Best glue to repair a broken guitar neck??

My 10 year old niece dropped her guitar and the neck broke. It’s not completely broken off, but pretty close. My first impression is to take the strings off, glue it back together, set a few calipers on it and let it set for a few days. The break is about five inches long.

I have no experience in this department. Should I use woodworking glue or Superglue? Will calipers work or will they just put too much pressure in too localized of an area? Preserving sound quality is not an issue since this is a cheapo starter guitar which had no sound quality in the first place.

Anyone had experience fixing broken guitar necks??

I would be surprised if any glue does the trick. You might have several hundred pounds of tension on that neck and over time, its going to open the crack again.

Replace the instrument if its a cheap one.

What he said above.

You don’t want your repair letting go when she is playing it.

Replace it.

How to for electric.

Per FuzzyOgre’s note if it’s acoustic I think it’s game over for an inexpensive guitar.

I have glued all sorts of bits of guitars together and never had anything come apart. wood glue is incredibly effective. You do need proper wood glue though, not just whatever you’ve got in the junk draw.

I tried it using PVA on a classical acoustic - i.e. catgut strings under low tension - and it still broke again within a couple of days. From my experience I’d say pitch it out.

I agree with jjimm. In my experience the guitar is a write-off.

Wood glue can hold about 3000 PSI. We fix broken necks on guitars with it all the time at my friends music store. Glue it well and clamp it with as many clamps as you can get on it, let it set for a few days and it will be good as new.

Well then. My sample size may perhaps be too small… And my glue may have been rubbish. What glue do you use?

A second vote for giving glue a try.

Nylon strings are not really under that much tension; it’s <100lb, IIRC.

And, as a woodworker, it has always been my experience that in a properly prepared glue joint, the wood breaks before the glue does.
I would probably reach for standard yellow glue, since that is the one I am most familiar with.

You could glue it together with J-B Weld epoxy or some other clear epoxy. A great deal of tension is not required to keep the pieces together while it sets. The J-B quick version sets in a few minutes. You could hold it that long if compulsive enough. Epoxy is always good to keep around for projects anyway. After applying epoxy and bringing the pieces tightly together, some epoxy will squeeze out. The excess can be wiped off with a rag wetted with alcohol for a clean repair. If I thought it needed extra strength, I might apply a metal backing to act as a spine that would take more than enough tension.

Bottom line: Since you admit not being adroit at these things and the guitar is of minimal value, I suggest going shopping and perhaps upgrading the instrument.

We use yellow carpenter’s glue, like this ( When someones kid accidentally steps on the neck of a $2500.00 guitar you don’t just toss it, you fix it. Depending on how it breaks most times you can’t tell where it was snapped after the repair. This happens once every month or so and I don’t recall any ever coming back because the glue let go.

Assuming it’s a cheap instrument, go for it. Wood glue.

If it’s not a cheapo, then take it to a pro.

I employed this technique (wood glue) on my 10 pound sledgehammer last year.
The sledge is working fine today.
Of course, it’s only good for Death Metal. :wink:

Plain old wood glue is strong stuff when used properly.

wood glue not superglue.

examine the break. see how it fits together. dry fit it together with clamps/straps so that it closes the break the tightest (it might almost disappear). open and apply glue, fit together so it comes together the same way as the dry fit. clamp and leave still for a day.

Pitch it. Get her a new, better guitar and tell her not to drop it.

He has already stated it is a cheap guitar, so he should just fix it himself. The cost to have it repaired professionally would be more than the price of a new one. As I have stated above when a pro fixes a broken neck they use yellow carpenters glue.


Titebond wood glue is the stuff you want to use. You can get it at Lowes or Home Depot. The wood will break before the glue does.

How much of this advice would apply to a $1500 cello with the neck completely broken off? I don’t want to just toss it . . . so should I fix it myself with wood glue, or take it to a pro? And how much would a pro charge?

As a carpenter I would recommend a white ‘assembly’ glue, not the yellow ‘carpenters’ glue. Yellow glue has more solids and doesn’t run as easily - it is for trim, not tight joints.

A joint like that, that undergoes a bending moment, I would reinforce with a dowel. This requires accuracy and good technique for everything to align properly. If it already has a tension rod in it I guess that would be unnecessary and unfeasible.

I am sure the guys that actually repair guitars know what they are talking about, so I will shut up now.