snug, leave em as is with no glue.

Not sure you want to go this final route, but if you're stuck, and feel adventurous, you really can't hurt it any further trying.
Good luck, Len

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 9:53 am
by Highbinder
Perhaps a silly question but which frets should the screws be under? I'll post a pic when I have access to a pc, I've been using my phone to post :)

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 8:19 am
by diamond
Hi Highbinder,

Lenny is the main man to follow here if you're okay to do the work yourself....he knows resonators :wink:

I don't know of a resonator repairer in mainland Spain, but if you feel the work would be best done by a pro, try Mike Lewis in Paris (Fine Resonator Guitars); Delta Resonator Guitars or Dave King Acoustic's here in the U.K., and have you considered contacting Robin at Busker Guitars about the price of a replacement neck?

One of the biggest drawbacks you'll face by having a professional repair on your reso is cost - you may find the final cost of a professional repair will be more than buying another instrument :wha:

Good luck & Slide On!


Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 7:39 pm
by Highbinder
Okay I drilled out the dots and took the screws out and... The neck stick doesn't slide out. The wood thickens, and the taper jams in the body hole. I've not tried flexing the stick to see if I can open the crack, daylight has gone so that can wait till tomorrow.

In the mean time ive got a harmonica I've been meaning to learn.

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 4:34 am
by zhyla
Let's see some pictures of your issues... I'm sure we could all learn something from it.

No idea bout your neck removal... Lenny?

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 6:34 am
by VintageNats
Hi Guys,
Well, the stick had to go in that way, so it should come back out. Is it that the cracked area has made the stick a little crooked, hence it making it tough to come back out? Did you get all the screws out, at least to the point that the neck is obviously loose and disconnected from the body? If so, you might have to reach in and hold the stick tight together in the area it's cracked so it will slide out of the neckstick opening in the body. Also, did you remove the wooden wedge from inside that sits below the fingerboard flap inside the body between the neckstick and the top of the body? The screws going into the fingerboard should be going into this wooden wedge, so you'll need to pull that wedge out before to make it easier for the neckstick to slide out. Try that and report back, and if possible, take some pics inside the body of the neckstick.

Best, Len

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 2:34 pm
by Highbinder
Hey guys,

I was just being dense. Didn't see the ply wedge. The neck is off now and I have been in contact with Busker, too. They suggest a third mushroom close to the heel, and wooden splints.

There's 3.5mm leaway, so now I need to find something 1.5mm thick to use as the splint. Is it crucial to use maple? Where can I source it?

Re: I dropped my resonator..

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:31 pm
by Highbinder
Okay, the guitar is back together with an extra support. It seems to be holding fine. Only thing I've thrown the action way off, so I'll need to see to that now!

Thank you for the help guys