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Repair & Restoration services

Formally trained full service

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Maintenance

Like cars needing regular oil changes and tire maintenance, instruments also benefit from routine care. A well-maintained instrument can greatly enhance its performance.

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Structural repair

Stuff happens. I’ve repaired guitars damaged by dumbbells, run over by cars, ruined by exes, and even submerged in sewer water during Hurricane Katrina. Just because it’s broken doesn’t mean I can’t fix it.

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Finish Work

With almost 20 years of experience and my own professional spray booth, I excel in handling different major finish types like nitrocellulose, French polish, and polyurethane. Whether you need a custom finish or finish-related repairs, I’ve got it covered.

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Historic Restoration

Formally trained by renowned restoration luthier Bryan Galloup, I specialize in meticulously researched, period-correct ground-up restoration for notable, historic, or vintage instruments, bringing them back to life.

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Parts Fabrication

Crafting custom parts to replicate original components or introduce personalized enhancements for improved instrument performance.

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Acoustic Tone Improvement

Some instruments can’t undergo this process, but occasionally, I find ones initially over-built at the factory with significant potential. In such cases, I apply techniques to retroactively enhance the instrument’s tonal response for superior sound quality.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Stuart (from a distance) for a number of years. I live in Hawaii and stumbled onto Stuart through the internet when seeing one of his acoustic archtop guitars,the Church on the web. I was blown away. Stuart has done work on many of my guitars and I wouldn’t have anyone else. Sending guitars from Hawaii to PA is not cheap but the results are so worth it. Stuart does amazing work and always keeps you informed of progress. He is totally trustworthy and would only recommend work that he felt was best for the instrument. I bought a rather cheap guitar from China several years ago and asked Stuart to redo practically everything on it. New frets, tuners, pickups, electronics and bridge. To this day it is a prize possession that plays amazing. I highly recommend anyone needing guitar work to check Stuart out. You will be greatly rewarded.

Dennis M.

This is the only place in town where I’ll take my instruments for anything more than minor adjustments or repairs I do myself, and maybe even those things from now on, too. Stuart is a formally trained luthier and custom builder of unbelievable high-end archtops and flat tops, but he also does quick, expert repairs for extremely reasonable prices. Nice guy, too

George Anthony H.

Stuart is a Luthier with skills far beyond his years. Just took a second vintage insrument to him. His work is FLAWLESS. I would trust hime with ANY Guitar. any repair, any advice. Really good guy, really good experience with his work. The East Coast is LUCKY to have a Luthier of this caliber!

David Sears

What can I say, a talented builder and designer who really understands form, function and character of archtop guitars – those are all worth their weight. Stuart took on a project that required all of those skills when the ebony tailpiece of my ‘99 custom archtop finally failed – I looked for a long time & researched many builders w/ repair skills – he delivered in so many ways – really listened to my considerations and gave me several options at reasonable prices all while I had a gig approaching that required a fast turnaround. I’m based in NYC and he took great care in shipping / delivery – can’t say enough good things about his skills and how my guitar played after I got it back from him, rock solid like it was brand new

Robin Eisenman

2023 repair price list

Set ups

Standard Electric
$65

Typical 6 string electric guitar or 4 string electric bass

Floyd Rose
$95

Floyd Rose or Similar floating bridge system require a bit more time and expertise to properly set up – but once they are set up they are pretty solid for a while

Non-Standard E
$75+

Anything above 7 strings, multiple necks, baritones… anything out of the ordinary that might require additional work and time

Standard Acoustic
$65

6 string acoustic guitars or 4 string acoustic bass guitars

12 String
$125

12 string acoustic guitars

Non-Standard Acoustic
$80+

Anything beyond whats mentioned above

Archtops & Mandolins
$75

Archtoped instruments with floating bridges, tailpieces and pickguards. 

Re-string
$25-35

Bone

Standard Bone Nut
$100

Covers all standard electric and acoustic nut replacements for 6 string guitars and 4 string basses.

12 String Nut
$155

12 string guitars

Non-Standard Nut
$100+

Covers everything else

Standard Bone Saddle
$125

Traditional 1/8″ acoustic saddle – Classical or b-bump steel string styles

Non-Standard Saddle
$125+

Anything else

Stuart Day compensated
$200

The same saddle style I use on my custom guitars. I widen your saddle slot to install a 1/4″ thick saddle and individual compensate each string to get more accurate intonation and better energy transfer

Installation fee
$35-100

If you prefer to have me install a prefabricated nut or saddle- bone or something else –  I can do that too. Fee just varries on complications and fitting. 

Structural Repair

If you have made it to this section that means you are in a bit more trouble. Don’t worry, structural repair and restoration is my specialty. If it’s broke It can usually be fixed. The biggest question is – is the guitar worth the cost and do you have the budget? We can discuss that in the shop

Neck re-sets
$350-500

Prices vary depending on the type of neck joint and adhesive I have to deal with 

In some cases neck resets are not possible because of the adhesive or joint type used by manufacturer

Bridge lift and re-glue
$125-180

If you notice your action raising on you or see visible gaps under your bridge then your bridge is lifting. It need to be removed, the old glue needs to be removed, the glue surfaces need cleaned up and the bridge needs to be reinstalled. 

Bridge Fabrication
$200-350

Sometimes a bridge will crack and fail in a way that makes it no longer viable. In this case I can fabricate an exact match and install a new one. Pricases vary based on wood choice and complexity. 

