Instrument Maintenance Services

Maintenance costs (parts and materials are not included in prices):

-String change $2 each string (plus cost of string)

-Checking set up with string change is $10 (if set up is needed this $10 will go towards, see below, “Basic set up $45”)

-Basic cleaning with strings change $15 (plus add 1.50 each extra string, plus will add cost of type string used

-Detailed cleaning (not machine buffing but hand polishing) with strings change $30 (plus add 1.50 each extra string)

-Basic set up $45

-Other possible services $30 by the hour plus parts and materials

-If combining any of the above services please ask and we may be able figure out a discount for you

The store is located at 14154 Skyway Suite 1, Magalia, Ca (next to US Post Office). We are ~30 minutes from Chico, CA and ~15 minutes from Paradise.


This ‘volunteer serviced is a 1984-1987 era Made in Japan Fender Squier:

Found fret buzz and so subsequently noticed broken nut. Did the “hot pin test” and found the nut was plastic. We ordered a bone nut to replace the plastic nut that was on it, but in the end we ended up using a TUSQ brand nut (slotted Strat style fitting 7 1/4 radius). I didn’t use the bone nut because I don’t have yet what I’d want as adequate nut saws. Of course sawing a nut can be done with many a type saw and file, but since I’d be sawing a nut for someone I’d want the type saws with the various string gauges making clean cut and appropriate string notches.

Additionally found was when cycling the 5-way pickup switch the sound (electrical connection) was intermittently  going off and on. Took off pickguard and cleaned out body. Cleaned out the three potentiometers using electrical contact cleaner. All the while switching thru the 5-pickup positions numerous times. This maintenance fixed the problem.

All six nuts securing the tuners to the head were loose so all those were tightened up.

Back (tremolo springs) plate screw in past was undoubtedly tightened down too much and you can see it caused a crack in plate end… one screw was also missing.

The owner wanted to keep the same vintage (flatwound) strings so all the maintenance was done leaving strings on. With all the maintenance done there was so much loosening and tightening strings. I thought these tryings would not break. But in the end while I was tuning the treble/top e string broke. I replaced it and all the rest remind ‘vintage.

Using wax string to pull knob (gotta get a knob puller tool). Used our business cards to protect finish when working in vicinity …

Each knob, washer and nut were identified in order to install on same potentiometer shaft those were attached on.

When taking out parts such as this washer we used a wooden toothpick in order for less chance marring the surface.

Thought to tape screw heads to protect screws finish and to have tape over screw preventing marring surface, but found didn’t need that was more hassle getting driver in screw slots so subsequently unscrewed screws carefully without using tape over them.

Found a set of impeccably manufactured and installed electronics. The Japanese did a great job with this electrical set (& the whole guitar) in the mid 80s!

This Strat bearing the “E” serial number was made expertly. “E” is a great axe and holds an honorable worth on its own.

Yep, electronics are supreme on this!

Sprayed electrical contact cleaner into switch (& potentiometer’s).

Nice ‘clean set of pickups.

Some y’all know, but FYI in order to get the right replacement nut one needs to measure nut length, height (at middle of nut), width, basically the space from the “E” strings nut slot to end of fretboard and space in between of strings and measure fretboard radius (this one was 7.25 radius).

Axe is getting cleaned up now… can’t wait till the nut comes in and get this all fixed up/cleaned, set up/intonate and back to owner to enjoy!

Intonate and all done on this volunteer:

Another volunteer was a late model Eastman acoustic. The pickup was intermittent and the D string was broke. We went ahead changed the battery after finding it was spent enough to cause the pickup being intermittent. The frets and fretboard was dressed and cleaned. The tuners nuts tightened. The whole guitar was inspected and cleaned. There were no other issues except strings needed changing. When taking out bridge pins its best to put back the same pin in same hole by identifying the pins location. For strings I tried out Dunlop Phosphorus Bronze 12-54. The guitar plays, feels and sounds very nice.

