Take Your Pick!

Eagle-eyed visitors and fans of browsing will have noticed we’ve added a new shop section for guitar picks. All picks can be bought individually so you have the opportunity to get a real mix of gauges and materials.

Some more second-hand bargains to come!

Epiphone Cortez Repair Blog #2: Planning & Pulling Apart

Hello, and welcome back to our repair blog covering the fix-up of this 50-year-old Epiphone FT-45 Cortez.

Last time round, we inspected the guitar for problems that we need to address. This edition, I’ll discuss the line we’re going to tread between repair and restoration. Then we’ll get started in earnest by pulling off all those bits we’re going to replace!

The Plan

Beginning a fairly big project like this we need to decide what is our goal? Are we trying to restore this instrument, as best we can, to the condition it was when it first came out the Kalamazoo factory in the 60s? Or are we trying to repair this guitar so it can live on as a working instrument?

Valuable, collectible instruments are usually restored using authentic materials, parts and methods so as to preserve the value of the instrument. This guitar, however, is destined to be a player’s guitar. So, while we will be sympathetic in our repair, we are not going to be slaves to the original design and construction of the instrument. I talked with the owner and we worked out what needs done so he can use this guitar day in, day out.

So here, in no particular order, is our action list. These are the main areas we’re going to address. More may be added as we go along, and there’s bound to be a surprise or two lurking, but this is plenty for us to be getting on with:

  1. Repair structural problems (cracks, loose braces and so on)
  2. Replace bridge
  3. Repair and re-radius fingerboard
  4. Re-fret
  5. Refinish top

That should keep us busy. Now let’s look at something we decided didn’t need to be done…

New Repair Blog!

We’ve added the first of our repair blogs. This million part (we’ll see) series will cover the repair and restoration of a 1960’s Epiphone FT-45 Corvez. It is called #1: Inspection.

We’re in the process of adding more products to the site, and we will have some more second-hand instruments for you soon! Don’t forget to drop us a line!

Epiphone Cortez Repair Blog #1: Inspection

This is the first in a new series of repair blogs dealing with this:

This is an Epiphone FT-45 Corvez from the early 1960s, built in the same Kalamazoo factory as Gibsons of the era. It has mahogany back and sides, x-bracing, and a Sitka spruce top. It should have a screen printed Epiphone logo on the headstock but presumably this disappeared when the guitar was refinished.

The owner wants this guitar to brought back into great playing condition. So, let’s get it on the bench!


The first thing to do is look it over. I start at the headstock and work my way down. Then check it from both sides from nut to endpin. Then flip it over and again go over it from top to bottom. We don’t want to miss anything!

I’ve removed the truss rod cover. Everything that is taken off is put in a tray for safe-keeping. Anything that is going to stay off for a long time gets bagged (or boxed) and labelled.  The cavity was jammed up with black paint and varnish preventing access to the truss rod nut. I carefully cleaned that away and eventually dug out the end of the truss rod.

A full description of truss rods can wait, but I wanted to check that this one was functioning OK. I removed the nut and half-moon washer completely, cleaned up the area, lubed up the threads and the bearing face of the washer and put everything back. Good news: it works great!


Welcome to our new website!

Yes, indeed: a new year, a new website! That’s the old saying. And if it’s not, it soon will be. We’re in the process of adding more stuff to the shop, and we have lots of exciting things in the works. Like what? Well!

  • Repair blogs (maybe videos if I can work out how to do that)
  • More unique, customised guitars with artwork by Naomi Randall
  • Merch!

Probably more, too, but I’m trying to listen to Ween while I write this, and it is very distracting. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook! We’re on Twitter! We love you!