Electric Guitar Repair, Restoration and Setups

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From Telecasters and Strats, to vintage Guilds and Gibsons and other beloved electric guitars, an experienced luthier will make all the difference. Dave's years of electric guitar repairs, restorations and setups will prove significant to the end result. Trust the hands that have worked on instruments for some of the most noted musicians of the past few decades, as well as those local New York musicians who covet their guitars.

We provide 3 galleries to peruse at your leisure. The Before and After Gallery gives you a solid idea of the extent of our major guitar repair and restoration work. The Repair and Restoration Gallery offers brief overviews of the work along with a shot of the guitar once the repairs have been completed. And the Guitar Setup Gallery shows some of the fine guitars that Dave has setup over the years.

Hurricane Katrina 1968 Fender Telecaster and 1958 Gretsch Duo Jet Guitar Restorations

These guitars were brought to me by a gentleman who lived in New Orleans and went through hurricane Katrina. He had to leave his house to avoid the hurricane and leave all his instruments behind. When he returned, he realized they were floating in the harsh waters inside the house! They were very, very difficult restorations, some of the hardest in my career! After seeing them for the first time I nearly refused to work on them because they were such a mess, but I could tell how much they were loved by their owner and how traumatized he was from the wrath of mother nature. Have a look at these incredible complete restorations.

Click the before of after picture in the galleries below to view the full slideshow of these amazing guitar restorations.

1968 Fender Telecaster Guitar Restoration

The body of the Telecaster had completely delaminated. After investigating tell tale signs, we think that it was originally a 1968 Blue Flower that had been stripped of the wallpaper and paint. The four laminations on the body would be covered up by the wallpaper and paint in the Fender factory. We decided to paint it foam green because of what it had gone through with Katrina. And to a nod to mother nature, we decided to leave the neck and head stock as it was because the beauty of the imperfection it possessed. I sprayed a aged nitro lacquer over the neck to blend it together. This was an intense restoration - not easy and quite time-consuming but it was worth it all! We replace the pick ups and electronics, all new frets and installed a custom bone nut. Amazingly enough, the tuners and the bridge saddles were salvageable. They were restored and worked fine. This guitar sounds incredible. The owner was overwhelmingly happy when he saw these for the first time. No doubt, these were some of the most intense but rewarding guitar restorations I have ever done - together they took a few years to complete.

1958 Gretsch Duo Jet Guitar Restoration

This was one of the most difficult restorations I have ever done. It seemed like it would never end. The neck had to be steamed off because it was at the wrong angle and someone had put a large screw from the side that was rusted/welded in the wood from the flood. It took at least two hours with two steamers! The headstock veneer was badly cracked and was a real mess. The fingerboard pealed off easily. The body was fairly intact but was delaminating. It is a hollow body guitar and was filled with water during the flood - OUCH! The bridge pickup didn't work but with some TLC I was able to bring it back to life. The pickups are original and now work great. The electronics were badly corroded and had to be replaced. Restoring the black nitro lacquer was quite a task. I yellowed all the white binding to make it period correct. This restoration was very time-consuming and intense. It was all worthwhile the minute David saw it then played it for the first time since the hurricane.


Before and After Electric Guitar Restorations and Repairs

Simple click any of the below images to view a larger slideshow for each individual guitar.

1968 Fender Paisley Tele Guitar Restoration

Stripped off old wallpaper and replace with original Borden company wallpaper. Installed B and E Bender. New metallic sunburst, custom plexiglass back-plate. Complete guitar setup.

1980 D'Aquisto Jazz Electric Guitar Restoration

Pigment for the D'Aquisto brand on the headstock was falling out. Replaced black filler material. Lacquer had to be aged and sprayed to match the rest of the guitar. Complete guitar setup.


1970's Gibson SG Electric Guitar Neck Repair

Neck was broken off. The guitar neck had to be completely re-built with a new setup, and cream lacquer touched up.

1950's Gibson ES350 Archtop Guitar Repair

Repaired the holes and cracks in the sides, matched the sunburst paint and finished it with Nitro lacquer. After a complete guitar setup, this guitar repair was close undetectable.


