April 27, 2012: I've decided to no longer maintain this site. I may change my mind at some point in the future but for now I'm enjoying my 'new' life with my new wife and new house. I still dabble in guitars but I haven't done any repairs in a long time and I don't see any repairs in my future. I'll leave this site up if anyone wants to read about the instruments or if they just stumble across one of the pages when googling a guitar or whatever. You can always contact me via email email@example.com or look me up on facebook. So for now, here's the archived version of the website:
Welcome to my bare-bones 'dialup friendly' site. My real name is Scott Englund but I go by ksdaddy on the interweb super highway. The reason is simple: I have two daughters named Kim and Sarah. Makes sense now, right?
I've been repairing, modifying, and (now) building stringed musical instruments since the mid 1970s. When I was in high school, buying a Fender or Gibson guitar was out of reach. I owned many Harmonys, Silvertones, stuff like that. I think we all did. While they did the job, it gave me an appreciation for little things like tuners that worked well, nicely finished fret ends, and so forth. Repairing and to a lesser degree refining and improving and instrument was something I either had to learn or I had to get a big fat credit card to buy new "Grade A" instruments as advertised in dog-eared pages of Guitar Player. I like to think my talents as a repairman have evolved, expanded, and improved over the years. It doesn't seem that long ago when I made up all kinds of excuses to "not" do a refret because I didn't know what I was doing. I'm sure I screwed up a couple before I got the knack. There are many fancy tools out there and the companies that make them would have you believe you can't do the job without them but if you want to learn something bad enough, you'll find a way around it. For years I wanted a fret radius jig that was about $90. I could never justify the expense so I learned how to radius them by hand, first with a notched pair of needle nosed pliers, then with a concave block of wood and a brass hammer. Then I bought a box of guitar junk, scraps of binding, NOS Fender parts, etc.... lo and behold, there was a Stew-Mac fret radius jig in the bottom of the box! And trust me, it's a sweet machine. But I don't think I would appreciate it as much had I not learned to do it by hand first.
One lesson I've learned over the years is to respect and preserve instruments as much as is practical. If a guitar doesn't suit your needs, sell it to someone who will appreciate it and then buy what suits you. Some instruments have weak points like tuners that won't hold, pickups that are weak and sound like crap.... I have no hesitation to upgrade such things, but I don't believe in customizing a guitar because I think I know more about it than the person who designed it in the first place. I began occasionally repairing instruments for a local pawn shop in 1984 and continue to do so. I've always been available for repairs and even had a brief 2 year stint running a guitar shop out of my house in the mid 80s. I worked for another local music store for a while doing repairs but they decided to go with someone cheaper. Their loss.
In the past year or so I have exclusively repaired for old contacts. I no longer advertise my repair services as I would rather spend my time with my family or doing little household projects. I turned 50 in August of 2010 and had the epiphany that time is precious. 2007 was the worst year of my life, health wise. I don't like to think about it. All I will say is that if you can walk, be thankful.
Somehow in June 2007 I scrimped and saved my money and stayed medicated enough (and kept the pain to a dull roar) to go on a brief but expensive vacation. I flew from Caribou, ME to Bozeman, MT to visit the Gibson factory. Here's a pic of me and the Gibson homecoming group in front of the Gibson factory in Bozeman, Montana.
In 2009 I wrote an article about building instruments from reclaimed lumber that was published in Echoes magazine. I've added the article here. Sorry about the quality of the scans; I'm working to fix that.
I built this site to showcase my instruments. I don't refer to it as a collection because it really doesn't have any theme or focus, just a bunch of instruments that I own. Some I've had for years, and are "keepers", and also some that will come and go, depending on my whim or financial situation at that moment.
Feel free to email me with questions, comments, etc. I love to discuss guitars and I am very open to helping someone with a repair project... I have no trade secrets. If I can help you, I WILL. This site will be updated as the instruments come and go. I don't save the ones that get away though....
Click on the links below to view the stuff that crowds me out of my house:
Note: I've bought more Applause guitars and will hopefuly have them up on the site soon. (10/3/2011)
Various instruments I've built
Gibson acoustic guitars
2000 Gibson J-200 (blonde)
Other steel string acoustic guitars
Classical and/or nylon string acoustic guitars
Solid body electric guitars
Hollow body electrics
Below are a few pages about non-guitar stuff. I will be adding more pages soon, so check back once in a while. Be prepared though; I'm just as eclectic when it comes to other things!
- Site updated April 27, 2012