Prior to my studies on the making of guitars, I was forced to in the early 70’s take on the repair of my treasured Martin D28 that had been repaired by a “qualified repairman”. The guitar was returned to me literally unplayable, and with glue fingermarks on the soundboard. The year was 1975. I had no option but to try and rectify this myself. I had been living in Spain working as a musician from 1972 – 1975.
In that time with not much to do in the day I was spending time with local guitar makers in Malaga. I had met them as a musician playing at night, and simply went to visit. I started doing simple sanding, French polishing, and soon became part of a team.
On my return in 1975 in South Africa my first repair was to my Martin D28. I think it is typical of all human beings to be in much trepidation around precious and valuable possessions, but with the knowledge tat I had gleaned in Spain I felt fairly confident to be able to undertake the repair. The repairs I undertook to my Martin were successful, a few musician friends saw the work I had done, and I was soon in demand to do work. In fact I became so busy with repairs that I was able to give up my night gig as a musician.
In those days there were no books on the subject of guitar repair, there was no internet and these skills were normally handed down from master to student. Fortunately for me my friend and fellow guitar player Steven Bromfield, sent me a book from the UK written by Irvin Sloane one of the earliest books on guitar repair written for the Steel string guitar.
I flourished in South African as a repairman working on valuable Martins, Gibsons and others. The desire to build an instrument from scratch kept on building inside of me and based on an article I saw in Frets magazine I went over to America in 1984, and began formal studies with Santa Cruz Guitars.
There are still an enormous amount of repair people out there, who think they know what they are doing. They are untrained, and often not well skilled. It is wise if you are needing repairs to your guitar to thoroughly research the work and the credentials of the repair person.
All my guitars have a life time guarantee to the original owner. Please contact me for the appointed repair person in your country.