Guitar Repair & Restoration by The Guitar Specialist, Inc. ~ The New shop

 


The New shop
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Welcome to the New Shop!

"What a great website and super repair shop! It makes me want to work there!! I haven't seen better. Thanks!" - Dan Erlewine

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As the calendar flipped to 2019, it was time to move again. Our lease at the old shop was coming to an end and we knew it was time to move on.  The New Shop!!
Here is the new shop in Bedford Hills, N.Y.
Fortunately, this time was saw it coming from pretty far down the road and we had been working on the new space for some time.  

The entrance to the vestibule in our new building.

Turn left and down the stairs to our entrance.

Go ahead and try the knob - if we are expecting you it'll be unlocked.  Otherwise try ringing the bell.
 

Reception

 
 
Here is our reception area where we perform most evaluations and examinations.
 

Here's a view from my side of the front counter. Now you know what it's like to be me. 

On the wall next to the front counter you'll see all of our credentials proudly displayed. 

Opposite that you'll notice our wall of fame - our gallery of noteable customers - Not all - just the ones that remembered to bring a picture.
Is your picture up there??
 
 
Hey Look - even the front counter comes with instructions.  I had that table made specially for you to put your case on at the front counter. ;0)
 
There are plenty of seats to make yourself comfortable ....
 
...while I might be doing an exam on a guitar for the customer that got here before you did ....

... but there is plenty of things - all guitar related - for you to look at and yes we've got magazines like any good reception area ...
 
... ours are guitar magazines though - did you expect anything else??
 

The Customer Lounge

 
 
Just next to the main reception area is the
Customer Lounge !!!!
 

Okay, it's not really a lounge - it's a room. Here is where you get to sit and play your guitar when it's done to make sure it's just right.
 
There is a great amp in here and comfortable chairs.  You can check out your newly completed guitar and if need be - I can make any final adjustments.

Lots of inspiring pictures of great guitarists.  Plenty of light - you can take as much time as you need, crank it up and play 'til your heart's content ...

Unless of course there's a line of people waiting to check out their guitars too ... ya never know when a jam session will break out!!

So go ahead and text your spouse, let them know you've got a "few more errands" to run before coming home - go ahead and play for a while - we don't mind. 
 
Here's a quick picture of the storage
area behind the front counter.
It's our receiving room - where all the guitars go as they are coming in before they hit the shop!!
 
 

The Main Shop Area

 

Here's the main shop area.
I've been told it's like walking into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory but for guitarists.

I've been doing this kind of work for
a pretty long time - now in my 4th decade.

I finally got the chance to build
the shop I've always wanted to work in.

There's plenty of room, the lighting is great, the climate control is spot on and easy to maintain.

Most importantly we have the room to work like we need to.  Which means on as many guitars at the same time as possible.
 
Notice the size of the benches.
They are custom made for this space.
Most are 3ft. deep and 8ft wide making for plenty of room to stretch out and work on quite a few projects at once without feeling crowded.
 
Here's my main bench.
Front and center is the new stewmac neck jig. We've used a neck jig for decades. This latest version is a very cool upgrade.
 
One side of the workbench is for all types of general work. Setups, structural repairs - you name it. 
 

The combination of the pattern maker's vice and the body board make it easy to hold a guitar in almost any position you need.
There's also plenty of storage room underneath for guitars that are being worked on to be tucked away nice and safe.


The opposite side the bench is dedicated to fretwork. Here we can install frets on two guitars at a time. Too bad I can't stand on both sides of the bench at the same time.
   
Again, below are refrets in the cue
waiting their turn at the fretting bench.

At the corner of the two benches are a few antique chests.  They hold all the tools and supplies that I am constantly reaching for on a daily basis.
   
It keeps almost everything I need at arms reach,  allows for neat storage but still keeps tools away from the guitars and my bench doesn't get all cluttered up.

All the way to the right is a narrow island protruding from the end of the fretting bench. This is what I refer to as the fret crowning bench. I have always used some version of one of these but this is by far the coolest. 

I use this in conjunction with the neck jig for perfect fretwork. By suspending a guitar above the bench all of the fret dust dust falls to the bench below far away from the guitar...

... so I can concentrate on your frets and not worrying about the finish of the guitar moving around on a bench with fret dust all over it.  That'll kill a finish on a guitar in no time.
 
... Okay - let's all pause for a moment so all of you ogling the '57 LP Goldtop can wipe the drool from your chin.  Okay - on with the tour ...


 

The old version of this used modular blocks to adjust the height and angle of the peg head.  This one uses a custom made, telescoping and tilting platform to fit ANY peg head and ANY size guitar. 
(Thanks Mike From Woodshed Design!!)

I'll also use this setup when doing repairs where I need to walk completely around the instrument...

... as you can see I can work from either side of the fingerboard.  I also do most of my fingerboard inlay work as well as fingerboard repairs here since I have so much freedom to move around the guitar.
   
The bench looks like it's not very sturdy - but it's deceiving - it has two 8-foot iron girders extending 4 feet into the fretting bench. I could dance on this thing and it wouldn't budge.
 

