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Stringed instrument repairs
Custom builds
restorations
audio electronics
 
I am now the proud new tenant in this 1200 SF shop. Ballona Creek Lutherie will be moving operations soon!
 
 
As promised, the Soldering Wall of Shame photo gallery has begun. These are a few examples of the kind of things that come into the shop for reworking. I'm going to try to dig up some more. Enjoy!
 
 
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This Martin 000M came in with this cracked peghead. This particular broken neck was not completely separated, and came in still strung up and under full tension! If you have a break like this, please loosen your strings immediately so as not to make the situation worse. Fortunately, just about all of the wood was there and mostly undisturbed, so it was a pretty simple matter to get it glued back together. I used hot hide glue for this repair.

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Warming things up under a heat lamp. This will give me more open working time to get the glue down in the joint before it gels up.

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All clamped up! Never enough clamps!

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After the clamps have been removed. Not bad, considering no finish touchups were done.

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Another view of the repaired area.

 
 
A first look at the Gizmotron 2.0.
 
 
Here is a test run of the Giszmotron 2.0 that I installed on a customer's guitar. It's a little finicky getting it adjusted properly, but once you have it dialed in, it works. The wheels require a break-in period, after which the sound smooths out somewhat. I also have it at about half speed, which is recommended by the manufacturer until the wheels are broken in.
 
 
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This custom-built SG copy came in with the bridge and tailpiece post holes misdrilled and something embedded in the top by the pickguard, probably a broken drill bit. I made alder plugs and glued them in to fill the holes. I'll redrill them in the correct location after some finish touchups.

 
 
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These old, worn out frets are coming out. Sideways!

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Frets are out! No damage to the fretboard. Very lightly sanded to knock down the high spots, I am leaving the fingernail divots alone.

 
 
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Nice birdseye maple neck. Weird grey crap in the nut slot.

 
 
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This neck was finished in March of 1965. The 2 designates a Strat neck, not the date. You can see from this picture how thin the rosewood fretboard is. In addition, this is an example of a neck that was fretted sideways, the Fender way until 1983.

 
 
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1965 Pre-CBS Stratocaster in for a refret. Not the original tremolo.