I Am So Frustrated With Guitar Repair People - Just A Rant


Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Jun 21, 2011
I probably won't use the services of a luthier again in my lifetime. I'm not going to spend enough money on a guitar to be forced to work on it if it needs repairs. Generally, I can fix anything that goes wrong with them myself, if it gets too bad, I'll probably just put a price on it to reflect it needs work and move it on down the line. I'd rather put the money on something else, and just begin again.

Old Verle Miller

Apr 7, 2022
I have the good fortune to live in the relatively nearby vicinity of a nexus of professional music. There are some of the most talented luthiers in the world here in Texas but the trick is patience and if you're a professional performer, planning.

The good ones have paying clients who literally rely on them for keeping the tools of their profession usable. In this Texas climate, nothing is easy when it comes to wooden stringed instruments and especially with the number of players and instruments out there.

My answer to your frustration is to have a viable backup, if not a duplicate instrument at hand.

Harry Styron

Friend of Leo's
Aug 2, 2011
Branson, Mo
To expect one person to be an excellent luthier and a great scheduler is not realistic. Bob Womack seems to have found such a rarity. Like Brookdale Bill, I expect it to take twice as long, and if the work is good, I’m happy. It seems that most of us on TDPRI have several guitars, so having one or two in the shop is only a minor inconvenience.

I‘ve noticed in my own work that customers who have created the problem that they want me to fix are generally more anxious than those who want me to fix a problem that someone else created. Those who have created a problem want somebody to make it go away as soon as possible so they can stop feeling lousy about it. And sometimes they expect a miracle.

Ed Storer

Silver Supporter
May 27, 2010
Seattle WA
Seattle had at least one really good one Eric Daw, founder and owner of Pinup Guitars. He was tech at Emerald City guitars until about 4 years ago when his business got going. He moved to Idaho.

I had a go-round with Silesia Guitars. All I needed was a pickup installed, wiring changer to standard Strat wiring and new pots. It took her 3 months to get to it.

rand z

Friend of Leo's
Feb 19, 2004
trumansburg, ny
So... a shortage of guitar techs?


I can do some pretty decent work on electrics.

(I'm somewhat more limited working on acoustic guitars.)

Setups, custom wiring, fret crowning/leveling, custom made nuts/bridge saddles, installing pu's/tuners/pots etc.

I have all of the specialized tools (StewMac) and I've been doing it for years on my own herd and for few friends.

I just might start advertising; or, go to the local stores and see if they are in need of someone to help their techs, especially if they're behind.

(And, if they'll cover me with their insurance.)

I'm retired, but it might be a nice part-time job; and I can control the amount of work that would come in.


Last edited:


TDPRI Member
Feb 21, 2022
Camdenton, MO.
It surely won't help you, but I take my guitars to the ESP shop in Ochanomizu in Tokyo. The staff at the repair section are the best I have ever seen, and they are fast, they have never taken more than a week to finish a repair. The first guitar I brought them was a Gibson Les Paul, which had the frets worn to the fretboard, not to mention divots in the fretboard itself. When the guitar came back, I could have sworn they had replaced the fretboard, the rosewood looked new. The other job was a neck reset on a D28, which they did just as good a job on. The guy who runs the shop also builds Navigator guitars, and knows his stuff. Not only did my guitars come back with the problems fixed, the bodies are cleaned, minor scratches polished out of the paint or lacquer, the tuners, bridge pieces, and other metal parts cleaned and polished. Unfortunately, this place is ungodly expensive (almost $800 to re-fret my Les Paul), but you get what you pay for.

Must have been a heck of a fret job for almost $800…hopefully anyway.