Services

 Professional setups.  The pros know they can walk into most music stores, pull a brand new instrument off the wall, and it's probably going to need a few adjustments before it suits them.  A setup is all about matching your instrument to your playing style using a wide variety of adjustments.  In most cases, a setup can make the difference between an instrument that's truly fun to play, and one that gets put away and forgotten about.  In some cases, fretwear or other issues may prevent the instrument from setting up well, but there's usually a way to optimize it's performance until more serious repairs can be made.  When I take instruments in for setups I like to know a little about the type of music being played and the playing style of the player.  All instruments are thoroughly checked over, fingerboards,truss rods and tuners oiled, intonation checked, electronics checked, and they're given a bit of a polish.  It's generally best to set your instrument up with new strings, which I'm happy to supply (you are also welcome to provide your own).

 Structural repairs.  Acoustic instruments are somewhat fragile, and solid tops and sides (though tonally superior) can be highly susceptible to changes in humidity.  Kansas winters tend to be dry.  I always recommend humidifying instruments when the heat's on in your home...that means in it's case with a humidifier when it's not being played.  I see a ton of top cracks, loose braces, lifting bridges etc., especially during the winter.  The good news is, these can be repaired and patched, often cleanly, and usually without noticeable change in sound or playability...but the need to humidify continues beyond the repair.  


The most involved structural repair is the neck reset.  Over time, constant string tension can pull the neck angle forward.  On fine instruments, that means steaming it off, refitting the joint, and kicking the angle back to where it would have been when new...while keeping the external heel joint flush with the sides.  On instruments where that would be cost prohibitive, there are cheaper (but less attractive) options.

 Fretwork.  Over time, frets wear down, especially on steel stringed instruments.  Everyone wears through them at different rates, depending on playing style and grip strength.  Luckily, most instruments start with tall enough frets that the wear can be taken care of with a fret dress...that is leveling all frets to the lowest point of wear, re-crowning them, and polishing them up.  An instrument can often take 2 or 3 dresses before a complete re-fret is necessary.  When it's time for that re-fret, you might opt for identical fret wire, or select something taller or wider...stainless frets are a good option for those who burn through frets quickly.  Whatever we're doing, you can rest assured that each fret gets special treatment, and is sculpted and polished like a piece of jewelry until it shines and is perfectly smooth to the touch.

 Electronics repair and modding.  Whether you just want hotter pickups, twangier pickups, or more control options on your electrics, or even if you just have an electric that won't work at all... I can help you.  Vintage wiring, hot rod mods, coil taps, treble bypasses, phase switching, electrifying your acoustics...the possibilities are endless.

 Parts guitars.  Nowadays, a person can jump on the internet and find necks, bodies, pickups and other hardware from a huge variety of vendors at very reasonable prices.  Combining those components to create a smooth playing machine isn't always as easy as it might seem.  I can help you put together the guitar of your dreams, and will always point you towards the sources I've come to trust for components. 

 Custom inlay work.  Sometimes an instrument is special enough to the player they want to add their initials or some design.  Sometimes the original inlay work has been damaged and needs to be redone.  I enjoy working with the abalones, pearls, and other materials that adorn instruments, and I'm happy to help you find the design to personalize your favorite instrument.

 Setup and minor repair clinics.  I met Frank Ford years ago when he was teaching a clinic at Robert-Venn.  I always appreciated his attitude about sharing knowledge.  There are no secrets in Luthiery (or there shouldn't be), and he's always been one that I could call for advice or who's website frets.com I could refer to.  I'm more than happy to take a couple hours to help you familiarize yourself with your instruments and their particular setup needs.  Whether one on one, or with a small group of friends, we can walk through several setups to improve playability and help you better understand your instruments.