At the age of 10 I remember watching, then helping, my father building classical guitars (I still have two, one of which I play) – whilst my emphasis was playing these, I gained a pretty good idea of how guitars went together and got set up.
As I upped the number of performances (and instruments!) I was able to set up and optimise these (often getting relatively ‘rough’ instruments to a useable state). I also managed this for friends’ instruments, though at that time I shied away from more complicated work such as refretting. However increasing fret buzz on my favourite acoustic during a period of penury led to my first foray into serious repairs. The subsequent repair of a friend’s very cracked and holed Freshman 12 string (which had fallen off the wall hanger – I ended up buying it off him and it is now my day to day 12 string), and the successful repair of violin and mandolin bodies gave me the skills and confidence to pursue this as part of my musical activities after being made redundant again.
Whilst my experience is primarily with stringed instruments, I do have expertise in other types – always ask. For the former I can offer:
- Cleaning, polishing and dyeing
- Set ups (nut, bridge, action, intonation)
- Replacement parts (machine heads, pegs, trees, strap buttons)
- Neck and body straightening
- Crack / split / hole repairs
- Repair and/or replacement of electrics (pickups, controls, wiring, earths)
If I can’t do it – I’ll tell you! If I can, I’ll treat your instrument as if it was my own. Look at some of my ‘before and after’ pictures and read the testimonials opposite.
(Lorna Dykes, Lochgilphead - sale of restored Jose Ferrer acoustic guitar). 24/6/15
(Berni McMillan, Oban - repair of cracked head and machine head hole on Ozark electro-acoustic bass). 22/6/15
Roger, Bridport, October 2020
"Rick renovated a 1970s Satellite bass for me, replacing the machine heads bridge and electrics. He kept me up to date all the way through the process, giving me various options and useful suggestions. He is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about all things musical, therefore my recommendation is wholehearted and unconditional."
Malcolm, Bere Regis, March 2020