Om guitar

In the design stages is a new version of Gareth Whittocks Om guitar. An inspiring instrument played with deep musicality, great technique and control.

The new custom instrument will feature increased scale length for the drone strings.
Here is Gareth demonstrating the current Om guitar on Youtube

a new year, a new machine

A happy new year to one and all!

On the go, between regular repair and custom jobs are the restoration of a ES175 and the zouk, which I mentioned in an earlier post.

This pretty old ES175 had a badly split and damaged side. The option was to either glue, internal patch and make good or to replace the side. Normally a repair would be the way to go on this, however some heavy sanding after a ‘previous’ had seriously reduced the side thickness and compromised its integrity, it was therefore on balance judged that it might be better to replace the entire side. These few pictures document a few steps to removing the side but carefully leaving the fragile and cracked binding insitu;

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No going back now. Next step is to make up a new side and fit it. I’m glad I have a new machine in the workshop to help keep the adrenaline going when undertaking this kind of intense repair..


The zouk top is also being replaced; heres the old one which was badly distorted;

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the refret inspector

Refret using Jescar wire to this vintage SG;

1964 SG

1964 SG

3 SG’s through the workshop this month, two with damage to the area around the controls.

This nice 1964 SG had a previous repair where a large piece of mahogany had been replaced. Unfortunately the piece of wood chosen was not a good match so I replaced it with a more suitable piece. Unfortunately I couldn’t do much about the butt joint where the end grains meet which inevitably reveals the repair.

Here’s the before and after pics;




and the refret;

7 frets in...

7 frets in…

45100 jescar wire

jescar 45100 spec wire

the local refret inspector

the refret inspector calls


Another refret, this time an old Hoffner President;

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another 60’s SG;

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a 1959 strat in fiesta red;

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5 string mandolins

I have two nearly finished 5 string mandolins coming up for sale soon.

Pretty much everything on these instruments is made here in the workshop…the spec is;

Solid swamp ash lightweight body, string through body ferrules
Hard rock maple neck with adjustable truss rod
Nickel plated 4 bolt neck plate with serial no.
Indian rosewood fingerboard
Nickel medium vint. frets
Custom wound 5 string neck pickup with nickel cover
Custom wound 5 string bridge pickup
Custom bridge assembly with solid brass saddle
Side mounted vint. tele style jack
3 way selector , volume and tone control

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a pair of mandotels; capri orange and lake placid blue ish..

If you are interested and would like to try one out please drop me a line..

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return of the zouk

Here is a bouzouki I made back in 1993 for troubadour Jimmy Crowley in Cork, Ireland.

Jimmy’s been getting a fair amount of use out of it over the years and now its back in for a few ‘tweaks’ and a green fish eye inlay. It has a strongly defined sound and a type of sustain that only a bowl back can produce.

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The first one of these I made in the 80’s went to friend Pete Fyfe, said to have fingers “like crazed maggots” who kindly assessed the design, and said it was good. After seeing it and hearing it the second  was commissioned by Christy Moore for Donal Lunny. Donal later commissioned a further bouzouki which he described as a ‘blarge’ with a 17″ wide body. Jimmy’s is stock at 13 1/2″ wide with a slightly shorter scale at 25 1/2″..

a few recent repairs

a few photos of some jobs going through the workshop in august;

burns ampeg wiring

burns ampeg wiring

vintage fender strat body

vintage fender strat body

custom pickup installation

custom pickup installation

70's neck refret

70’s neck refret

new pickups, controls and rewire

new pickups, controls and rewire

truss rod fun and games

truss rod fun and games



thin twin K161

neck pickup rewind on an interesting ‘old kraftsman’ thin twin 161 guitar

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Jimmy Reed

 ‘big boss man’  jimmy reed with Kay 161 thin twin

takamine bridge



a recent repair involved lowering the bridge on a japanese made takamine, you can see here the exposed metal grounding strip in the saddle slot which sits on top of 6 hefty peizo elements that in turn sit in a cast aluminium housing retained by the two small domed head bolts.

bridge being lowered

gretsch chet atkins


this one came in for a general set up

60's gretsch chet atkins (6119)

60’s gretsch chet atkins (6119)

les paul

hot off the bench is this US custom made LP. I made a replacement neck together with some refinishing, completed to customers requirement. took some time but worth the wait.

Corsa LP

complete neck replacement

Corsa LP

neck and body restained and laquered