Fabri-cobbling…tools, tools, tools, and more tools

dscf6071.jpgI do a lot of repairs and modifications. I can usually bring a badly damaged instrument back from the Hades and make it sing again.

I also do instrument modifications, like upgrading the factory-installed plastic saddle and nut to bone elements, swapping plastic bridgepins with rosewood, ebony, metal or bone bridgepins, removal of dents and dings, and a lot more.

Most mass-produced instruments are made keeping the price point at the minimum. Selling for less yet being able to make a profit demands that the cheapest (in every sense) materials are used. We can’t do much about the woods used in making the guitar, but replacing the plastic nut and saddle with bone elements, increases volume and sustain dramatically. This happens because bone is a much denser material as compared to plastic. The density of bone helps transfer sound much better than plastic. Most times, a moderately priced instrument can really benefit from an upgrade.

So, if bone is all goodness, why isn’t it used in the first place? Because bone is much more expensive than plastic!

I also make customised scratchguards. There are many designs that a customer can choose from, or, he could bring in one of his own and I will make it for him.

But instrument repair goes much beyond a flat-head or a Phillips-head screwdriver, and even farther than a few F, C and G-clamps thrown in.

Any guitar technician worth his tools will tell you that for exactly the same job on different instruments, a different approach, a different set of tools, cauls – sometimes even the glue – are required.

In the course of repairing instruments, not always did I have the wherewithal or the luxury of time to place an online order with that very wonderful but forbiddingly expensive store, StewMac. Amazing tools but much beyond my reach.


A little common sense and enough time to think about the repair, and I have almost always seen light at the end of the tunnel. Not all the tools that I have fashioned can I claim to be my inventions, most being a result of descriptions, diagrams and explanations over the internet. Result: Happy customers!

The photographs accompanying this post shows some of my favourite fabri-cobbled tools. I’d love to stay and show you more but I’m still learning how to navigate this site!


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