Repair Projects

Unique repairs since 1986
Restoring damaged top of Daniel Friederich classical guitar
Restoring damaged top of Daniel Friederich classical guitar

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...

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image of Les Paul
Repairing holes on maple top of vintage Les Paul

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...

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Broken mahogany top of Guild guitar
Restoring a mahogany top of classical guitar

Restoring a mahogany top of Guild classical guitar. This whole guitar was built with mahogany, except for the bridge, fretboard, head plate, and braces on the top. To be repaired, all the broken parts had to be glued back together like a jig-saw puzzle. Basically, only two parts were broken, and since there were few...

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Damaged top and binding of Martin
Repairing top and binding of Martin guitar

When you drop a guitar, damage often happens on this part of the body called the lower bout. In this case, the binding was damaged and missing, so I had to start with making the binding. Making it the same size as the original binding, however, is not as easy as one might think. The...

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Repairing vintage Martin 000-28, 1945
Repairing vintage Martin – Transplanting from an old guitar

Repairing vintage Martin with a transplanting technique. This Martin '45 Model 000-28 was damaged and missing parts of the wood. The most difficult element involved in repairing an old instrument is not the wood or the finish. The worst headache for the person repairing vintage instruments is dealing with the effects of time, a process...

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Repairing Brazilian rosewood side of vintage Martin 000-28
Adding new section on Brazilian rosewood side of vintage Martin

This vintage Martin guitar has a typical beautiful Brazilian rosewood grain. (It's the same guitar shown on the previous page.) I used some old Brazilian rosewood from my scraps drawer for this repair, because I couldn't find the right grain pattern on the old guitar that I usually use for parts. The scrap wood had...

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image of the maple neck
Refret with new finish on a maple neck

The Fender applies finish after the frets are installed on a maple neck. Especially on the 1970s maple neck, the polyurethane finish is so thick that half of the fret height is buried in the finish. That's why, in the case of frets that are worn or dressed, it is hard to play because the...

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The fretless fingerboard
Creating an upright bass-style fingerboard on a jazz bass neck

Converting a fretted bass to fretless is common, but this case is unusual. Usually, the fret slots are filled with wood or resin to do the conversion. But this owner, a former upright bass player, wanted a plain ebony fingerboard with a small radius just like an upright bass. And he also wanted a fingerboard...

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