Saturday, March 28, 2009

waste not...

We may not have a smelter at the shop (maybe it's time for a portable cold fusion smelter manufactured using sustainable materials, processes and labor) but we recognize a reuseable resource when we see it. We go through about seven pounds of this stuff a month.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

it's a look!

Robert P., on his way to work, sporting his notorious shiny kitchen clogs and clutching a strange hybrid. As the head chef of two popular local restaurants (Bungalow 44 and The Buckeye) he's under a lot of pressure. It's important to be able to blow off steam in a creative and life affirming way.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


an improvised guitar string acupuncture...Trevor's finger after he reached down to the floor to pick up a screw that was heading to the "floorth" dimension.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Part 2 of "Man I can't put this thing down."

"This thing is so cool, it just pops in out of its screwed in magnet holster. I went out and bought a bass amp last night, sounds really good. I must have played it for 5 hours yesterday. Instrument repair is the happiest place in the world!"

Here are some photographs of the removable prototype Gary fabricated as a pickup modification for an upright bass.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Man, I can't put this thing down."

Gary fabricated a prototype panel to slide under the fingerboard of this acoustic bass which, with volume pots attached, controls the individual output of three (count 'em three!) discrete pickups on this upright bass. He's running it through several different amplifiers, each pickup in a different amp, and bowing it with, what he terms: "super milky tremolo," and a bit of distortion and reverb.

And then he put the stuffy on the bridge and took it to a whole new level.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

use what you've got

Here Tim has ingeniously attached the mouth of the vacuum close to the business end of a dremel cutting wheel. It's not uncommon for an old nut to require being cut out of the slot. This causes a lot of particulate matter to be ejected into the close atmosphere of the shop. Having the vacuum handy and running limits the amount of bone dust we breathe. Remember that sharp, gagging smell while the dentist is drilling on your teeth?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

testimonials on a busy day

In five years we've never seen it this busy...but we're not complaining.

"Plays better then when I got it" - Dave P.'s (with Gary) Spector bass

"Plays like it should've when I bought it" - Steve V.'s Gibson 336

"It's exactly what I wanted" - Sean B.'s (with his biggest fan) Martin D-41

And in the course of regular conversation we got to turn on one of our players (not pictured) to a piece of music by Kate Bush whose name and subject matter ("Hammer Horror") mirror his band's name. He became immediately enthusiastic to cover that song.

Friday, March 13, 2009

help in a hurry

Here Gary is discussing with Mark Ribot some adjustments to his Gibson Melody Maker to be effected in a Big Hurry. Mark has a show tonight in SF. The open high E string was vibrating (sometimes we refer to that sound as "sitaring") where it went over the saddle and the bridge itself had an odd and not groovy sympathetic vibration. Gary used a diamond file to correct the saddle slot and added a small piece of wood to tilt the tailpiece forward thereby increasing the downward pressure of the string in the saddle. Gary also added a pair of Hipshot locking studs to hold the bridge firmly in place.

Mark made it to the soundcheck on time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A stiletto heel...

...kicked through the back of this Martin steel string acoustic has made a little hole. Does it correspond to a hole in her heart? Did he have it coming? Regardless, we'll fabricate a wooden pad to reinforce the area. The hole won't disappear but the instrument's structural integrity will not be compromised, and the sound of the guitar will not be decreased. Don't know if the relationship can be saved, however...a different kind of shop works on that stuff.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Here's Tim working with plastic to create several color and material variations of a specific pickguard shape. The owner wants to see what various pickguard colors look like against the body and color of his instrument. We can fabricate almost any kind of pickguard (materials, color, shape, etc...) for a guitar. Look at those hands!

Friday, March 6, 2009

one of these things is not like the other....

Alright, very amusing of course, but did you know??

Here Gary is holding is an extremely rare Kramer guitar called an Enterprize. Designed by the notorious Floyd Rose, it is highly prized by the distinctly unique breed of collectors that find these instruments desirable. A grand total of ten of these eye-catching devices are thought to have been made. With such delicacy of design something this fragile could break so easily (indeed that's why we have it - for some light touchup) that the number of remaining examples are probably considerably less.

Take a solo that boldly goes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

do we not bleed?

And do we not sigh as well? Thanks for your notes. We never take it for granted.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

it didn't sound like this at the shop

There's a lot of reasons to play your guitar in a public place. You can hear how it sounds in very reflective environments, help to pass the time while your friend trades in his de-magnetized train pass for one that works, or maybe even get some lunch money. Here Trevor patiently strums a wistful tune in the Civic Center station in San Francisco, CA.