Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Headstock Crack Repair on the Princess Banjo-Mandolin

There are some cracks on the headstock veneer plates that I want to fix.

There are veneer plates on both the front and back of the headstock.  So I need to remove the tuners to get at the back plate.

The construction of the head is a little unusual.  Not only are there two plates, there is also a large cutout to fit the tuners.

The tuners are made by Waverly - high quality.  This is one interesting instrument.

You can see how the head is a sort of "T" shape, with the front veneer covering the open space.

Here's another picture, this time with both sets of tuners removed.  The headstock is part of the neck as far as I can tell - both the neck shaft and the head are maple.  I don't think there is a scarf joint there.

But I could be wrong.

So I had this bright idea (right) to remove the veneers in order to close up and glue the cracks.

The front veneer was easy.  It's pretty thick.  Although, the cracks closed up just a little.  Probably should have left it on the banjo-mandolin.


It gets worse.

I had a heck of a time figuring out what kind of wood was used.  I finally took a shot and used some rosewood filler.

It worked fine, and I'll be able to sand it smooth as the bottom of a baby.

Then I think I'll shoot some nitro over it.

As for the back veneer...
...I tried to take it off with my usual heat-and-knife approach.  The approach that has never failed me.

Until now.

The veneer is/was so thin that it just shattered into a gazillion pieces.  What was I thinking?  Why didn't I just fill it?

I guess I got crack-fill happy.

In the picture here, I'm measuring a piece of the shattered veneer.  Yes, it's merely .047 of an inch!  (1.19mm).

So I took a piece of rosewood headplate stock which started life at about .090 inches (2.29mm) and sanded it on the ROSS down to about .055 inches.  It was very fragile at that thickness so I didn't dare go thinner.

Then I glued it up to the headstock.

I'll stain it to match the trim on the neck and hope for the best.  I think I can recover from this stupid goof.  Hopefully.

To quote the legendary philosopher Bugs Bunny, "Eh, what a maroon!"


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