Guitar shop

Bois D’arc Guitar

by larry on April 3, 2016

in Blog, Guitar shop

Here are a few pics of the Guitar made from a plank of Hedge or Bois ‘D Arc Wood just finished it today..


Steel String Update

by larry on December 19, 2015

in Guitar shop

Well I finished the little steel String Guitar a few weeks ago and I thought I would post a few pictures and I gotta say I really like it. It has a great tone and feel to it that I didn’t expect. I used all Hide Glue on it and I think it made a difference in the sustain. Don’t know yet if I will sell it but I might for the right price, but I am glad I got it done and off the work bench. Now on to the next project; and it will be made a lot different. I’m going to use a type of wood that is very difficult to get fully cured and stable but has a ring to it like no other that I’ve ever worked with. I’ve heard a few people say that they would like try it but I’ve never seen one completed. I will post a few pics later of the new one.

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Wrong Address

by larry on March 18, 2015

in Guitar shop

A few weeks ago I sold a Taylor 510 on Ebay. I was happy that I got what I wanted for it and printed a shipping label supplied by ebay for USPS. I printed the label, put it on the box and took it to the post office to be shipped off to Vermont. a couple weeks went by and the buyer wanted to know if I shipped his guitar I gave him the particulars and he said “but I live in Michigan”. I tried to trace it down but they had lost track of it when it couldn’t be delivered….it seems the tracking numbers work till it gets to the destination but not if it is coming back to the one who mailed it.  A week later I got a call from the local post office to tell me it was back and I could pick it up. The box looked like it had been through WWIII and under close inspection I found the damage to the finish on the guitar. I had left a 9 volt battery in place inside the body and it came loose and dangled around from the wire inside like a hammer making a ding on each side of the sound hole and a big spider web crack on the shoulder. I found an article on the web about using super glue to fix a finish crack and bought the thin type and gave it three coats waiting a day each coat to make sure it dried well. I put a peace of tape on each side of the repair and scraped it down to the level of the tape and close to the surface before using 400 600 800 1000 grit wet or dry sand paper then polished it out. This method works good on UV finishes and pretty good on lacquer. So my lesson was…. don’t ship USPS and don’t leave a battery inside the body and double check the address by sending a bill of sale to the buyer and wait for a response so you know he is where he is supposed to be.

Here are the before and after pics…

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Marks Guitar #2

by larry on April 24, 2014

in Guitar shop

IMG_2154 IMG_2150 IMG_2151 IMG_2152 IMG_2147 IMG_2149I’ve been working on a guitar that I call Marks Guitar #2 because the first one was built for Mark Thies of Markosa Studios (a very fine recording studio in Roeland Park KS)    he wanted an acoustic guitar that was not so boomy for recording purposes so I said Maple is a good choice for the treble end of the sound spectrum ( tryin’ to sound educated you know) well it turned out to be a hit with me as well as him so I decided I wanted one too. I made the guitar from quilted Maple and Ebony throughout except some tiny B/W purfiling around the inside of the Ebony binding. The difference this time was I used Engelman Spruce for the top instead of Sitka. I wanted it to be a little less treble and to warm up the sound. ( I will hate myself if I was wrong..) the bracing being all Sitka with a Maple neck block. Here are some picks of the process…….1391720941943 1391720942510 1391720954928 1391720955630 1384172532437 1384172759925 1384172765303 1384172770812 1384172776256 1384436898408 1385251071143 1385474324163 1391720921863 1391720922533 1391720933361 IMG_2079 IMG_2075 IMG_2076 IMG_2077 IMG_2078

’63 Gibson Bridge Repair

by larry on March 19, 2013

in Guitar shop

On our trip back from Harlingen Texas we stayed at a friends house that had an old Gibson Guitar he bought new in ’63. He said his daughter had it for many years and the bridge started lifting so her husband took it on him self to repair it. He removed the old bridge and epoxied a new one back in it’s place not knowing that it would leave the guitar completely useless because of intonation (the saddle not being in the right place). So he asked me to try to fix it. I thought it might be a good blog to put up so I took a lot of pics of the process and decided to put them on this page. First of all if you ever replace a bridge on a guitar do not use epoxy…. it dose not transfer sound very well and is a pain in the neck to clean up if you have to replace it. Use animal hide glue (first choice) or an aliphatic resin (AR) glue (like carpenters wood glue 2nd choice) also make sure that the saddle of the bridge is equal to the distance from the 12th fret and from the 12th to the nut. that is 12th fret would be exactly half way to the center of the saddle. First I heated the bridge with a 80 watt bulb to soften the epoxy and started a very thin bakers icing spatula under the bridge and very slowly worked all the way around it pushing ever deeper and keeping it hot till the bridge came off. The area of bear wood was now larger than the original bridge design would cover so I thought it was ok to refinish the entire top because it was to late to save the original. this was a last resort type of thing but it was not a very expensive model Gibson and he just wanted it to play well. First I had to repair the area where the the pins went through the top since there were now two sets of holes instead of one and it was very weak and splintered. I sawed out the holes and glued a new 3/32 by about 2 by 7 inch maple bridge plate over the old one (After I sanded the old one smooth). Then filled the rectangular whole with a spruce patch that was 1/4 inch thick leaving it sticking above the top and then planned and sanded it flush. I then removed all the finish I could with a safe indoor paint remover and sanded it smooth using 150 and 220 grit paper then applied a sealer of orange and clear shellac (60 % clear and maybe 40% orange)this gives the top and binding the right patina for an old guitar. It is now ready for the sun burst finish of colored lacquers (in a later installment)






























The Takamine

by larry on September 2, 2012

in Guitar shop

A retired couple here in our little town decided to open a second-hand shop and sell a lot of stuff they had acquired over the years. My wife being a very curious creature wanted to see what was in there and as it turned out it wasn’t all dresses and blouses as I had feared but some really interesting man stuff as well and leaning against the wall atop of one of the counters was a dreadnought sized guitar. It had been played very little and then put away to collect dust. It was a ’76 (Martin Lawsuit) Takamine with a couple dings in the top and when I tried to tune it up, I saw the bridge had lifted and was soon going to pop off so I back off the strings while the owner was telling me the story about trying to be a rock star and giving up early on. It was pretty grungy with lots of dust in side and out but we settled on a fair price and it had a new home with lots of company. I started on it right away popping the bridge off, cleaning and polishing it up, gluing the bridge with animal hide glue and installing a bone saddle in the bridge. For those who don’t know about guitars a Takamine guitar is made at the foot of the Takamine Mountain in Japan. Starting in 1962 it is one of the oldest  manufacturers there and a cheaper way to go for your first guitar and thousands of them were sold here in the states.  Now from a distance they looked exactly like a more expensive Martin the oldest and most sought after instruments of its kind in this country. It looked like they took a Martin apart and copied it inside and out right down to the gold lettering on the head stock. Sometime in the 70’s Martin filed a lawsuit against them and won, so they had to change their design. But many people who play still swear by them and they are still in demand. I tuned it up and just as i thought it had a very good tone.So now I have this old Tak with very few miles on it so if you or someone you know needs an old cheap guitar that looks like a Martin well drop me a line and we’ll talk…… ……Larry