The secret of the PLEK machine

What is a PLEK machine? What does a PLEK machine do? Is the PLEK machine worth it? There are lots of questions out there regarding this machine, and even more bad answers. Who in 2021 would believe that the internet would be rampant with mis-information? The PLEK machine is a complex tool, and I will …

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Converting a Bolt-On to a Set-Neck

This one’s for my fellow woodworking nerds out there: converting a bolt-on to a set-neck. Our pal, Anders Osborne comes into our shop with unique requests on a fairly regular basis, but this one takes the cake. He had a custom Delaney guitar built for him using some cypress siding from his house that he’s …

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Making a brass nut

The nut on your guitar is often overlooked, yet it is one of the most important lynchpins in making your instrument play it’s best. Since every neck is slightly different, one can’t just buy a nut and expect it to fit – they have to be made from scratch, every time. We make a lot …

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Your guitar is out of tune. Deal with it.

“Intonation is a social construct.” If you’ve hung around our shop long enough, you’ve probably heard me say this, as it’s one of my favorite aphorisms. What do I mean by this, and what does this have to do with your guitar? Well, your guitar is out of tune. In fact, EVERY fixed pitch instrument …

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Maret Guitars – Reclaimed Wood Custom Guitar

I’ve been intrigued by the sustainability of reclaimed wood as a guitar building material for years, so my interest was piqued when one of our clients, Brian, approached me with an idea regarding some wood that he had come into. He was driving through the French Quarter one day, and as he was passing the …

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Restoring a Vintage Gibson LG-2

We do a lot of vintage acoustic guitar restoration work here at the shop. These guitars fight a ceaseless battle against the ravages of time and the elements, and are essentially in a perpetual state of collapsing in on themselves under their own string tension. New Orleans is particularly rough on guitars due to our …

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Making a new bridge for a vintage Martin guitar

A common obstacle for any guitar tech is fixing bad work from a previous repair. Depending on the situation, working around unorthodox or hastily executed repair work can be the biggest challenge of the job – and sometimes that work is impossible to undo. In this article I’m going to explain why I resorted to …

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Relicing a vintage Fender bass neck

Vintage Fender musical instruments are getting more and more valuable, and considerably harder to find, all the time – in part because there’s a “cool factor” in a road-worn and battle-scarred guitar that you simply can’t find in a more recently manufactured counterpart. Modern urethane finishes don’t crack, chip or wear through the way the …

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Rebuilding a Shattered Headstock

When this National resonator guitar showed up at our shop the customer initially asked if we could replace the neck because the slotted headstock was destroyed in an accident. It had completely shattered and all of the splintered fragments were in a Ziplock bag ready to be thrown in the trash. We asked if we …

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Making a Gretsch pickguard from scratch

The materials used for making binding, tuner buttons, and pickguards on many vintage guitars weren’t the modern plastics that we know so well today – like the polyethylene water bottles and the ubiquitous yellow vinyl rubber ducks that will inhabit the Earth long after we’re gone. One of the common plastics used back then was …

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