Repair Projects

Behind the scenes
Old cracks on headstock
Repairing an old crack while keeping the original “Contour Body” decal

This kind of problem is very common. The crack was glued without clamping or finishing. That's why dust or sweat was rubbed into the cracks every time someone touched it. Even the glue was dirty. The crack was across the grain, so it wouldn't be an invisible repair even if the original parts were reused....

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image of headstock
Repairing a broken headstock with a new section

This is the ES175, one of the most popular full hollow-body guitars made by Gibson. The part where the neck meets the head is the weakest spot on the whole guitar. When a mahogany neck is broken, many invisible cracks will often occur deep inside the wood. Once such a complicated fracture happens, because it...

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Engraved letters on the vintage guitar pickguard
Restoring vintage guitar 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...

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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...

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Broken guitar neck
Repairing a broken guitar neck

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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Broken guitar 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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Shaping the new top of Martin 018
Replacing a damaged guitar 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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"Upright" Electric Bass guitar
Making a bass endpin for an electric bass guitar

This is not really a showpiece, but just one example of some of the modification ideas that musicians come up with. The owner was originally an upright bass player, so he wanted to play this guitar both as an upright bass and as a regular electric bass. I made a big brass insert and installed...

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