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Expert Guitar Repair and Vintage Guitar Restoration

S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments, Huntington, NY


Providing expert services in guitar repair and vintage restoration on brands including: Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Fender, Guild, Collings, Santa Cruz, Gretsch, Larrivee, Dobro, National, Ovation, Tacoma, and many others.

Martin guitar repairs Taylor guitar repairs Gibson guitar repairs

Authorized service and warranty center for C.F. Martin Guitars, Taylor Guitars, and Gibson Guitars. International clientele.

S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments vintage Gibson L-00 guitar headstock is a climate-controlled and fully insured guitar and stringed instrument building and repair center located in Huntington Long Island, New York. Clients are seen one at a time, by appointment only to ensure a personal touch and pay complete attention to your needs.

My goal is to take such good care of your instrument that you'll never go anywhere else. The workshop contains the best machinery, fixtures and tools, and matches the humidity levels at major manufacturing companies to provide the proper environment for stable repair, restoration and custom guitar building. The shop has 4 workstations, including a dedicated bench for neck resets and vacuum-clamping. Each zone is specifically allocated for certain tasks, to facilitate consistent results and quality control.


Broken Martin Neck (before and after)

broken martin guitar neckrepaired martin guitar neck
There were fragments of mahogany missing from this shattered neck due to an accident where it was stepped on. After the neck was structurally repaired, graining pens were used to carefully paint in the grain to recreate the natural look of the wood before respraying and buffing the neck. The final result is nearly invisible, and virtually undetectable to the touch.

Martin J-21 Crushed Side (before and after)

The rosewood lower side on this Martin J-21 was splintered and shattered, with bits and pieces missing. The damage was repaired by gluing, filling, and carefully sanding the area level. The grain was painted in where missing to recreate the look and spirit of the wood. The area was then resprayed, feathered in and buffed to a gloss. More samples of structural repairs like this are in the articles above. (There is no photo retouching in any of my photographs).

A short video tour of the repair room

Click photo to open viewer (You need quicktime to view this)

My clients are professional and amateur musicians ranging from the USA (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, The United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Italy, Nova Scotia, Japan, and Korea among others. The shop has been in the same location for 21 years. I have been a feature columnist in Acoustic Musician and 20th Century Guitar magazines. My work has been featured in Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, The Guitar Blue Book, The New York Times, several books, and other publications.

Services include:

Vintage National Tricone guitar Fretwork, cracks, broken headstocks, neck resets, bridge re-glues, rebuilding cracked bridges, loose and cracked braces, bridge-plate repair and replacement, nuts, saddles, wiring & electronics, pickup installations, broken truss rods, tuning machine installation, intonation problems, loose tops and backs, loose and damaged binding, righty to lefty conversion, rewinding pickups, set-ups and more. I am also a banjo and ukulele historian, and have many parts dating back to the 1800s.

Finishes and touch-ups are done in traditional lacquers, as well as cutting edge ultra-violet cure lacquer. This means work can be performed on Taylor, Tacoma, and other manufacturers using UV lacquer, and the results will blend in with the factory finish.
Articles
These articles contain many detailed photos and explanations of the work as it's being performed, as well as general care and maintenence advice.

Please click the links below to read each article

NEWEST ARTICLE: Broken Dobro Headstock Repair

Guitar Repair Dos and Don'ts Humidifying Your Guitar
Re-setting a Martin Guitar Neck Broken Gibson Headstock
Removing a Hofner Bass Neck Cleaning Vintage Pots
Inside Connection Magazine Martin Bridge/Top Hole Repair
Making a Repro Vintage Bridge Vacuum Clamp Bridge Reglue
Taylor's Fret-Buck Gibson J-200 Bridge Mod
Gilbert Tuners on a Ramirez Gig-Bag Accident
Go Inside With a Guitar Mini-Cam

See what customers have to say, please click here!

Other Fretted Instruments S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments also offers full service repair and restoration for other fretted instruments such as banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, lap steels, resophonic instruments, and Weissenborn Hawaiian Guitars.


Responsible and careful repair and restoration techniques and materials will uphold the original spirit and value of your precious instrument. As a designer and guitar maker, I have a deep insight into the subtleties of construction, stress, tension, finishes, glues, etc. When working on instruments, a respectful and careful touch is required, never doing more than is needed. Please feel free to contact me regarding the shipping of your instrument. I am happy to advise you on the proper packing and shipping methods to protect your guitar and insure it on its journey! The risk of shipping damage is very low compared to the potential damage/devaluation by unqualified or inexperienced technicians.


S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments is a dealer for the following guitar parts and accessory manufacturers: Fishman Transducers, LR Baggs Pickups, Highlander Pickups, Rio Grande Pickups, Dimarzio Pickups, Ultrasound Amps, Martin accessories and parts, Gibson accessories and parts, Fender parts, TKL and Cedar Creek cases, D'Addario Strings and accessories, Planet Waves accessories, and can get dealer prices or better from most manufacturers upon request.
FAQ
Frequently asked questions

Subscribe to my blog for articles on guitar restoration, building, and maintenence tips. Click here for Scott's Guitar Blog.


The following credit cards are accepted:

major credit cards accepted


MP3
Interview of S.B. MacDonald
produced for public radio by
Carla Seidl



*If you landed on this page from an internet search, please feel free to visit this site's other areas by clicking the tabs at the top to explore my guitarmaking philosophy, see my custom built instruments, view videos and TV shows featuring my work, hear sound samples of guitars, read book, magazine and newspaper articles, and to tour the workshop!

S.B. MacDonald Custom Instruments
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