All repair work is currently done by trained luthier Jeremy Behn. Primary focus being acoustic repairs for stringed instruments although I am trained in, and can do most basic electric repairs. My setup work is excellent and this is noticeable on electrics as well as acoustics.
The violin family, including bow restoration, repair and rehair are a specialty of the shop. This includes all sizes of violins, violas, cellos and basses.
The price list below (in progress and evolving) is based on 'average prices' for each job described, and are mostly for the labour aspect only. Final costs will be based on the 'actual labour', parts and material requirements of each job.
Pick up and delivery service in Nelson can be arranged on a weekly basis. Creston on a monthly basis. As well as all stops in between Kaslo and Nelson-Kaslo and Creston.
all parts included
Turning the new button out of brazil wood on my mini lathe.
New button installed true on the old shaft.
Completed repair and a functioning bow again.
A guitar dropped at ‘just the right angle’, allowing it to impact on an edge will easily cause damage without much force, especially in cedar.
This is one of the Godin series of acoustics with some sort of poly based finish. More challenging to repair than a nitro type finish but doable with patience! Not 100% invisible but close.
Frogs that are stubborn in movement when tensioning hair and have a gap between them and the stick are common and in many cases are due to a loose eyelet or, as in the case of this bow, an eyelet that was installed at an incorrect angle. Correct alignments and tolerances of all the components that join frog and stick together are a necessity if the frog is to move easily and to reduce wear on the parts. None of this is too surprising as tensioning the hair definitely produces some stress on these relatively delicate moving parts.
Correcting a loose or misaligned eyelet is usually straighforward with the wonderful eyelet alignment tool in the photo below. One can drill an oversize hole for an oversize shank eyelet at a perfect right angle to the underslide. Or one can drill out the entire damaged area and fill it with an ebony plug and redrill for a std eyelet depending on the situation.
This lovely violin had an old crack that was beginning to reopen and fill with grime, as seen to the left. Always more of a challenge when the crack ends blind in the middle of the top!
Below left, apologies for the blurry photo, one can see the caramelized sludge when the crack is flexed for cleaning. Below right is a photo after the crack has been cleaned, one has to be very careful to leave the wood intact while cleaning for a good glue joint.
The middle two photos below show the clamping during glue up and cleating processes. Cleating reinforces the crack and hopefully prevents another reopening.
Adding anodized aluminum adjustment wheels to a well fitted decent quality bass bridge is a useful modification I offer at the shop. Makes seasonal action adjustments much easier and far more affordable! Done well the affect on tone and energy transmission is totally acceptable.
The fact is that many commercial guitars and violins have poor setup, not all, but many. Here are some photos of a maple/ebony saddle in the spider/bridge of a brand new resonator. The core of this guitar is fine, with decent quality for the money and a very good sounding american made cone from Paul Beard. The saddle however is not that well done and unfortunately it’s an important part of good tone production. These are the sorts of details I address on any instruments that I carry. Most of what I carry doesn’t have these issues but occasionally some of the instruments I sell do need some attention and rest assured that if they don’t get addressed before going on the floor for sale I try to make sure they get addressed before they get sold and even then you need only bring the instrument back to me after purchase and I will deal with these factory oversights free of charge.
As well crafted as Larrivee guitars are this client wasn’t enjoying the aesthetic of the ivoroid binding around the fingerboard and requested ebony replacements. As with many folks cost was a concern so I assessed the situation and decided the binding could be swapped out without a refret which reduces the cost greatly. Tricky job, fitting the replacement binding under the overhanging fret ends but the end result was perfectly acceptable and, as stated, a lot cheaper.
The humorous part of this repair story is I had collected ebony fingerboard offcuts years ago from the dumpster outside the Larrivee factory while living in Vancouver. For all I know the ebony I used of this job actually came from the same piece of fingerboard!
I should add, lest there be any confusion, this client had this done to two Larrivee guitars, thus the different instruments shown in process photos.
In photo 1 the new railroad spikes can be seen and the screw holes from 2 previous capo systems on the side of the neck. After the screws for these intrusive systems were removed I drilled them slightly oversize to ensure roundness. Then proceeded to make a triple layer lamination of black and white celluloid with curly maple. The layup was too fragile to turn in my micro lathe so I quickly rounded the affair with a file and tapered each plug to get a snug fit in each hole.
In photo 2 the final touch up has been done. The curly maple stained, lacquer built up, leveled and buffed. This photo is up close but the end result is quite effective when viewed slightly farther away.