Acoustic Instruments

Image of martin 018
Replacing top without changing binding

This guitar had many cracks that had been poorly repaired, many new cracks on top, and the top had been sanded very thin and unevenly. It was beyond repair. Some guitars I encounter are in mint condition even though more than 100 years old. It all depends on how the instrument has been treated. In...

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image of damaged sound hole
Replacing soundhole edge of vintage guitar

Before repair After repair This photo shows a very common type of damage: the edge of the sound hole has been worn down by picking. If you're on a tight budget, there is a way of repairing this damage by filling in the gouge with resin or some other filler. But in the case of...

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close look of the new bridge
Duplicating original fancy bridge from a picture

Before repair After repair Restoration of the bridge, pickguard, and soundboard. Description of main repair work: - Removing the pickguard - Removing the bridge and making a new one - Refinishing the top This guitar was a mystery. It's a Washburn, for sure, but the big mystery was the bridge and pickguard. Both were too...

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image of custom jack
Adding a custom-made jack holder without drilling a hole

This is an example of one of the most common requests for modification. "I want to install a pick-up, but I don't want to drill any holes in the guitar. And I would like to return it to its original condition when I want to." You can secure an output jack with tape or some...

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image of broken head
Repairing a head break with new parts

Although the materials used in an inexpensive guitar are not always poor quality, it is true that they are usually not well selected. The joint of the neck and head is the weakest part of the guitar. Especially, if a poor grain mahogany is used for the neck, once it breaks, repair work may be...

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image of broken headstock
Repairing a head break with new parts – 2

One of the most common requests at the guitar repair shop is for us to fix a broken guitar neck. Repairing this kind of damage with screws or a wood insert, or wrapping with fiberglass, was seen quite often in the 1960s and 1970s. But if it's a fresh break and the pieces to be...

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image of F-hole
Refinishing with a new section on the back of the neck and repairing the F-hole

This is a 1930s full acoustic guitar. Though it is not a high-end guitar, decent materials were used and the top was hand-carved. When it was brought in to me, however, the neck was very loose, the frets were badly worn, the binding on the back was missing, there were many cracks and screw holes...

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image of Martin D45
Replacing top with inlay

Popular musicians worldwide must perform under various conditions, and so do their instruments. Their guitars may be exposed to salt air one day, then stored in the cargo hold of a jet at 9,000 meters high in the sky, and then right after that played at a football stadium at the equator. Under different environmental...

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image of Martin D-45
Repairing crack by transplanting

The highest-value vintage guitar or most expensive guitar on the market is not always a masterpiece. Unfortunately, there were a few cracks on the top because it was not carefully book-matched. If the wood grain is not straight at the center seam, then the great force caused by shrinking goes to one spot, so cracks...

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