Welcome to the Workbench!
You have found your way into the Ithaca Guitar Works' repair department web page. Located on the first floor of the Dewitt Building directly above the store's sales floor where we perform repairs and modifications to stringed instruments of all types. We do everything from major restorations to basic set ups. In this section of the store's web site you will find useful information regarding the care and maintenance of your stringed instrument, discussions on what to do and what not to do to your instrument and descriptions of some of the more common repairs we perform.
Please welcome our new Luthier Greg McGrath. Greg has been repairing guitars for over 40 years and has toured extensively with many major music acts as a sound engineer. Meanwhile in our store Chris, Ashley and Rylan Broadwell can address many basic issues your instrument may have.
-Consultation, estimating cost of repair and verbal appraisal: no charge
-Minimum bench fee: $25
-Hourly rate: $100
-Appraisals on Ithaca Guitar Works letter head: $50 fist instrument, $10 each additional instrument.
-Restring: $25 (plus cost of strings) More for 12 string, classical, mandolin and Floyd bridge equipped.
-Truss rod adjustment: $10
-Bridge reglue: $250 and up.
-Intonation electric guitar saddle: $25
-Intonation acoustic guitar saddle: $60
-Adjust nut slots: $25
Install strap buttons: $25 plus $2.50-$4 parts each
-Replace nut or saddle (bone custom fitted): $100
-Replace nut or saddle (pre-slotted, plastic) $50-$100
-Fret leveling and crowning: $25 per fret or $200 and up
-Refret: $30 per fret, partial or $500 - $750 complete
-Repair broken headstock: $150 - $500
-Electric guitar pots, jacks and switches inspection and cleaning: $50 (arched tops $100)
-Soldering pots, jacks and switches: $50 for 1 plus parts(hourly rate if more than 1)
-Pickup installation electric: $75(for one, hourly rate after that)
-Pickup installation acoustic: $100 and up (more with onboard pre-amp)
-Glue loose brace: $50 per
-Repair cracks: $75 and up per
-Reglue loose binding: $75 and up
-Bridge reglue with preinstalled pickup: $300 and up
-Neck reset: $600 and up
-Hole patching: $260 and up
There are many, many more services we offer from the very small to big job. Please bring your instrument in anytime for a free consultation/estimate. We will never suggest more work than is needed. We will never suggest work exceeding an instruments value. We reserve the right to decline work on any instrument.
*Prices subject to change, adjustment up or down and represent estimates only. Please refer to hourly rate.
Extreme Changes in Humidity and Your Fretted Stringed Instrument
It is important to note that new guitars with guarantees from the manufacture will not cover problems caused by neglect which includes excesses in temperature, humidity, dryness etc. When winter sets in here in the North East U.S. the air gets extremely dry. Guitars, being constructed from wood, are often damaged by these extreme fluctuations in humidity. Most quality fretted stringed instruments are constructed from solid woods, which are particularly vulnerable to changes in humidity. A multitude of dried out instruments cross our workbench each winter. Simply humidifying your guitar during the heating months will prevent this.
The symptoms of a dried out guitar are many. Look for protruding fret ends (the nickel/silver frets don't shrink as the wood does so the fret ends protrude from the side of the neck) and a concave or under-bowed neck which will cause buzzing and high action. Solid wood tops will sink also causing fret buzz.
Flat top acoustic guitars are even more susceptible to changes in humidity since the wood that makes up the box are thin and typically unfinished inside the instrument. Beyond the usual fair regarding the neck as described above, an unhumidified acoustic guitar can suffer cracks in the body. Also, the top of the guitar will sink as its moisture content is diminished causing low action and buzzing. Since an acoustic guitar has so many glue joints (the bracing, side/back, side/top, bridge, etc') when the instrument expands and contracts with extreme fluctuations in humidity these glue joints will fail causing loose braces, lifting bridges and, well you get the idea.
The solution is simpler than most folks anticipate. Keeping your instrument in its case with a humidifier when not being played will keep most instruments (even electric guitar necks are made from wood too!) from getting extremely dried out. We recommend four different styles. They are made in a multitude of sizes for instruments ranging from dreadnaught guitars to violins. I use two of these devices in my guitar each winter and one in my mandolin. If you're not sure which is right for you or have any questions about how to use it feel free to contact us.