Ottawa's guitar repair shop

New Shop!

Move complete!

Hello everyone! It's been a tough week, but we are finally settled in and back in business. The workshop is now in Bridlewood/Kanata. You won't need to drive half an hour any more to get you guitars repaired. Drop me a line if a need arises.



Another Electric Mandolin

Electric Mandolin:

So, I finished another electric Mandolin. I really like the end result given by the rock finish. Pictures are worth a thousand words, bet here are the specs:

- 2 piece, quatersawn maple neck through body.
- Ash headstock veneer
- Ash wings for the body
- Ebony fongerboard
- 13" 7/8 scale length
- Graphite bridge
- Seymour Duncan Cool Rails pickup
- CTS pots
- Switchcraft Jack
- Grover straplock ready strap pins
- Grover mini tuners
- Polished bone nut
- Satin finish
5 string electric mandolin

The reasons why I love my work

I just got back from the Montreal Guitar Show. It's one of my favorite times of the year. Meeting so many great builder, talking to them and discussing what we love and how we do it is a feeling I can get nowhere else. I have a true passion passion for what I do, and the following video with Charlie Hoffman explains it perfectly. Enjoy:

Repaired Headstock


This was a fun repair. Istained the new binding to match, refinished the headstock and a portion of the neck. She lives again! 

broken headstock repair

refin les paul headstock

Another broken Headstock

This time, it's a beautiful, and quite rare Gibson Les Paul Recording from 1977. This was Les Paul's favorite model, and it's easy to see why. There are so many sound modeling possibilities available right on the guitar! Phase switching, series/parallel switching, 3 and 5 way pickup selection, 3 position tone. The possibilities are endless!

So, this thing came into the shop in two pieces. It's owner inherited the instrument in this state, and it's my job to make it a guitar again.

boken headstock repair ottawa

As you can see, this baby didn't feel so hot. The headstock was bound, but there are several pieces missing. I will have to make that binding from scratch, because you can't buy this 4 ply binding. You can get the individual strips, which I have to laminate together, bend and install into the chanel.





Here are a few pieces of binding in my laminating jig. The pieces are laminated together with acetone, which actually melts theottawa gibson headstock repair layers into eachother. So, once that's done, I can use the heat gun to bend the binding into shape without having it come appart.


The headstock veneer on these "custom" headstocks is made of a thick plastic. I call them "custom" headstocks because they have the same pearl inlay symbol as the Gibson Les Paul Custom and the Black Beauty.



The glueing went well. Unlike the other Les Paul headstock I had to put back together this month, this one didn't need to be guitar repair ottawa headstock gibsonworked in order to fit back into place. When glueing these things back on, I only use a few spots of woog glue that I spread around with a wet bruch. The water dilutes the glue, slowing it's drying time, but also allows it to get into every nook and crany. The advantage however, is that is makes the fibers swell. It has to be done quite rapidly, and you have to get it right the first time, because the two pieces will only fit together for a few minutes. After that, the fibers will be to swollen for the two surfaces to match.

I use this technique because wood glue is designed to bind fibers together. If you ever have a gap, that's filed with glue, it will be a weak point, because that glue will not hold the surfaces together. Swelling the fibers into eachother and clamping them tight will ensure that if this guitar is ever droped again, and the headstock breaks, it will break along a new line, because the repair is stringer than the actual wood surrounding it.

Well, I now have to get that binding in there and re-finish the face of that headstock. Stay tuned.