Refurbishing Guitars

Refurbishing Guitars

Do you have a guitar that has seen better days? It might be damaged or completely unplayable. That guitar is not a lost cause; it just needs some TLC. Luckily we have Phil, our in-house Luthier (a maker of stringed instruments such as violins or guitars) who handles this process for us. Every guitar in our shop goes through a variation of what we call “the refurbishment process”. Each step helps restore the guitar back to its former glory. 

So, how do you get your guitar back up and running? Well you can imagine it’s quite the process. The first step is to remove the strings. Phil starts by slackening the string tension. He then snips them off, being careful to avoid the sharp edges. 

Once the strings are removed, the guitar needs to be cleaned. Phil begins by polishing the frets with a polishing cloth. He then oils the fret board with lemon oil. He wipes down the rest of the guitar with boss guitar polish. There are other brands of guitar polishes/cleaners available but Phil prefers these products. He states that cleaning it thoroughly is important. You want to do any repair work on a clean guitar. 

The next steps depend on what repairs the guitar needs. Some need more work than others and some repairs can take weeks. A typical guitar in our shop does not require more than an hour or two of work. Usually a guitar would only need a setup. This includes adjusting the neck and bridge then tightening the tuner and screws. 

Once all the repairs have been completed, the final steps are to restring the guitar and polish the body. Once this is complete the guitar is tuned and put out for sale. 

Phil has had years of practice and professional training in building and restoring guitars. Some of the work he does during the “refurbishment process” requires professional training and should not be attempted unless you have it. If you have a guitar that needs work, bring it into our shop and Phil can help! You can contact him with questions at (315) 552-0075 or by email at


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