All Blog Posts (140)

Waterslide decal

I would like to put my logo on a tortoise peghead.  Does any one know where to go for a small run of waterslide decals?  I am looking for something approximating gold leaf with a black or red outline


Ed Minch

Added by Ed Minch on January 4, 2013 at 2:54pm — No Comments

Painting back and sides

I will be building a mahogany guitar and want to paint the back and sides black.  How do I do this and still leave the white binding white?  Also, has anyone used black shellac?  See 1/3 of the way down this page:


Ed Minch

It's not a mistake unless you can't fix it

Added by Ed Minch on November 24, 2012 at 7:08pm — No Comments

Update to a previous post

Added by daniel c newman on September 1, 2012 at 6:52pm — No Comments

Mandolin back removal????

I was recently given a mandolin that appears to be sunken under the bridge resulting in zero action above the frets. I presume a brace has come loose or de-glued from leaving it in a hot space or moist environment. How does one remove the back? I had a repair shop look at it and they said it wasn't worth it to fix it because of their labor rates. I could buy another one that they had in stock for probably less than it would cost to repair it. So being the woodworking musician with a…


Added by Art Braendel on July 9, 2012 at 12:20pm — No Comments

Colin Hay records with his Asher acoustic

As a luthier this will really make your day and remind you why you've spent so many countless hours in the shop.

It took quite a few years to deliver this guitar to Colin. He picked the finest Brazilian and 40 year old spruce that I had stashed away for when I started building acoustics. I had told Colin that day that even though I had been building electrics for the past 14 years I only had one acoustic under by belt and "was not ready to be cutting into that wood". It was about 8…


Added by Bill Asher on June 20, 2012 at 5:48pm — No Comments


Hello fellow Luthiers,


You should all be pleased to hear that I'm finally going to give a shot at my Guitar business, "Norgart Guitar Co.".


Check out my facebook page:


Norgart Guitar Co. is located in the heart of my hometown of Santa Clara, CA. 


Thanks for your…


Added by Trent Norgart on May 18, 2012 at 1:29am — No Comments

Big Dog ahhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooh

Added by Ian Davlin on April 19, 2012 at 9:08am — No Comments

removing epoxied pu cover

 I'm attempting to romove a pu cover on a ibanez super 80 pu. it is epoxied in.My first attempt will be with a heat gun not sure if this will work. any ideas? I need to save the pu not the cover.

Thanks Gerry

Added by Gerry Garavaglia on February 23, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Repair (rather than replace) 5th string peg?

An attempt to tighten a banjo 5th string, beyond where it had been before, produced a catastrophic failure of an old tuner. The square steel shaft simply came loose. With the end of the shaft no longer held in the plug base (? -- i.e., the brass thing glued inside the neck), tightening the screw on the knob produces no friction between the various parts. In fact, the knob and shaft assembly just slipped out.

The question is whether there is any way to make it work again, or is removal…


Added by David Politzer on January 9, 2012 at 6:37pm — No Comments

Where is Tom Krebs from Monster guitar

Hi   Iwent by the old store and tried old phone .  Are you doing repairs ?  if so how do I contact you ???

You may recall  the old Cort you repaired for me  thanks again , I am the realtor with the cowboy hat.  

I have an  Aria Les Paul that needs some pick up work .  my home # is 818 8137200 Not an emergency  but you did me right in the past so would like to have you do this repair too.  thanks   glen

Added by glen pyle on December 9, 2011 at 8:12am — No Comments

I need help!

I'm doing some slight restoration work on a 1967 Fender Jazzmaster. I need some ideas on what I can use to take the tarnish/rust off the chrome plating on the bridge and tuners. They don't have to look brand new because that just takes the soul away, just a little 'cleaner'. Also, an effective product to take the dullness out of the aged finish. I'm not very experienced in work on vintage instruments but I feel confident I can make this baby shine once again! Any suggestions are MUCH… Continue

Added by Jordan Larsen on November 2, 2011 at 6:10pm — No Comments

Paul's Stringed Instrument Workshop

      I am new to and I am not sure what most members put on their "Blog"but It seems like a great website

for information. I have been building and repairing musical instruments since 1978 when I worked for the Franklin Guitar

Company in Sandpoint,Idaho.In 1980 I moved to the east coast and set up my workshop and have worked part time ( my

other job was a clinical laboratory scientist ) until 2010 when I went full time. I have a nice 21' x 21' ,workshop and…


Added by paul mehl on September 22, 2011 at 6:46am — No Comments

how to build an adjustable neck with either the Stauffer or the Howe-Orme?

how to build an adjustable neck with either the Stauffer or the Howe-Orme; where to get the hardware; and how this works? I've seen some pictures showing 3 bolts and some drawings 4 bolts in which if I am right 2 or 3 are tight and the last one is the bolt that is going to adjust the angle of the neck.  And here is the part I don't understand is how this bolt by the heel cap is going to adjust the angle when the rest of the bolts are tight. I'll appreciate the help.

Added by Jack Camino on September 15, 2011 at 7:55pm — No Comments

How to remove a back ?

I have some major brace work to do on an OM that I built 6 mo. ago. I've never taken a back off before & am concerned about a couple of things.  The Binding is Maple & I doubt that it will come off willingly. So, do I start with heat, or a router, or should I just expect to replace the back altogether ?

Added by Robert Freemond on June 5, 2011 at 8:46am — No Comments

Up to my neck...

 Okay, this is turning out all right. I decided to reshape the neck while I was at it:…


Added by Mark Riess on March 30, 2011 at 11:00pm — No Comments

The florentine fitting

When I left yesterday, the cutaway piece was pretty much fitted up and ready to go, so with a few minor adjustments to the kerfing, a trial fit or two, a dry run at clamping, and some finish sanding to the exposed surface, I glued it up and put the clamps on:…


Added by Mark Riess on March 28, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Classic guitar remodel

I rounded up an old classical beater, and, while tossing and turning one night, decided to retrofit a cutaway design into it as well as add a home-made piezzo pickup. I happened to have an orphaned pre-bent piece of brazillian rosewood made for a florentine cutaway knocking around my inventory of random guitar woods. I personally prefer the venetian style cutaway, so this was a perfect excuse to use it up in an experimental self tutorial.

Here is the victim, an old "Orlando" I…


Added by Mark Riess on March 27, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

My finished no. 001

My first self-built guitar is now (finaly) finished! It was a long and sometimes troublesome, hard way but I mannaged...

I have to stay fair: I didn't built the neck, nor the bridge: those I recycled from the "Morris" guitar I once sat on...


First a pic of the damaged guitar that I used as example:


Info on what damage this guitar…


Added by Bart van Weperen on March 27, 2011 at 8:35am — No Comments

1929 A-4 Gibson Mandolin Needing Restore

I inherited my Grandfather's Gibson Mandolin.  The birch back has shrunk, which caused it to separate from the edge.  I brought it to Roberto Venn (John Reuter).  John wants Frank Ford to look at it and potentially do the repair while visiting the school in May.  Or alternately, to look at it and give John guidance.  I can post pictures if necessary!

If Frank reads this blog, could I possibly bring the Mandolin to Roberto Venn when you are in town?  If yes, could you let me know when…


Added by Laura Sobrino on February 23, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Oud work

Oodles of ouds are coming across the workbench these days. Yesterday I removed the peg head from a neck/head assembly a friend had shipped from Jordan to replace the peghead on an oud he has. The oud maker in Jordan had mistakenly sent a neck assembled to the peghead as well, which my friend did not want. So I fired up the espresso steamer and separated the two. 



Added by Mark Riess on February 16, 2011 at 10:30pm — No Comments

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