1954 Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar Restoration

Customer found in a Texas pawnshop. Starting off, Dave stipped off many, many layers of paint then stripped the neck. After new frets, decal, blonde finish and completely overhauled electronics, did a complete guitar setup.

Early 70's Gretsch Roc Jet Electric Guitar Restoration

Original pick-guard restored. Removed and replaced all frets. New bone nut. Cleaned the guitar finish. Complete guitar setup. "Your work made it the great guitar that I always knew it could be." ~ Mark C.


1960's Guild Starfire Electric Guitar Restoration

Stripped off battered finish. New 3 tone sunburst around the entire guitar. Re-wired electronics. New frets. Complete guitar setup. One amazing sounding guitar!

Gibson ES335 Guitar Neck Repair and Setup

Steamed off fingerboard, faulty truss rod system, installed new truss rod system, fingerboard, new frets, rewired electronics, complete setup, new bone nut, new nashville style bridge


1968 Paisley Tele Guitar Restoration

Guitar was cracked badly. Wallpaper missing on back. Filled in to match wallpaper. Leveled finish to the rest of the instrument. Glued all loose finish cracks and touched up. Added custom neck shim. Complete guitar setup.

1959 Fender Stratocaster Guitar Restoration

Completely stripped old finish. Re-finished 2 tone sunburst with Nitro lacquer. Leveled Brazillian Rosewood fingerboard. Installed new frets. Replaced input jack. Complete guitar setup. One of the nicest Strats I've every played!


P Bass - Guitar Restoration

The body was like someone took a chainsaw to it. It was completly restored and refinished with a 3 tone sunburst, vintage aged neck lacquer, new decal (missing), new frets and a new bone nut.

50's Les Paul Gold Top Electric Guitar Restoration

"From a 50's Les Paul 'Basket Case' to 1957 Goldtop specs. In the early-mid 80's it was a radical procedure. I still have that guitar and it's an all-time favorite." ~ Frank Potter, Guitarist

1958 Les Paul Junior Guitar Restoration

"An original 1958 Les Paul Jr. that my dad used to play around England in the early 60's somehow found it's way into the hands of a teenager with a few cans of spray paint. Ouch! But look at it now. From complete pieces to pure perfection. Original neck and headstock, fretboard, body, P90 pick-up and bumblebee capacitor. We added new Grover tuners, frets, bone nut, Gibson bridge, pots and new paint - a sunburst supreme with a an "olde school" Nitro finish. Dave made it beautiful, both outside and in. This thing plays and sounds incredible!" ~ Daren Hurrell, Guitarist


Electric Guitar Repair and Restoration Gallery

These fine electric guitars came to Dave in need of major repair and restoration. But we simply dropped the ball and didn't think to take a picture of their "before" state. All were completed by Dave himself. One luthier on every instrument, all the time.

Simple click any of the below repair and restoration images to view them larger.

1960's Gibson Johnny Smith
Made new custom pick-guard.

1940's Gibson ES
Made new custom pick-guard.

1960 Fender Strat
Fiesta Red re-finish and re-fret.

1962 Fender Strat
Sureline Gold re-finish and re-fret.


Phantom II Vox Bass
Custom pick-guard and re-fret.

1960's Silvertone
Customized restoration.

Early Gibson Mandolin
Made new custom pick-guard.

Gibson Archtop
Made custom ebony pick-guard.


Electric Guitar Setup Gallery

It's been more than 30 years - experience matters with guitar setups. Here are some of the finer electric guitars that Dave has setup in the more recent past.

Simple click any of the below images to view them larger.

1990's D'Angelico guitar setup

Heritage Archtop guitar setup

Gibson Les Paul Custom re-fret

Custom Fender Style guitar setup

Benedetto Archtop guitar setup

Fender Custom Shop Bass setup

Fender Custom Shop Strat setup

Fender Custom Shop Tele setup

Fender Custom Shop Strat setup

Fender Custom Shop Tele setup

Fender Custom Shop Tele setup

Gibson L5 guitar setup


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Electric Guitar Repair, Restoration and Setups
by an Experienced Luthier
call Dave at 845-684-5566 or contact us today!