Cracking along neck joint/binding?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by baybruin, May 29, 2020.

  1. baybruin

    baybruin Electromatic

    15
    Jan 14, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Hey all! Would love to get your thoughts on this cracking along the neck joint of my ‘03 Anniversary Jr. It seems to continue into the binding on the body as well, where it looks like there is an actual bigger crack. The guitar had been handled very carefully and has not taken any hits. Is this something to be concerned about structurally? Something to be fixed?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. sgarnett

    sgarnett Gretschie

    380
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    That looks like low humidity shrinkage to me.
     
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  3. baybruin

    baybruin Electromatic

    15
    Jan 14, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Thanks sgarnett. Any recommendations/further thoughts? I more recently have started using a small cheap humidifier in this room and have been trying to keep the humidity between 40-50. Would this just be shrinkage on the binding from how these guitars are constructed?
     
  4. sgarnett

    sgarnett Gretschie

    380
    Apr 14, 2020
    Kentucky
    As a recent Gretsch convert, I’m not too familiar with their construction or weak points. I will defer to others for recommendations.
     
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  5. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Age:
    67
    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    Doesn’t look like a big problem to me.
     
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  6. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    I’ve seen that shrinkage before on the heel of the neck as annoying as it is. And it may be that. But I haven’t really noticed it on the binding next to the neck on post 2000 guitars like yours. Maybe it’s shrinkage as well.

    Out of curiosity, do you know the history of where the guitar has lived? Assuming you’re not the original owner.
     
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  7. baybruin

    baybruin Electromatic

    15
    Jan 14, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for helping me figure this out guys. Much appreciated.

    Guitar was in Cincinnati, OH before me. I’m in Los Angeles, and have had the guitar for about 6 months. I think it happened (at least visually) under my care as I didn’t notice this when I first got the guitar.

    Merc, in the cases you’ve seen before, is it anything to worry about? Don’t know enough about the construction of these guitars to know better. Thanks for your response.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  8. baybruin

    baybruin Electromatic

    15
    Jan 14, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Thanks! Part of why I’m asking is I was/am hoping for some reassurance like this. I’m hoping this is the case!
     
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Friend of Fred

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    I won`t worry all too much about it.
    Looks like ordinary shrinkage.
     
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  10. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    My disclaimer here is I’m not a luthier. If it’s simply the white heel cap it’s possibly just shrinkage and no need for concern. On Vintage Gretsch they’ve even fallen off. I’ve seen it where the owners had no problems with it being only cosmetic. However, if you start to notice it separating on the side of the neck where it joins the body I’d keep an eye on it and that’s a different story. Especially if it’s not staying in tune and the neck wiggles with the strings off, it could need a neck reset at that point. I believe these are typically few cases of modern Gretsch guitars but it does happen.

    Here’s a picture from online of a Gretsch where it was the side of the neck needing a reset.

    BAF565B2-3750-48F1-BFAF-F7E6B77457A1.jpeg

    http://guitarrepairshack.blogspot.com/2019/11/gretsch-white-falcon-neck-reset.html?m=1

    http://gretschpages.com/forum/modern-gretsch-guitars/neck-reset/63657/page1/

    I’ve personally had the misfortune of a slight gap on the side of the neck on two Gretsch guitars. They still stayed in tune fine. But because it was on the side I sold them. Even if it were years away of needing a neck reset it simply bothered me. My case is odd. It seems really rare it happens around here, let alone two guitars with the same person. To be honest, it influenced my switch to a Jet. I do get tempted with hollow bodies still.
     
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  11. baybruin

    baybruin Electromatic

    15
    Jan 14, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Thanks. Very helpful. Understood on the disclaimer as well. I’ll be keeping an eye on the side of the neck! No tuning issues/wobbling to speak of yet.

    See this part on the body/binding next to the white cap? Little worried about that too.[​IMG]
     
  12. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    When it comes to the close-up... I'm a luthier (amateur) and to me clamps and white glue are both required in urgent mode to close asap this gap.

    Release all strings tension before it becomes a bigger issue.
     
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  13. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    I’ve spent 15 years with Gretsch and browsed Gretsch Talk and Gretsch Pages since about 2009. I don’t really recall binding issues on modern Gretsch guitars such as yours. Assuming no one chimes in on it you could try contacting a local luthier for their opinion. Or perhaps Curt at Old School Guitar. I know he used to be active at the other Gretsch forum. With pictures he was kind enough to give me his opinion on if me 6118 needed a neck reset.

    https://www.oldschoolguitar.net/
     
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  14. RG7X

    RG7X Synchromatic

    538
    Nov 11, 2018
    Los Angeles
    If you don't get any other opinions here, I'd go seek a luthier sooner than later. Interested to hear what you find out. Hope it's nothin'!
     
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  15. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    A moving neck block to me, to be confirmed...
     
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  16. baybruin

    baybruin Electromatic

    15
    Jan 14, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for all your input guys. I’m definitely taking this into my luthier, but things are a little tricky here in LA with the protests. Trying to be patient!
     
  17. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    By that you mean a loose neck?
     
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  18. baybruin

    baybruin Electromatic

    15
    Jan 14, 2013
    Los Angeles
    I contacted Curt and here’s what he said based on the same pictures in this thread:

    “The first thing I do is remove the strings and see if there’s any neck movement. If there’s no movement and it stays in tune then it’s most likely cosmetic. I’m thinking there wasn’t enough glue on the binding and with seasonal changes the binding separated a bit from the side causing the heel cap crack.
    I’d use crazy glue or Duco cement. Tape off the body, put the glue in a syringe, clean off the excess and firmly tape the binding back in place.
    Curt“


    FWIW I don’t plan on doing this myself, but it’s extremely helpful to have gained some input from a professional. Merc, thanks for the recommendation.
     
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  19. Merc

    Merc Country Gent

    May 6, 2017
    Florida
    Thanks for the update. I was a bit curios on the binding too. Although it never crossed my mind, I’m not surprised about the super glue. Last year I was YouTubing repairing small indents on poly finishes, particularly on the back of the neck. Apparently it’s also common for luthiers to fill indents with super glue, sand it down, and then polish it. I also remember there are different grades of the super glue, and for filling you wanted one that was less watery.
     
  20. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    france
    Yes and no... Yes in the most dramatic cases, no if the neck has a good fit but the neck bloc itself could move a little (almost not visible)... The gretsch neck block is going inside the upper side of the body at least to the strap pin. And the side crack shouldn't be there if the neck block has been properly glued. Then the toy is gently twisting causing cracks...or the box to open here and there.

    I had an unglue neck block on a gibson (smaller neck block).

    DSC00741.JPG

    In your case, the cracks at neck base and the crack on side could be close ... but same issue differents consequencies. On The Gretsch we have a different construction with an offset neck base/body joint.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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