Local Flavor: Lucia, Hoosier Santa, Heap-O-Snow

Oona often dashes into the store to play the pump organ and it was just too much to see her on the 13th in Lucia garb plowing-away at it.

1890s Regal-made Fancy Bowlback Mandolin

1970s Yamaha FG-170 Flattop Guitar

Workshop: Making it Right

Sometimes things don't turn-out the way we expect. I originally did a neck reset on this D-40 back in June, but the fellow who had the guitar worked-on for his friend wasn't happy with the extra-tall saddle post-reset (I hadn't replaced the bridge) and was worried about the bridge and long-term structural stability.

After being strung-up for a bit, he told me the bridge was separating on the back edge and that something needed to be done. I'd told him that during the reset I thought that I probably should've installed a taller bridge as the original was a bit on the low side (shaved, possibly, in the past) for the new angle. I didn't, though, because many customers are on a budget and can be suspicious about extra work. He took it for a second opinion which turned out to be the first opinion and so it got shipped back for me to get a new bridge installed.


1940 Epiphone Zenith Carved-Top Archtop Guitar

Gear to Skip: 2000s J. Reynolds 3/4 Guitar

For whatever reason, there has been a plague of this-model cheap 3/4 Chinese student guitar this year in for "quick setups." Every one of them has had high action, truss rods that fail to adjust, and some sort of twist or warp to the neck that wasn't removable without major surgery (which isn't an option). At the same time, people come in and expect me to drop the action to what they might be used to on their Martins, Gibsons, or Taylors and not have fret buzz or other undesirable traits. It's trouble!

Gear to Skip: 1970s Sekova 5-String Banjo

Local repairs often involve cheap instruments like this one which eat away at my time and patience. On first glance, there's nothing truly wrong about this instrument. When they're fixed-up they sound pretty good for what they are and can play OK. These were made by the scores in both Japan and then Korea and now China and one can find the same general instruments being made straight through into the early 2000s before being replaced by slightly-better variations with plywood rims.


Local Flavor: Lucia Day

Tomorrow is Santa Lucia Day, which meant today we made absurd amounts of pepparkakor (gingersnaps) and lussekatter (Lucia buns). Now that the buns are done, I've got to go shovel-out the vehicles again so we have some extra time to enjoy this stuff before school starts. Ah, the holidays!

Said snow, by the way, put a stop to shipping things today. Mañana, mañana...