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Cracks in my Epiphone!

Hi all!
I recently bought a 1941 Epiphone Blackstone Blonde off of Ebay.
Just recieved the guitar and it's beatuiful and sounds real good to! Only thing is, I found a crack at each side of the neck and they seem to run almost parallell, just where the neck meets the body. The bottom part of the neck has the deepest crack and I'm not 100% sure wheter it's just a finish crack or a crack that goes deeper into the woods, but I'm naturally quite worried about them, because I don't want the neck to snap! I of course loosened the strings the moment i found out about these cracks

What do you think, and what should I do?


  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    edited October 2011 Posts: 794
    It is hard to tell because the pictures are not in perfect focus or high res, BUT, there is a very good chance these are not cracks in the wood, but the glue line between the neck shaft and the fingerboard extension. I think is is common for the extension to be glued to the neck shaft on archtops. I don't have my Benedetto book here at the office, but I'm pretty sure he glues this extension on.

    The "crack" line on second picture looks very straight and the grain looks a little different either side of the line. The line is also on a funny angle for a wood crack, but makes perfect sense if it is the scarf joint between the extension and the fingerboard. On the third picture, it is confusing, as I see two lines. The lower one is parallel to the fingerboard and I'm guessing this is a dark line of wood grain. The second is a faint one that appears to match the obvious diagonal one in the second picture. If so, and these diagonal lines are straight and symmetrical, it is unlikely they are cracks in the wood.

    You're eye are better than the photos. Use a magnifying glass if necessary. Are the "cracks" straight lines? Is there a change in the grain from one side to the other? Are they symmetrical. If so, then I suspect you are looking at a glue line. Then we'd be concerned if the joint has failed, but it does not appear to be, just opening up a little at the edges. I would also sight the fingerboard along its length. If these are cracks or failed glue joints, you would expect to see something other than a straight line, probably a shallow V. If straight, I wouldn't worry too much about it regardless of what it is. The neck heel looks solid to the body. I'm betting it is just a glue line. Tell us what you see when you look at it closely.

    Beautiful guitar by the way!

  • skizmoskizmo
    Posts: 5
    The lines are really straight, so straight that it probably wouldn't be natural for wood to crack that way. I also had my teacher give me his second opinion and he also thought them to be gluelines for fret extention, so I'm a bit releaved. It's just the panic one feel when unwrapping the guitar you have been waiting for for two weeks, and it looks as if it could be in bad shape.. hehe

    Thank you, It sounds and plays awesome as well!
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    It is also possible that sometime in the guitar's history.. the fingerboard was removed and the angled piece added to counter a lifting neck... seems like the long way around the lake ; I have never seen such a thing on any Epiphone or any guitar .
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    Hmm... yes, that really looks like some kind of graft. The color and grain pattern are different on each side of the line. Try playing some notes on the upper frets (beyond the "crack") If it's loose, it will really kill the tone/volume of any notes you play past that point. If you have any doubt, take it in to get it checked. Better safe than sorry.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • In the second pic looking at the bass side there looks to be a glue line going at an angle( which is very odd for a fretboard extension) that is reflected on the treble side and another line that looks to start at the same point at the body/neck joint and travels parallel to the neck.

    I would take Bob's advice and take it in to a local luthier to have a look.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • BobBob New
    Posts: 19
    I have seen archtops with fingerboard extensions before, especially old Hofners. Most Hofners made in the 50's and 60's had this feature. Apparently the different expansion and contraction rates of the wood used in the fingerboard and the neck and the different movements in the wood generally caused the end of the fingerboard where it extended over the body to "curl up" so that the guitar would eventually become unplayable. See photos of extension on this page:

    Although the joint on these old Hofners was different to your Epiphone it could be the same cause and remedy. Always good advice to let a luthier have a look of course.

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