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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks!

My spouse offered me a coupon for my birthday. She wanted to buy me a one-day one-on-one guitar repair class, but didn't want to make a wrong decision so she decided to go with a coupon, and let me decide from there (I was also planning on buying studio monitors, so that would be plan B if the guitar repair class doesn't work out).

She found out about the Toronto School of Lutherie, but as they are moving their shop, they won't be giving classes for a little while.

Does anybody have experience with that? I know my way around basic repairs (set up, electronics, replacing mechanical parts) and was hoping to learn more about fret dressing/crowning/levelling and maybe even fret replacement.

thanks,

alex
 

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I assume you mean Canadian School of Luthurie. They're right by me; sad to hear they're moving; they did a good job refretting my 1965 Gibson EB3.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yes sorry, that's the one I meant. They're moving in a smaller town west of Hamilton if I remember correctly, but don't exactly why. Cost of running a business in YYZ maybe?
 

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Damn; they were a good resource to have locally. The building they are in is one of the better ones as regards reasonable rent. My bike mechanic is down the hall (he and I moved out of another building around the same time due to shennanigans such as upping rent by huge margins; random surprise fees - such as a 1.5k tax increase bill which was illegal and they have since had to cut us all cheques to refund).
 

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i went to stuart macdonalds building repair seminar many years back. they held it in brian galloups shop. met dan erlewine, frank ford, seymour duncan, lindy fralin, jeff traugott, bob taylor and many more..... it was not a hands on thing but a great learning event....

think i have some old video from that one watching frank ford dress frets and jeff traugott do a neck reset was very interesting....
 

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I have heard good things about the guitar repair course at Conestoga College. I think it is held in Stratford now, and tought by the guy who developed the StringTech/TechDeck. A bit far from Toronto or Kingston, but might be doable from Oakville.
 

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In the absence of any good training, you could always buy a cheap guitar, some tools, and do some practice after watching some YouTube videos. At the very least, I think it would make your eventual "one-day guitar class" a lot more useful as you have already figured out some of the basics (or maybe they could show you what you are doing wrong).

Here is what I picked up to help me do my own setups, fret levelling, fret dressing, and electronics work.
  • Some kind of neck caul or support
  • Fret levelling file
  • 3-sided fret dressing file, or fret crowning file
  • Fret-end file
  • Notched straightedge
  • Fret rocker
  • #0000 Steel Wool
  • Understring radius gauges
  • Feeler gauges
  • Decent soldering iron
That will cover a lot of ground, will probably cost you less than a day's training, and you will need it all eventually to do your own guitar work.

Tools can be a bit pricey and are not so readily available in Canada. StewMac is crazy expensive, but have a look at Amplified Parts as they seem to be a bit more reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all for the valuable advice! Keep it going!

I'll probably go with the studio monitors, and try to get me a cheap guitar to train on it. I'm still keeping that idea in a corner of my mind, I have the feeling that with the right person, this kind of hands-on workshops can get you a lot, even if it's just on one day! I liked the way Canadian School of Lutherie is working, you basically decide what you want to learn during that day. I'll probably pay them a visit once they've moved to their new place.
 
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