Guild Guitar Makeovers

Why Guild? The first guitar I ever purchased was a 1976 Guild F-50R NT Rosewood/Spruce jumbo 6 string. Naturally, I needed a matching 1976 Guild F-512 Rosewood/Spruce jumbo 12 string. When I began performing in clubs, hotels, dinnerhouses, and the like, many/most of my local contemporaries played Guild acoustics. I have a special appreciation for the unique sound of these instruments and acquired several over the years. As I aged, so did the guitars. One by one, they all needed rejuvenation beyond minor repair, to varying degrees. I have subsequently completely rebuilt many of my own Guilds, as well as those belonging to others. Here is a sampling of some of these rebuilds, overhauls, customizations, and makeovers:

1994 Guild DV-52 NT (- Not yet started)

1994 Guild DV-52 NT Makeover

It started with a broken truss rod. Then there was the loose neck joint. Then the back plate seam separation. Then the bellying behind the bridge...

1996 Guild D25-12 NT (- Not yet started)

1996 Guild D25-12 NT Makeover

A catastrophic neck block shift and soundboard shear on both sides of the fingerboard extension qualifies this guitar for a complete makeover...

1975 Guild F-212 (- Completed)

1975 Guild F-212 Makeover

Inspired by the need for a neck reset, I took the opportunity to re-build this Guild. All that remains of the original are the Mahogany back and sides...

1999 Guild JF65-12 (- Completed)

1999 Guild JF65-12

The owner of this 12 string chose to have his guitar re-imagined with a new soundboard, tasteful inlay, a special finish and more. Wow!

1994 Guild D4-12 NT (- Completed)

1994 Guild D4-12 NT Makeover

What should have been a simple bridge repair ended up being a complete remake of a Mahogany archback dreadnaught Guild 12 string...

1980 Guild F-412 (- Completed)

1980 Guild F-412

By the winter of 2014, my venerable 1980 Guild F-412 12 string was in need of a neck reset. The time had come to put things right...

1976 Guild F-512 (- Completed)

1976 Guild F-512

My favorite 12 string needed a neck reset, new soundboard, new binding, frets, tuners, pickup and a complete refinish. Just the essentials...

Guitar Build and Repair

Assorted articles on some controversial topics, such as the Infamous Guild Neck Reset, how to completely replace a Truss Rod using an alternative Carbon Fiber D-Tube, why neck blocks shift and soundboards shear, and more...

Neck Blocks, Tail Blocks and Linings

Acoustic Guitar Body Shell

A comprehensive look at neck and tail blocks as well as linings. This article includes an overview of wood and how moisture affects it.

Neck Block Shift

Neck Block Shift and Soundboard Shear

Neck blocks shouldn't shift and soundboards shouldn't shear. I believe this occurs as a result of an intrinsic design flaw. Let's dig in...

Guild Neck Reset

The Infamous Guild Neck Reset

A deep dive into the topic of Guild neck resets, using my own 1976 F-212 XL as an example. Dedicated to Guild owners everywhere...

Truss Rod Alternative

Dragonplate D-Tube

Pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about truss rods, and how to replace them entirely using the carbon fiber D-Tube Neck Beam by Dragonplate...

Tuning Machines

Tuning Pegs

Tuning a guitar string requires a small machine, a mechanical device that can generate the force necessary to bring the string to pitch, as well as maintain it...

Rainsong Refret

1999 RainSong WS1000

How I re-fretted my 1999 Rainsong WS1000 carbon fiber guitar, including how to remove the old jumbo frets, re-radius the carbon fiber fretboard, and install new, thinner frets.

Luthiers and Mentors

I am predominately self-taught. I have never worked at a guitar factory, guitar repair shop or a music store. I was never an apprentice under a master luthier. However, years after beginning to build acoustic guitars in earnest, and all within about a 6-month period of time, three men in particular had such a profound impact on my instrument building career, that I must include them in my writings.

John Greven

John Greven

During Christmastime of 2012 I was able to spend some invaluable time with master luthier John Greven in his shop, in his home in Oregon.

George Gruhn

George Gruhn

Thanks to a Let’s Talk Guild meet-up in Nashville, Tennessee in April 2013, I was privileged to spend a Saturday with George Gruhn.

Kent Carlos Everett

Kent Carlos Everett

Spending a week with master luthier Kent Carlos Everett was a career-altering event, as it took my guitar building to a whole new level.

Acoustic Guitar Pickups

There are many perfectly capable pickup solutions for the acoustic guitar these days, from under saddle transducers to soundboard transducers to magnetic soundhole pickups to onboard microphones, and combinations of all the above. I like most all of the offerings for one reason or another. Everyone has their favorites, so here are mine.

Trance Amulet M-VT Phantom

Trance Amulet M-VT Phantom

The Amulet M-VT Phantom is a phantom powered, bridgeplate-mounted, multi-transducer, low impedance (low noise), feedback resistant pickup.

JME Ultra Tonic

JME Ultra Tonic Pickup

This pickup from James May Engineering is a passive, brideplate-mounted, soundboard transducer (SBT) pickup with on-board feedback suppression.

Barbera Soloist

Barbera Soloist

The Soloist from Barbera Transducer Systems is a passive saddle transducer, that is to say, the saddle is the pickup! Feedback is near non-existent...

Mojotone Quiet Coil NC-2

Mojotone Quiet Coil NC-2

What do you get when you combine an active magnetic soundhole pickup already "voiced" after a condenser mic with a condenser mic, along with an onboard preamp?

In the Shop

There are many projects that consume time and space in my shop. Some of these play supporting roles in my guitar construction, such as building cabinets, or jigs and fixtures. Others have nothing whatsoever to do with lutherie. I have included a sampling of those projects, here.

Building the Dauphin (- Currently Underway)

Building the Dauphin

How I build one of my favorite models, the Dauphin. Features include my own Shoulder Port design, open headstock and bracing pattern.

Body Molds

Body Molds

How I make a custom acoustic guitar body mold, a wooden form that holds the precise shape of the guitar body during construction.

Luthier Tool Rack

Luthier Tool Rack

My pegboard rack is housed in a sturdy shadow box frame made with hand-cut dovetails, and uses magnets and plastic accessories.

Pine Table

Pine Table

A completely non-instrument-related topic: This is how I made my kitchen table made from 100+ year-old Southern Pine floor joists.

L.R. Baggs Anthem Stage Pro Retrofit

L.R. Baggs Anthem Stage Pro

I replaced an LR Baggs Onboard Element with an LR Baggs Anthem Stage Pro. The existing opening left in the guitar from the Element was too large. What could I do?


I have included some of my thoughts on broader topics related to lutherie.

Wood is wood…until it is more!

Cedar log, board, guitar

The right wood, worked the right way by the right person becomes more than simply the sum of the parts.

Handcrafted vs Factory-built

Hand-tooled leather belt

I have owned many handcrafted and factory-built guitars. I build guitars mostly by hand. Here are some thoughts on the topic.