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Aaron Younce

Hi, I'm Aaron. I'm a custom guitar builder and stringed instrument repair tech by trade, and a musician and stage tech by night. I write and record original music under the moniker Atomic Tortoise, and I play bass in the New Orleans rock band Them Ol' Ghosts. When my hands aren't on a guitar, I'm probably out riding motorcycles somewhere...

Author's posts

Repairing a Collapsed Acoustic Guitar

New Orleans humidity is rough on things. It’s relentless grip on the Gulf South is unforgiving of most man-made objects not designed for swamp life: houses, vehicles, books, anything electrical, and definitely guitars. The combined string tension at standard tuning is about 160 pounds of constant pressure on the soundboard – which means acoustic guitars …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/repairing-a-collapsed-acoustic-guitar/

Repairing a broken Gibson headstock

Broken Gibson headstocks are very common, and we’ve repaired A LOT of them over the years using various techniques such as backstrapping, laminating multiple-layer overlays, routing reinforcement splines, and sometimes a combination of everything. We see so many broken Gibson headstocks that we’ve developed our own proprietary tooling to give us repeatable and reliable reinforcement …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/repairing-a-broken-gibson-headstock/

Restoring Mike Campbell’s Vintage Gibson Dove

Our primary focus at the shop has always been to service the local New Orleans music community. Being gigging musicians ourselves, we’ve put a lot of stock in the symbiosis of the music scene here, and it’s been very important to us to do our part in helping it thrive and to develop meaningful relationships …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/restoring-mike-campbells-vintage-gibson-dove/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/converting-a-bolt-on-to-a-set-neck/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/maret-guitars-reclaimed-wood-custom-guitar/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/restoring-a-vintage-gibson-lg-2/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/making-a-new-bridge-for-a-vintage-martin-guitar/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/relicing-a-vintage-fender-bass-neck/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/rebuilding-a-shattered-headstock/

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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Permanent link to this article: https://www.strangeguitarworks.com/making-a-gretsch-pickguard-from-scratch/

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