All set ups include (where applicable)

  • Overall evaluation
  • Truss rod adjustment 
  • Adjustment of action at bridge and nut 
  • Cleaning and polish of finished surfaces
  • Cleaning and conditioning of exposed wood surfaces
  • Hand polishing of frets 
  • Tightening loose screws/nuts
  • Cleaning of electronic contact points
  • Vacuuming and cleaning of guitar case
  • Blowout of interior of instrument 
  • Intonation adjustment where possible
  • New strings – Diadarrio EXLs or Ejs included. If you prefer something else you should bring them in or have me order them and you will just pay cost. 

 

Fret Work

Refret and dress
$335-500

Removal of old frets, leveling of fretboard surface, instalation, leveling, crowning and polishing of new frets. 

Fret Dress
$150-200

Leveling, crowning and polishing frets to establish new playing surface free from low/high spots or divots. Typically a guitar will need 2-3 fret dresses in it’s life before being re-fretted. 

Partial Fret Dress
$45-85

There are times when just one small section of the fret board needs addressed

Sharp Fret Ends
$35-75

Dryness can cause the fretoard to shrink slightly, leaving the fret end feeling sharp as you play. I will flush the end ups and reshape/polish

All Fret work is carefully done by hand.

Of all the repair work that I do this is consitently the area I get the most compliments.

  • Refrets and fret dresses include full set ups in their pricing

Why bone?

The nut and saddle are the two points of contact between your strings and your actual instrument. This is where all the kinetic string energy enters your system. So it’s critical that the material used at these two points is as high-fidelity as possible. Plastic, which is standard on most factory-made instruments, is the worst. It blunts energy transfer, killing the clarity and sustain in your instrument.

While there are many sophisticated options out there, after my years of experience, I remain dedicated to bone as the best material for these two pieces. It is strong, long-wearing, and transfers string energy into your instrument in the exact way that we want.

Some of the composite materials out there (which I won’t name due to copyright issues) are ultimately just sophisticated polymers. They are better than cheap plastics but are still plastics. Some are self-lubricating but are made of toxic forever chemicals.

At the end of the day, I will install whatever material you want. But natural bone will always be my recommendation.

Electronics

Electronic jobs are hard to price out per job because each one is totally different and unexpected. I charge a flat $50/hr shop rate for all electronic work. Parts not included. 
There is a $25 min fee for all electronic work but beyond that I bill you for the time I spent – I don’t round up to the nearest hour.

Big Custom jobs
$50/hr

Want to install a whole new eleectrical system in your guitar? Have a whacky idea you want to try? I’ll take that ride with you

Parts replacement
$50/hr

Components like pots, switches, caps, wiring, and jacks may develop issues over time, often attributed to factors like corrosion or cold solder joints. Addressing these problems can vary in complexity, ranging from straightforward replacements in solid bodies with back plates to more intricate procedures, such as in semi-hollow guitars where access is limited to F-holes. Ensure timely maintenance to keep your instrument in optimal condition.

Pickup swaps/installs
$50/hr

One of the biggest ways to transform the sound of your electric instrument is to change out the pickups. Whatever you need done I can do. I can’t gaurentee you will like the new pickups though. No give-backs on this job. 

Broken Peghead
$200-600

You have two options here. 

  1. I can do a structural repair without concerning myself so much about the aesthetic of the repair. 
  2. I can make it look like the repair never happened (or as close as possible)

Making the repair dissapear is much more involved, often requiring a lot more finish work and care in material choice and fitting. This is a lot easier to do on necks that have color. 

Loose braces
$55+

glue joints can fail on braces because of climate control issues or impacts. 

Side cracks
$55+

Sides can crack because of climate control issue or impacts. Impacts are typically much harder to deal with because there is a lot more splintering and usually some missing pieces. 

Top and back crackes
$35+
Cleats
$15 per cleat
Tuning machine install
$25-65

Replacing a single tuning machine or a whole set is usually pretty straight forward. Unless you are switching to a new set that has a different hole arrangement. 

Snapped or Striped Truss Rod
$125+

This one is hard to price because its really all over the map as far as how I deal with this depending on the construction of the neck. but, it can be done, sometimes more invasively than others

All other work
$50+

Mentioned above are just the more typical repairs. But just because I don’t mention it there doesn’t mean I can’t fix it. Bring the guitar in for a free evaluation and we can go from there. 

Restoration

Restoration sets itself apart from typical repair work, particularly when dealing with instruments of historical or vintage significance. Preserving the value and authenticity of such instruments requires meticulous research and adherence to period-correct methods, materials, and techniques.

In contrast to routine repairs, restorations often entail disassembling an instrument and addressing issues from the inside out during the rebuilding process. This meticulous approach is time-consuming and can be relatively expensive. It is not uncommon for a full restoration to take over a year to complete and cost over $1,000.

However, restoration serves a distinct purpose beyond day-to-day repairs—it is a dedicated effort to conserve the instrument’s value and, importantly, to preserve its historical significance.

Each restoration project is approached on a case-by-case basis, necessitating a comprehensive evaluation and quote. I accept restoration jobs from near or far. Contact me to discuss your project.

 

Contact

Send a Message

Visit Us

9 S. Main St. 
Bessemer, Pa, 16112

Get In Touch

(412)206-8098 Call or text
Stuartdayguitars@gmail.com

Open Hours

Tues & Thursday 9am – 4:30pm 

Wednesday 9am – 6pm

Or

By Appointment

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