Here at the Fretted Strings shop, we offer a variety of restoration services for your heirloom fretted instruments.

As the years go by, your vintage instruments have the potential to increase drastically in value, though they are vulnerable to decreasing in quality.

Most older high-quality guitars are built with lightly-braced solid woods for maximum tone and resonance. However, these woods are vulnerable to the elements, including string stress, weather changes, and accidents. Over time, these can result in a variety of problem effects: major cracks, warped necks, high action due to incorrect neck angles, loose or cracked top and back braces, and other structural and playability problems.

We purchase many guitars (and other fretted instruments) that have some or all of these conditions and we perform full restorations before offering them up for sale.

Our typical procedure for a full restoration is as follows:

  • We remove the back and install new scalloped braces using a vintage X-bracing pattern.
    • We make our braces out of spruce that has been air dried for between 60 to 100 years, ensuring maximum resonance and structural integrity.
  • Any and all cracks are glued and reinforced. The back is re-glued with the neck set at the proper angle.
    • We also clean up any unnecessary old glue at this time.
  • A new bridge is made from Ebony, Honduran Rosewood, or Brazilian Rosewood (per customer preference). Frets are redressed or replaced as needed.
    • The bridge is then fit to the guitar top and glued in place.
    • Care is taken to remove any polish between the bridge and guitar top to ensure perfect wood-to-wood contact before gluing.
  • Any needed repairs or replacements of the tuning machines are done.
  • A bone nut and a compensated bone saddle are made and custom-fit to the instrument.
  • The entire instrument is cleaned with finishing polish and the fingerboard is oiled.
  • A new set of strings is installed.
  • Finally, the action is set at the nut and saddle.
    • This is the final step of the restoration, and is done to optimize tone and ease of playing.