Workshop: For Barry

Mr. Barry (a longtime customer and trading partner) and his lovely (and quite indulgent) wife came by the shop today from over in Maine and, as a result of sifting through all sorts of guitars in the "consignments coming soon" rack, he picked-out a KG-11 for himself. Since I was planning on getting one ready next week anyhow, his timing was quite good, and after they left for their return drive around 4:15 PM, this box got a neck reset, replacement bridge, and a couple of crack repairs before the workshop lights went off.

Tomorrow brings completed pics of this guitar, a companion KG-14 I couldn't quite get-done last week, and workshop posts on some customer repair instruments -- a Goya G-10 and a Gibson B-25 as well as a "crooked-bridge" Martin 0-18. Until then!


She's Burning!

It'll be a warm day in the shop, tomorrow, so do stop by during regular business hours -- 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM -- if you're in the area. We picked-up a lightly-used Harman XXV pellet stove which is both gorgeous (cast-iron with oak-leaf motifs) and seems to throw the heat quite well. It's also a lot smarter than the old pellet stove it replaces.

Heat-Scapades & Thanks

First off, I apologize to anyone trying to get in touch over the past couple days or wondering if product has shipped to them, yet. On Wednesday I traveled all the way up to St. Albans to grab a beautiful, lightly-used, cast-iron Harman pellet stove for the shop. That sucked the wind out of that day and today a snowstorm seems to have engulfed the region (though it was mostly cold and fluffy up here).

Tomorrow I'm hoping to have the stove installed by evening in the shop and everything back to normal (and warm) by Saturday. Instruments purchased over the past few days will also finally get on the road. I admit to having to drop everything and run off to grab the iron beast when it presented itself! I can't wait to fire it up.

I also wanted to say a belated thank-you(!) to everyone who's pitched-in and donated here and there in regards to the blog. I entirely appreciate it as it helps to keep the lights on, so to speak. Not only do they help offset the cost of things like a fancy SoundCloud account, domain fees, and the like -- but I also keep a log of them and try to reinvest them in ways to bring you all more weird, strange, and interesting information. So -- thanks!

As always, if any of you have ideas about what you'd like to see (or see more of), give me a heads-up. 

1920s Vega-made Unmarked Openback Banjo Mandolin

Workshop: Blind Cleats & Lute Bridge Reglue

There are lots of tricks to making repairwork more efficient and less-invasive to the instrument. I do a lot of my work through instrument soundholes and cleats to secure cracks are a pretty normal necessary item to keep old instruments healthy. This patient is a 1930s Gibson HG-00 and it's had a rough life filled with many botched repair attempts to numerous hairline cracks. They were never cleated -- only drop-filled -- so I spent the earlier part of the day regluing back braces, cleating the back, and finally cleating the top.

In the above photo you can see that I've marked-out locations on the top where I want cleats on the bottom. I check inside with a mirror and then use my soundhole clamp's bottom foot (the part that's on the inside) to locate places I can put cleats between the braces. When I find good spots, I let the top foot (directly above the bottom) down on the soundboard and mark the spot with a bit of tape.


Shop Closed - No Heat

Our ancient Whitfield pellet stove in the shop is finally dead (the firebox wall burned through to the back of the stove!) and there's no substantial heat in that side of the building, so the store is officially closed (and stock moved to the workshop room) until I can get a replacement in there.

I will, however, be around during normal hours in the still-heated workshop -- though you should probably make an appointment. Feel free to call or email and sorry for the inconvenience.

1937 Gibson-made Kalamazoo KG-14 Flattop Guitar


Inventory Bulk-Up

I've been ignoring my inventory a bit, lately, as things transition in and out. New additions are that "Oscar-Voisinet" banjo uke which I added a resonator to, a customer's gorgeous Martin 1K soprano koa uke, that Kalamazoo KG-12 from last year with a new bridge, and finally that funky old Camp-style soprano/sopranino uke.

Things that should be listed by the end of this week include a 1950 Martin 00-18 (player's grade), 1930s Gibson HG-00, and a 1930s Kalamazoo KG-14. That forever-listed "coming soon" lute is also getting-there. As far as repairs go: there's a whole bunch of wonderful stuff to show-off in the coming weeks. I'm definitely the kid in the candy shop.

Ephemera: K.P. Tonny & Bros Play Ka'zoo (1930s)

...or is it a Kalamazoo KG-14? I think, instead, it's a very good approximation of one! Odd burst, headstock and dots are wrong, but the vibe is right. I wish I could play it!

Ephemera: Rope That Kay! (1940s)

Ephemera: Palm Tree Philippines (1950s?)