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3 Common Types of Guitar Restoration Projects

Learn instrument repair techniques to get your old guitar back in working order again.

Have you ever seen a guitar at an antique shop and wondered what it would take to get it back in working order? Because it's been disused for so long, you can expect an old guitar to need more work and different types of repairs than your everyday instrument. Here are three types of guitar restoration commonly required in such cases.

Common guitar restoration projects include fret and neck angle restoration and top nut repairs or replacements.

1. Fret Restoration

Old frets may need leveling, polishing, crowning – or all three. Experts skilled in fret restoration will first assess the condition of the frets, checking for things like:

  • Loose frets, which will require re-gluing
  • Flat-topped frets that need crowning
  • Frets that have worn spots and need leveling

A typical fret restoration process may include these steps:

  • Removing the strings
  • Making precision adjustments with special tools, such as fret leveling files and crowning files
  • Polishing the frets before re-stringing the guitar

2. Neck angle restoration

Long disuse can allow string tension or high humidity to alter the guitar's neck angle, which messes up string heights. Highly skilled musical instrument repair shops will likely use one or more of these techniques:

  • Small to moderate neck angle adjustments using the guitar's truss rod for (working in small increments to avoid damaging the instrument)
  • Neck reset if the neck angle is too far gone
  • Replace the truss rod if it's broken (this process requires taking the neck apart and putting it back together again)

3. Top nut repairs or replacements

A worn or damaged top nut can cause string problems, such as buzzing or incorrect string action. For guitars with top nut problems, common repair techniques include:

  • Adjusting string height at the nut
  • Replacing a cracked top nut
  • Repairing a specific groove to reduce string noise

With dozens of guitar repairs under our belt, we have both the training and the experience needed to get your guitar back into shape. Visit our Fitchburg instrument showroom or call 608.661.8600 today to learn more about our guitar restoration services. You can be sure that your instrument will be in the very best hands, whether you picked it up at a yard sale or it's been in the family for generations.

Before you stop in, get answers to our musical instrument repair most frequently asked questions here.