Repair Workshop
Jan 18, 2020


  • Chet Dickerson
  • Larry Sakayama
  • Howard Wilson
  • Steve Clark
  • Kenny Craft
  • David Motley

Click on any image to start the slide show.

Some tools of the repair trade


Gibson LG-0


Polishing the Truetone


Chet's shop in Roanoke, VA

(Notes: David Motley and Chet Dickerson. Photos:Howard Wilson and Larry Sakayama)

Chet presented 4 cadavers needing varying degrees of resuscitation. None stirred or made noise. Forensic descriptions are:

  • Truetone, S/N or model no. 5DC9518, circa 1960s, classic (nylon string), made in Korea, 12-fret, no nut, no saddle, slotted headstock, tuners need repair or replacing, fret ends up
  • Silvertone, model 605, circa 1950s-1960s, number stamped on inside back plate 4995H605, 12- fret, ladder braced top, floating bridge with tailpiece, some warpage on back plate, Ebony fretboard, Ebony nut, brass frets, solid headstock with no tuner bushings, needs neck reset
  • Harmony, S/N or model no. H5422, circa 1980s, made in Taiwan, ¾ size parlor, light fan brace pattern, 12-fret, approx 23-1/4” scale, decal rosette, adjustable bridge saddle, slotted headstock, bridge broken into two pieces and detached from top, two wood screws attach bridge to top
  • Gibson, LG-0, S/N on neck block S1443 12, circa 1959, 14-fret, all mahogany (top, sides, back, neck), ladder braced, missing half of back plate, no tuners, bridge and pick guard are off, numerous top cracks, broken tail block, good candidate for X-brace conversion, likely crash victim

The Cadaver Subjects


Following brief examinations including intimate touching, Chet asked the remedial gang to choose an initial victim for possible resurrection by group en masse. After the pack milled about sniffing and pawing, the apparent easiest prey, the Truetone was selected for exploitation as the machine least separated from sound life.

The Truetone

Various members, all participating singularly or in random instigation, implemented the following measures to the Truetone classic:

  • fashioned a temporary saddle from a bag of Chet’s castoff saddles
  • made a temporary neck/fretboard nut from Chet’s discards
  • cleaned and lubed the tuning machines then strung the Truetone with a new set of nylon strings
  • tuned the strings to standard pitch to assess neck geometry and frets’ conditions under tension
  • cleaned the exterior with liquid cleaner/rags – top, sides, back, headstock and fretboard
  • after removing strings and marking each for later reuse, applied glue adjacent to loose frets and clamped each to fit firmly into the slots



The Harmony

The loose bridge from the Harmony that was cracked in two pieces across one corner. It was glued back together and clamped for the initial repair to the second victim instrument.