Body Repair

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...

Continue Reading
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...

Continue Reading
image of electric guitar that has holes on the top
Removing holes on mahogany top

Over its long life, this guitar had various screw holes made on top to install different bridges and tail pieces to improve the intonation and playability. Also, for better lower action, about two millimeters of wood had been removed from under the bridge to recess it. This was the owner's first guitar, his treasure. He...

Continue Reading
image of pickguard
Restoring vintage pickguard

Some vintage guitar pickguards attract bids over $3,000. That may seem insane, but, as a matter of fact, the material used to make old pickguards is different from new ones and the thickness of layers is slightly different. So people who value authentic vintage guitars don't neglect even the humble plastic pickguard. That's why repairing...

Continue Reading
image of Fender Candy Apple
Touching-up a candy apple finish

Touching-up a damaged candy-apple finish is one of the most difficult repairs to do. An inexperienced craftsman could turn a small scratch into a nightmare. In this case, I filled the gap first and then applied an undercoat. After the undercoat settled, I sprayed gold dust and then applied clear lacquer to cover the gold....

Continue Reading
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...

Continue Reading
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...

Continue Reading
image of Daniel Friederich's guitar
Restoring a classical guitar top

French luthier Daniel Friederich's classical guitar. It's still a mystery how this guitar was damaged, but as we know, musical instruments can be damaged anytime and anywhere. For lack of a reliable repair person, the owner of this guitar left it sitting in its case for more than 10 years. Eventually, he asked me to...

Continue Reading
image of Les Paul
Repairing a hole on maple top

An old guitar can tell you a story. The three little holes shown here must have been for a Bigsby tremolo, but what are these two big holes for? They may have been for anchors of a tailpiece, but why were they needed? Maybe the person who did this had holes in his head! One...

Continue Reading