Here from the other side of the shop is Sharon's workspace.  A couple more benches set up in an L-shaped pattern.


The wall near the back of the shop houses both our parts storage area and the main tool chest.

The sign from our old location was too big for the town ordinance in our new spot - It looks pretty good here.

Most of the spare parts are here - not much to say but, Dat's a lot of bits and pieces.

Say Hi to
 CAT MARTINO !!!

One of my favorite things in the shop is this tool chest from the 1940's.  Made by a carpenter fron Vermont.  I was lucky to get my hands on it.  You would not believe how many tools this thing holds.

Another addition to this space (thanks again to Mike @ Woodshed Design) is the "Axe Rack". This unit holds a good portion of our work in progress.  All the drawers pull out for ease of access.  It holds 51 instruments comfortably. We can comfortable be working on as many as 120 instruments at once.  And we often are!

On the wall behind the fretting area hangs our selecton of fretwire.  we stock lots of different sizes and variety of frets from Jescar, Stewmac, Dunlop and the like.

This area also coveniently holds our fret bucks, surrogate bodies and fret bending tools ...

... I've always found it convenient to store everything together where I use it.  It's out of the way with everything I need in one spot.
 
Next to the fretting station is a small rolling tool chest and a clamp rack.

The clamp rack was something I added when we moved to this space.  Storing clamps has always been a challenge.  Now they are almost all in one spot and I can roll it around the shop wherever I need it.  Yes, we have a lot of clamps.

This Gerstner tool chest set sits perfectly on top of this rolling cart we found at a flea market.

All of our fretting tools are stored here, where we need them...

... this way we have precisely the tools we need for the job at hand in one, mobile, compact package.

A side note - you'll see these all over my shop.  We love them - it's basically an old style dinner tray/table you see in hospitals and the like.  Perfect for using as a utility tray to hold tools while you're working rather than cluttering up the bench.  I hate a cluttered bench.

The tray in action.  A place to put all the fretting tools needed for the job without a mess on the bench.

Both the tray and the fretting tool chest merely roll into place where they are needed.

I have everything I need at my fingertips. When I am done - the tools go back in their respective drawers and the chest rolls back to it's resting place - ready for the next fret job.
 

The Tool Room

 
 
Here's our new tool room. It's a good size room with plenty of room for all out power tools and quite a few additions. I really like being able to keep all the saw dust away from the rest of the shop. It certainly cuts down on cleaning time.  Although with our new dust collection system it's almost a dust free environment.

Well - Almost.
 

 We also store most of our wood and fabrication supplies in here as well as templates and such.

It's nice to have the space to keep all the power tools in the same location. Not just for convenience sake but for neatness and safety sake as well.

In the center of the room there is a good size utility bench with a few vises and a foredom tool at the ready.

Two island benches for guitar work are here with a second foredom hanging from the wall. 

Every power tool in here is hooked up to the dust collection system and isolateable.

I even hooked up a vacuum hose to the dust collection system - now clean up is a snap.

I didn't want to make the room too big but I did want to move around freely and have all the tools set up.  I think we got it just right.

Although if I buy a bunch more power tools - this place might get a tiny bit crowded.

But as of right now it is very
comfortable to work in.
 

The Rear Shop Area

 
   
In the back of the main shop is a small area we use for a few things.
 
 
Here is the electronics bench.  This is where we do all the wirng work and troubleshootng.  It's nice to have a bench set up just for electonic work.  all the tools and diagnostic equipment are set up and ready to go.
 
Back in the corner is the buffing station.  It is anchored to the wall and floor so it is as sturdy as can be.  It is also hooked up to the dust collection system which means we spend more time buffing and less time sweepng.
 
Along the back wall  are storage racks for guitar cases.  Boy, oh boy do I have a lot of work to do.
 

The Finishing Room

 

In this shop we have the luxury of a two room finishing suite.  Completely enlosed with explosion proof lights, outlets and spraybooth.
 
 
Here is the spraybooth which has an explosion proof fan.  Next to the spraybooth is the cabinet where we store all of our finish supplies.
 
On the opposite side of the room are the drying racks for all of the guitars we are currently spraying.  There is also a fridge to store all of our tempurature sensitive glues and liquids.  Not THOSE kind of liquids!!!
 
Here is the main touch-up bench.  This is where most of the color matching and small touch-up work takes place.

Sometimes we are prepping instruments here that are going to be heading to the spray booth.

There is an island bench in the middle of the room so we can work from 3 sides on any guitar and another bench against the wall.

This bench is used mostly for french polishing, however we also use it for some touch-up work.
 

The Office

 

Directly behind the reception area is the office.  You can see that it is discreetly hidden behind a plant.  A gift from my brother in law by the way. 
 
This is the kind of office I have been wanting for quite some time.  Plenty of room to strech out and catch up on all the paperwork i've been avoiding.

This is a great office to work in, although I try to spend as little time at my desk as possible.  Hence all the piles of paper everywhere. 
     
  This Well, That's it - I hope you liked the tour - If you've got the time and are interested to see where we've been ....  
 

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380 Adams Street
Bedford Hills, NY 10507

(914) 401-9052
 

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