Repair, Restoration and Refinishing

yoshidaInstruments that are played and travelled eventually suffer wear and tear and the occasional mishap.  We are equipped to do most routine maintenance work such as action adjustments, fret replacement,  peg fitting,  and cleaning .  We are also equipped and experienced in repairing cracks  , seam separations and even the most challenging disasters ; such as my guitar ( or lute ) fell down a flight of stairs ( true story) .

Although lutes and period instruments are my specialty I have ample experience in repairing fine classical guitars as well as vintage steel and electric guitars. We can do fret levelling, refretting,  neck resets, structural repairs and cosmetic repairs. The only thing I can not do is lacquer work or  synthetic finish repair for health reasons.

A little bit of my philosophy on repairs and restoration:

Repairs are repairs, They are just that.  If it’s broken we fix it or replace the broken part.

Restorations are another matter:  Old instruments carry a certain amount of wear and tear, which is normal and part of their charm. In the course of time they suffer dings and cracks and the glue joints fail ( much like our aging bodies…) and bad repairs.   A Restoration would be a series of repairs to restore an instrument close to its original condition, and may include undoing previous repairs, aligning parts, and replacing broken or failed parts. At times replacing major parts, such as tops or backs, is done only when these pieces have been damaged beyond repair. Most restoration work is done in a fashion that can be reversed if necessary. The end goal is to get the instrument as close as possible to the original intent without drastically altering the instrument.

To refinish or not?   I’ve been chastised for some of my finish work on some very old guitars.  I was posed with the question ” ya would’nt  refiinish the ceiling on the Sistine chapel would ja?”  And the answer is the same for fine old instruments as it is for the restoration of the Sistine chapel.  My philosophy is that the surfaces should be restored to allow you to see the intent of the artist. I clean and refresh rather than excavate and resurface.  The  restorers of  of the Sistine Chapel had such respect for Michaelangelo’s frescos that they cleaned the surfaces of the grime and undid the ill advised touchups  thus allowing the brilliant colors that Michaelangelo intended to show . And that… is how I would treat your  instrument.
Fabricatore guitar with cat