String Repair Services
When dealing with an instrument that is made primarily of natural products each repair, like every tree, is unique. Our experienced craftsmen will carefully evaluate your instrument’s needs to bring it back to optimum performance. Since the parts of the instrument are interdependent upon one another, it is not uncommon that as you start to treat the initial symptom, you find the root of the issue is a combination of problems with different parts of the instrument.
For example – You might come in for your bridge (the outward symptom)
Lower Bridge and Straighten –
We can work with your existing bridge to correct the height, and confirm it is straight and no warping present. If the bridge is still good, we can place the bridge in the correct location and clean as necessary.
New Bridge –
In evaluating your existing bridge, our string professional may determine it needs to be replaced. We will correctly fit a new "French" bridge blank so it has a good fit with top of your instrument. We’ll finish the bridge to a smooth condition and give proper string height and string spacing based on the new bridge; trim and thin bridge as required to give best tonal results. Finally we’ll fit the feet of bridge fit flush with the surface of the top so there are no gaps.
Both of those scenarios addressed the outward symptom of the bridge, however it is not uncommon that bridge and string issues are related to your fingerboard –
Dress Fingerboard – In working with the bridge, our string professional may evaluate that the fingerboard is causing some of the musician’s playing issues. We will correctly plane and dress fingerboard so it is shaped to correct specs and finished smooth leaving no bumps or twists so strings won’t buzz when played. Board finished smooth and sides of board around neck also smoothed. Recheck bridge and nut string heights after glue is dried.
Fit New Fingerboard –
However, our craftsmen may determine the fingerboard should be replaced to resolve the playing issues. We can fit an ebony fingerboard to neck of instrument so both surfaces are level and can be glued together with fresh hot hide glue. Refinish neck if necessary. Fit fingerboard to neck with perfect fit. Recheck bridge and nut string heights after glue dries. Redress fingerboard to proper shape and specs.
Reglue Fingerboard – Or, the cause of the bridge issue could stem from a loose or separated fingerboard. We will reglue the fingerboard back to the instrument and align for optimal position with the bridge and strings.
Another common issue with string instruments revolves around the strings not working properly causing tonal issues or buzzing sounds.
Install New Strings– You can choose new strings or have our staff choose an optimal set of replacement strings for your unique instrument. We will make sure the strings are installed and wound around the pegs properly and that they are at the recommended height from the fingerboard.
Install New String Adjuster– Sometimes the string adjuster has been damaged causing it not to hold its tension or that it is rattling causing a buzzing sound on the instrument.
The sound post plays an integral part in how your instrument plays. You might think only that the sound post has fallen. However, the post could be worn with age.
New or Adjust Sound Post– Our technicians will properly select, fit and adjust a new thinned spruce sound post (or properly reset your existing sound post) to the correct position to optimize your particular instrument and its playing characteristics.
While the above repairs are fairly straight forward, your particular instrument might have extensive damage to the top, bottom, neck or other parts. Our staff can fix many types of cracks, seams and other large type repairs with expertise. Some of the repairs below might require that the top of the instrument be removed. Our staff will make the necessary repairs and reattach the top to a like new state.
Glue Seam– The open seam will be cleaned of any old glue and then will be fixed by gluing the open section making sure the rib is lined up with the back and top of the instrument using hot hide glue and correct gluing clamps. Once cool, the area will be cleaned up so no residual glue will remain.
Glue Crack– The crack will be cleaned of any old glue and then will be fixed by gluing the crack making sure that the area properly lines up with the rest of the instrument using hot hide glue. Once cool, the area will be cleaned up so no residual glue will remain and will finally do minor finish and cosmetic retouching of cracked area.
Reset Neck– The neck will be correctly rest to proper location so string height is correct. Good quality hot hide glue will be used to refit neck tightly into neck mortise. String heights and neck angle will be checked and adjusted for optimal positioning. Neck mortise will be rebuilt as needed to achieve proper fit. (A new bridge might be required).
Reglue Neck– Our staff will reglue loose neck using good quality glue checking for neck angle and string height is correct.
Top Removal– Our technicians will properly and carefully remove top of instrument to be able to perform necessary repairs on inside of instrument. Once repairs are complete, the top will be reglued into the correct location using hot hide glue and gluing clamps.
Other Offered String Repair Services
Install New Tailgut
Install New Wittner Tip
New Nut or Saddle
Fit New Block
Sound Post Patch
Varnish Touch Up