Filling a Kahler route

There are two types of guitar players out there: those who use tremolo – (which is actually technically vibrato, not tremolo), and those who don’t. Sometimes permanent modifications are made to guitars to outfit them with a whammy bar – and perhaps those decisions are regretted later. A common mod for Gibson guitars is installing …

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Fixing a broken Gibson truss rod on a vintage Grabber

We repair quite a few broken truss rods here at Strange Guitarworks, and oftentimes it’s not a simple endeavor. Every repair is unique, which is one of the reasons we love our jobs: it’s never boring. Fixing this broken Gibson truss rod in this vintage Grabber was a doozy: the headstock was broken off, the …

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Repairing a Broken Taylor Neck

As an authorized Taylor Guitars repair center we often get calls from Taylor owners about damaged guitars and other warranty issues, and we’re almost always able to help. Even if the repair isn’t covered by the manufacturer’s warranty we’re still able to purchase replacement parts for most current Taylor models. That option may be the …

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Routing pickup cavities on a Fender Jazz Bass

We get a lot of requests for swapping pickups on guitars and basses. It is, for the most part, a quick and easy way to change the sound of your instrument without too much hassle. Usually all you have to do is remove the stock pickups, pop the new ones into place, solder them into …

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Gibson neck reset… with a twist

A request for a Gibson neck reset is something we hear all the time, and we’re very well practiced with this particular job. Acoustic guitars need a neck reset every several decades, as the guitar is constantly collapsing on itself and occasionally needs to be realigned to correct the instrument’s geometry. But this particular request …

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Katrina Rescue: 1971 Fender Telecaster Bass

We always enjoy Katrina rescues. Returning to life something the owner thought was long gone is a great feeling, and each one of these instruments we restore presents it’s own unique set of challenges. Plus they look really, really cool. We’re pretty firm believers in keeping these flood-soaked guitars as original as possible; to let …

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Replacing binding on a vintage Gretsch

This week I embarked upon a job of replacing binding on a vintage Gretsch. A lot of what we know about what works in guitar making we’ve learned from what hasn’t worked out over time. Plastic is one of those things we’ve learned a lot about over the years – now that we use it …

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Restoring a Harmony Sovereign for The Brian Jonestown Massacre

We were recently contacted by the mercurial musician Anton Newcomb of The Brian Jonestown Massacre to restore his Harmony Sovereign acoustic guitar. To say this guitar was beat up is a vast understatement: the neck was pulling almost completely off and was horribly bowed, the frets were a disaster, the back was cracked, and almost …

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Replacing a broken truss rod

Most people think of the truss rod as the smoking gun regarding an instrument’s playability. Action too high? Tighten the truss rod. Action too low? Loosen the truss rod. This kind of advice runs rampant on forums all over the internet, and it’s dead wrong. Guitar necks have an optimal relief of between .1mm (.004″) …

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Repairing A Broken Headstock Using Reinforcement Splines

One of the most common structural repairs we deal with in the shop is the case of the broken headstock. While guitars are generally pretty well designed to withstand the abuse we musicians tend to put them through, the headstock is their Achilles’ Heel. A couple of factors play into this: first, most Gibson guitars …

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