All Blog Posts (140)

Tommy's guitar

Added by Mark Riess on February 12, 2011 at 9:07pm — No Comments

Restoration of cheap 12-string guitar, with new homemade pickup

I bought a cheap Japanese Yamaha-copy 12-string guitar at a second hand store for $50. It had an over-bellied top, a bushing missing from one of the tuners, old strings and a misaligned nut. I hung it in the garage for months, planning to torture it as a repair experiment.

Then, as I researched repair methods for over-bellied tops, I discovered the JLD Bridge Doctor, a simple, mostly wood device easily installed inside the guitar that flattens the top and also acts as a soundpost,…


Added by Mark Riess on January 28, 2011 at 9:22pm — No Comments

Anyone looking for cheap but nice sounding beater to practice on?

I have an old Harmony that needs some work, but obviously is not worth putting any money into. I has a surprisingly good sound. I was considering the idea of practicing any future luthier skills I might have on it myself. However I have come to the conclusion that this is definitely not for me, at least not at this time in my life. Maybe someday in the future. I hate to just throw things away, especially since it does sound good. So I was hoping someone here on this forum might like to use…


Added by Jay Peterson on January 27, 2011 at 7:44am — No Comments

New Wall for Peter Hopkins Guitars

I'm happy to announce that we've just completed a new Big Guitar Wall for the well-known and renowned archtop builder, Peter Hopkins. Here's a peek a the new Hopkins Guitar Wall located at

We've also just added the Great Wall of Walls where you can see over…


Added by Jeffrey D Brown on December 22, 2010 at 10:27pm — No Comments

To Repair or Not to Repair?

I have been doing guitar repair and an increasing amount of acoustic guitar building for the last twenty years. It has always been fun and exciting, never becoming "just a job" for me. Recently it hit me like a freight train: the nature of guitar repair is a losing proposition; the best repairs are invisible, therefore the only advertising that can possibly result would happen by a unique constellation of 1. a person who needs repair 2. must ask 3. a satisfied client who will produce a…


Added by Robert Sherman on December 2, 2010 at 2:54pm — No Comments

Luthier Built for non-English speakers

Luthier Built is now available to players and makers whose native language is not English.

Added by Bob Newby on November 17, 2010 at 2:25pm — No Comments

Installing Radius Pickup in oval/round hole mandolin

I have a Brazilian bandolim, basically a flat top mandolin with a round sound hole. The sound is somewhat unique as they all are but the construction is conventional. I want to do an internal install of a Baggs Radius pickup.

The problem is that it has a small soundhole, too small for anyone's hand--about 2 1/4". I've tried the pickup various places on the exterior of the top with putty and it seems to sound best at either end just behind the bridge. The bridge is about 4…

Added by LARRY KLOSE on November 15, 2010 at 4:07pm — No Comments

Quartersawn Ebony for Martin Fretboards and Bridges?

Does anyone know if Martin specifically used only quartersawn ebony for their fingerboards and bridges on their vintage guitars?

I can buy ebony locally, but I can't tell if it's quartersawn.

Added by Stephen P. Johnson on October 28, 2010 at 8:59pm — No Comments

Humidity change

The last guitar I transported from a tropical climate to the dry Canadian heated house environment developed a split along the length of the back. Does anyone have any experience with handling such transitions?. Is there an phased acclimatization period that can be considered? Help greatly appreciated

Added by David John on September 22, 2010 at 5:34pm — No Comments

Morris (classical) Neck-joint

Maybe helpfull... Morris model "205" dated 05-73, made in Japan

The back is off. The neck-block appears to be just glued to the soundboard an sides...

Neck and neck-block are connected by 5 dowels (??? excuse my english).…


Added by Bart van Weperen on September 4, 2010 at 8:06am — No Comments

McConnell Guitars on Boutique Guitar Builders Wall 2

I'm happy to announce that Jordan McConnell of McConnell Guitars acquired two blocks on the new Boutique Builders Wall 2 to complete the top row...

The new Boutique Builders Wall 2 is the sequel to the very successful…

Added by Jeffrey D Brown on August 7, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

no blog, just pictures

Needed a place on the web to ,temporary, store these pics...

This is Mod E-3, nr: 0102124 by Guitarras Quiles.

Minor issue: the finisch in the corner where the neck meets the body (trebble side) has gone from transparent to "milky white": the finisch seems to be loose from the wood on that spot... (bad picture, I know)…


Added by Bart van Weperen on July 31, 2010 at 5:46am — No Comments

Touch up for fret ends......

I have been working on this guitar for the last few days. The problem is that the fingerboard has shrunk causing the fret ends to stick out. I have no problem dressing them. The problem is the finish. At every fret the laquer has popped off, leaving a small crater. My question is.. Should I touch the finish up before I dress the fret ends or after. My thoughts are that I will touch them up before, and level the finish while dressing the ends. Any advice would help.


Added by Justin on May 2, 2010 at 10:16am — No Comments

Intonation out on A string of 1966 Martin D-18


I'm a first time poster to this forum, but have read it and Frank's blog for awhile now.

I have a question that seems like it could be addressed by you fine folks. I have a 1966 Martin D-18 that has had alot of work done to it. That I know of: the neck has been reset at least once, the bridge has been moved (if not replaced), the saddle has been shaved, and the frets have been dressed. When I got it the A string was extremely flat past the third fret. I changed to 3…


Added by Aaron LaBoon on April 14, 2010 at 9:25am — No Comments

The m guitar

Spruce (Engelmann, Sitka?) top, Brazilian rosewood back & sides; ebony bridge & fretboard,

mahogany neck, heel is capped with laminates of redgum eucalyptus and rosewood, peghead veneered with rosewood; bindings of ebony & rosewood; rosette, position markers, peghead inlay, end and back trim are of 'found' abalone. Saddle and nut are bone. Scale = 24-13/16". Fret board is bound on each side with ebony.

Body is 14.5"…


Added by Mark Riess on February 18, 2010 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Acoustic bridges

I'm new, 1st time many times has that phrase started sumpthin...

I have a Peavey Acoustic SD-9P, that needs the bridge replaced, I think. It is attached with Titebond, where do I start?

Added by Buddy Teague on February 17, 2010 at 12:32pm — No Comments

The Guitar Wall adds 30th Wall

The Guitar Wall has just added it 30th wall... the Artisans Wall 2.

The original Artisans Wall sold out in July, 2008 in less than a month. A year and half later we decided to add the sequel. It's a limited-edition wall comprised of 18 exclusive, numbered wall spaces showcasing hiqh-end craftsmanship in the guitar world with the… Continue

Added by Jeffrey D Brown on January 19, 2010 at 11:14pm — No Comments

Gluing on purfling to the streichzither

The clamps are a little heavy handed...the blue tape works fine, but i needed a few clamps to get things started. I used the hot pipe to pre-bend the purfling to rough shape.

Note the spruce patches to the longitudinal center brace. They are to replace material that was lost during removal of the back, and will be… Continue

Added by Mark Riess on December 23, 2009 at 9:01pm — No Comments

Bouzouki restoration

I've been restoring this instrument I made some 34 years ago. It started out with 4 strings and tapered violin pegs, but about 4 years ago I really wanted a bouzouki, and since I couldn't afford one, I decided to convert this (I used to call it a) dulcilyn....kind of a combo between a dulcimer and a mandolin. I…


Added by Mark Riess on December 23, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Restoring the streichzither

Adding a spruce brace to the back to flatten it out.

mixing rosewood sawdust and clear epoxy to fill some voids on the top.

The top with voids filled...…


Added by Mark Riess on December 18, 2009 at 7:11pm — No Comments

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