I use a type of eraser to clean up gunk accumulated on frets so this metal shield protects fretboard from that fret eraser

This volunteer was in for a string change (cleaned it all up including dressed frets and lemon oiled fretboard too):

Was checking for how long a ‘tail of the string I wanted leave on to slip under the next… 3 1/4 inch seemed good for this guitar…

Lemon oil clean/treat this fretboard

Clean up frets with this eraser like material

New volunteer a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. Came with pickup switch knob hitting nut so the switch with knob on doesn’t stay in place when in bridge pickup position (switch works fine verified if I take off plastic knob it works fine). Bottom line is I ordered various nuts and washers, but that didn’t make any difference. I know now I’ll have to route more space for switch inside to seat farther… That’s a future job after I buy a Dremel with guide fixture. For now here are some pics:

These are thinnest nut and washer I ordered and used but to no avail…

Like I mentioned, the switch works fine and without toggle knob the Guitar can be used with bridge pickup

I bought three sets to try thinnest out of the bunch…

Taking off these type nuts best done with special tool here:

When tightening or loosening nut it’s best hold switch (after removing  back access panel):

Yep, old and new hardware here and when washer off best to clean up underneath it…

Yep, need Dremel and I guarantee it’s gonna work… to be cont…

UPDATE on this 1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe:


Prior to using Dremel I checked that switch pole won’t stay engaged to Treble while the plastic white knob was screwed on (knob pops out of place):


Knob being on has no issues staying engaged in middle or Rhythm positions…


Removed panel to switch:


Removed switch nut/”poker chip” washer & gently coaxed wires so I could get the switch out of the pocket to Dremel:


Dremel 4000 used to smooth away some wood from bottom of pocket so that switch threads can stick out top longer:


All went well and just smoothing away a small amount now allows Switch to stay in Treble position with white plastic knob on. Success!

A T-Style Kit build came in all ready good to go except less for fret buzz, cleaning up wood/metal parts, ‘tighten up, ect any ‘loose stuff and adjust intonation, ect.


Saddles need adjustment to best match up to fretboard radius:


Tuner post bushing loose:


Loose nuts on switch plate:


Plastic nut stained:


Used a like bushing to gently tap loose bushing to fully seat (no problem me using the pliers but something round like a socket or such would be convenient):


Bushing now fully seated:


Cleaning up metal:


Cleaning up frets:


Cleaning/oiling the rosewood fretboard:


Cleaning up the wooden body:


Client asked I check routes for pickup that may be changed in future… thinking P90:


This old nick or such I’d have to work on more if wanted to get rid of it… then would have to do carefully so not to scar plate area around it:


Client asked these strings be used:


12 inch fretboard radius:


In this below picture shows saddles adjustment check roughly to the 12 inch radius, which is same as the necks fretboards radius (12 inch) then when strings went back on this did the saddles height radius check the right way (there is no picture here of that next step after strings were on all to tune. Yes, so with this gauge in picture below its actually best to check heights of saddles when the gauge goes under the strings… by the way, while checking distance of bottom of a string to top of fret/”action”, various common methods are to check for neck “relief”, check nut and one other affect is height of saddles. So while adjusting height you throw off the radius so if needed you go back and forth adjusting till you get that happy medium sweet spot):



Adjusting intonation/tuning:


Intonation by shortening or making longer strings (distance):


Someone in past moved strap button:


Check and adjust pickups:


An ‘ole Yamaha acoustic in for cleaning, tuning, minor repair (here just a picture of head tuner screw hole …doing a ‘quick/cheap repair per customers desires):


This nice looking guitar came due to intonation issues:


Customer no longer wished to use tremolo & requested to add two ore springs:


Customer brought their own 2-extra springs & I installed… (I adjusted top ‘plate pictured here so plate on top of body is flush now as customer requested):


Flat on body the bridge now sits:


Ended up tightening some hardware I found loose too… Cleaned frets (& dressed), fretboard (oiled too), cleaned body, took apart bridge hardware (screws, springs & saddles) two get a good cleaning under all that…

Neck set up flat & no need any neck relief as its set low action and no buzz so all good with flat neck. Set up saddles radius, intonation done… Customer expressed happiness playing it said it “plays better than before…”.


Strings chose for this Fender Squier: