Sad Day....

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Sad Day....

Postby alexjones » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:16 pm

Well I received the Harmony H174 guitar today. USPS took forever to deliver it - the two destinations were only about 8 hours apart and still it took 11 days for it to be delivered! Unbelievable - I will never ship a guitar or anything large with USPS. I opened the box and the headstock had been broken off :evil: . So the seller basically slid the guitar into a box without wrapping it with anything and then stuffed a little bit of paper to fill the void where the neck is. Then he put that box into a rickity old TV box and brought it to to the post office. I am really surprised that there isn't more damage. The only protection to the top of the guitar was LITERALLY 2 pieces cardboard. Unbelievable way of packing. I might be able to fix it - but it won't look pretty and now the guitar is pretty much worthless. What a sad day for this little harmony...
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby ajbremer » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:04 pm

I'm sorry to hear about that Harmony alexjones.

I fixed a broken headstock just like that before but I'm no where near a Luthier nor am I a wood worker so I fixed mine with the best stuff that I had available...JB-Weld. It worked fantastically and it's still together today (as far as I know).

That fix-it situation has a story and a tune behind it. I went over to a friends house to jam and he had an old cheap solid body Gibson, I can't remember the name of it but it was totally broken at the head stock kind of like yours is. He said I could just have it if I wanted it and I said 'sure!'. So I took it home, spread miracle-whip (JB-Weld) all around it, plopped it on like crazy, leaned it up against the wall upside down and I let it sit that way for 2 days.

Then I tried my best to grind and sand away the bulges and messiness the best I could. I remember as I was re-stringing it if the repaired crack would fail and the headstock would fly across the room or even worse - into my face. So I proceeded to put the new strings on it very carefully and slowly. Well, everything went great.

I was doing this in my little corner-of-the-room studio so I thought I would mess around and play some blues chords and leads and record it also. I laid down 2 tracks and called the tune, "JB-Weld Blues". I did all that around 5 years ago and the tune always reminds me of that 'fix-it' situation. I probably should have called the tune 'Sloppy Mess" because I'm not a good blues player but I gave it a more realistic name.

The guitar played real good and the guy that gave it to me customized its hardshell case really nice and I felt bad that I had such a cool guitar for free so I went to his house and gave the guitar back to him - he was very grateful and I ended up happy too.

Here is 'JB-Weld Blues' that I recorded just minutes after I fixed it: http://mrmachinist.net/songs/jbweldblues.mp3
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby David Elliott » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:12 pm

alexjones wrote:Well I received the Harmony H174 guitar today. USPS took forever to deliver it - the two destinations were only about 8 hours apart and still it took 11 days for it to be delivered! Unbelievable - I will never ship a guitar or anything large with USPS. I opened the box and the headstock had been broken off :evil: . So the seller basically slid the guitar into a box without wrapping it with anything and then stuffed a little bit of paper to fill the void where the neck is. Then he put that box into a rickity old TV box and brought it to to the post office. I am really surprised that there isn't more damage. The only protection to the top of the guitar was LITERALLY 2 pieces cardboard. Unbelievable way of packing. I might be able to fix it - but it won't look pretty and now the guitar is pretty much worthless. What a sad day for this little harmony...


Hi Alex,
While I'm sorry about your experience with your Harmony guitar arriving damaged, I think it is noteworthy that your description of the manner in which it was packed is somewhat confusing, as I'm not clear why you would fault the U.S. Postal Service for these damages, when it was obviously poorly packed (by the sender) by your own admission.

The Post Office cannot "see" inside a parcel, in order to ascertain whether the contents is, or is not properly packed, and that is why the sender is questioned at the time of mailing, as to whether the item is fragile, or not, and of course the sender also has the option of insuring the parcel against loss or damage.

I purchased a guitar some years ago on eBay and was amazed that it arrived with no damage whatever, because the "sender" (idiot?) had packed it with literally NO padding/cushioning whatever, and it was simply placed in a cardboard box (as apparently your's was). But the difference is, I was lucky, and apparently you were "unlucky"!

I would assume you've contacted the sender about this?

David
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby alexjones » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:31 pm

Awesome tune AJ. Thanks for posting that. I will take it to my luthier friend - whom I am mentoring with and we will try to fix it. He thinks we should be able to come up with something and make it work.

David - the only reason I am dissapointed in USPS is because they took 11 days to deliver a package 8 hours away and they said it would be delivered 6 days ago. Also the tracking is no where near as good as UPS or Fedex. Now - I will give USPS credit for not completely destroying the guitar. The damage done to the guitar is not at all the fault of the post office. The damage is because the sellers negligence in packing. Just wanted to clear the air.
Alex
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby LMark » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:55 pm

I was pretty naive about how packages traveled until the first day that I worked at UPS.
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby David Elliott » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:07 pm

LMark wrote:I was pretty naive about how packages traveled until the first day that I worked at UPS.


I think the general public (as a whole), is pretty "naïve", about the complexity of USPS operations, as well as the enormity of not only the U.S. Postal Service, but UPS and FED-EX operations in general ! The average person would be amazed if they were to visit a mail "sorting" facility (or center), and UPS operations is simply mind boggling, in their world-wide routing networks!

David
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby Norm » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:23 pm

A good guitar reparman should be able to fix that and make it look nearly invisible. busted headstocks are a repairman's bread and butter
Experience, not weekend 'let's see what we can try' amateur skill is required here
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples: http://www.youtube.com/user/acountrygent/videos
That should do it.
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby ajbremer » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:56 pm

I have an early 70's Yamaha and it had a cracked neck when I first got it. I sent it to Mel McCullough (who has made me 3 guitars so far) and only I can probably spot where the damage was now.
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby bill raymond » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:17 pm

That looks like a pretty clean break that should glue up well. Please don't use JBWeld, or epoxy on it. It should glue up well with either hot hide glue or Titebond original. The fault is the sender's, not the USPS. Why it took that long to go a short distance is an interesting question, but remember that lots of luthiers won't use UPS, either, because of breakage and loss and prefer the USPS.
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Re: Sad Day....

Postby ajbremer » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:29 pm

Mel McCullough, who's made 3 of my guitars, always uses USPS also.
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