Product Instructions I-5993
TrueChannel Routing Jig
Assembly instructions for our TrueChannel Routing Jig.
Product Instructions I-0689
Bending Sides With a Bending Iron
An introduction to bending wood using a Bending Iron.
Product Instructions I-0200
Brace Gluing Wedge Instructions
Shim open the glue joint under the brace and inject glue where you want it.
Product Instructions I-4733
Go-bar Clamping Deck
Assembly instructions for the Go-bar Clamping Deck.
Product Instructions I-3419
Self-Adhesive Clear Mylar Plastic
Wet and dry techniques for installing Self-Adhesive Clear Plastic Mylar.
Product Instructions I-6085
Self-adhesive Sanding Disc
Instructions for using a Self-adhesive Sanding Disc with a Concave Radius Dish.
Product Instructions I-5243
Cutting Custom Pickguards with the Pickguard Bevel Cutter
How to cut and bevel custom pickguards with the Pickguard Bevel Cutter.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 203 November 07, 2013
Sharpening scrapers for guitar work: two simple jigs
Link Van Cleave is a sharp guy! He taught tool sharpening at the 2013 Northwoods Seminar. That was a class on professional techniques, but Link also gave us this foolproof Trade Secret for making your favorite scraper super-sharp.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 193 June 20, 2013
Hot tip: A new way to use your guitar repair vise
Compact, low-profile guitar repair setup: Dan Erlewine removes the mounting base and bolts his StewMac Guitar Repair vise to the end of his bench, for a new low-angle working style. Also: a quick tour of Dan's customized workbench.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 186 March 14, 2013
How to get a good clean solder joint!
The three basics to keep in mind if you want your work to be as good or better than the guitar's original wiring. ù Erick Coleman
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 181 January 03, 2013
Repairing a broken-off tuner screw
In this Trade Secrets video, Dan Erlewine extracts and replaces a broken screw in a Fender peghead.
Product Instructions I-4858
Waverly Tuner Drill Jig Instructions
For Waverly Guitar Machines
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 179 December 06, 2012
Table saw shooting board for fret slots and flexible cauls
A make-it-yourself solution for fast accurate 90 degree cuts on your table saw. Also a cool tip on making bendy, flexible cauls that follow the shapes on a guitar.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 165 May 24, 2012
A pain in the necks: Gibson doubleneck with a broken truss rod
Dan Erlewine has a Gibson doubleneck with a broken truss rod -- a problem that sends lots of guitars to the trash can. What will it take to rescue this one? The answer might surprise you: it takes 65 minutes of work.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 163 April 26, 2012
Ideas for your shop: arranging your bench and vise
Where to put the workbench in your shop? And where to put the vise on that bench? Dan Erlewine's helps a friend with those questions in his new garage workshop.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 144 July 21, 2011
Replacing a shrunken pickguard
Dan Erlewine shrinking pickguard martin D-35 adhesive micro-mesh
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 143 July 07, 2011
Rugged and road-ready: replacing skimpy parts
Erick Coleman finds that a 1970s Hondo is really well built, but the parts weren't road-ready. A couple of fixes, and this guitar's ready to tour the world!
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 125 October 28, 2010
Rubber bands as clamps: super-useful, and cheap!
Erick Coleman has a simple tip that saved a lot of time at the recent Purdue Guitar Workshop: rubber binding bands make great clamps! They're for lots of things -- check out the examples in this issue.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 120 August 19, 2010
Recreating a lost part from from 1917
Dan Erlewine is missing one last part needed on a 1917 archtop Gibson. It's a long gone, irreplaceable pickguard support that he recreates from found material in his shop. A useful tip for fabricating modern plastic parts, too!
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 108 March 04, 2010
Sharpen your chisels so they cut like razors
Dan Erlewine shows how to sharpen, hone and strop an edge onto any chisel, creating a super-sharp cutter.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 103 December 24, 2009
Make a "stunt double" guitar body for benchtop work
Erick Coleman shows how he made a surrogate body for neck and fret work, following the free plans online at
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 87 May 14, 2009
New pickups and new sound, with Golden Age Prewired Pickguards
Erick Coleman responds to a tech call emergency: "This guitar sounds bad, and I'm supposed to record with it tomorrow night!"
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 77 December 25, 2008
How to rewind a 1959 Strat pickup
Erick Coleman shows how to rewind a vintage singlecoil in a 1959 Strat.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 71 October 02, 2008
"Which binding tools should I choose?"
Erick Coleman answers a frequent question from customers: Which tools to use for routing channels for instrument bindings?
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 66 July 24, 2008
Strengthening a square-tube Martin truss rod
Dan Erlewine's doing a neck reset on a Martin that has a square-tube truss rod. While he has the neck off, he shows how to improve the truss rod before regluing the neck.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 62 May 29, 2008
When frets don't fit the slot, resize the fret tang
This week, Dan Erlewine's pumping iron (nickel steel, actually!) He's showing how to bulk up your skinny fretwire and slim down your fat fretwire.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 38 July 12, 2007
Lesson in pearl engraving from Doug Unger
Doug Unger restores and reproduces exquisite turn-of-the-century 5-string banjos and early archtop mandolins. Doug shares a lesson in pearl engraving with Trade Secrets readers.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 37 July 05, 2007
Making a pearloid pickguard with a 1950s vibe
Dan Erlewine's got an unusual 1951 guitar: a National with a Gibson body. The old pickguard came off in an earlier Trade Secrets, and now the new one goes on: it's an oddball pearloid guard that's worth checking out!
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 36 June 28, 2007
Build your own custom pickups
Erick Coleman needed a pickup like a good old Gibson P-90, but sized to fit a 3-string cigar box guitar! Here's how he built it, and how you can build yourself a custom pickup for any instrument.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 29 May 10, 2007
Removing a pickguard: easy way and hard way
This week, Dan Erlewine's got two pickguard removals in his shop. The Martin D-18's pickguard has cracked it's top, and Dan shows how a pickguard's supposed to come off. The "Gibsonational" is another story: this pickguard is nothing but trouble!
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 26 April 19, 2007
The fake through-saddle bridge: stronger than vintage
Dan shows us a Martin D-18 with a nasty looking broken bridge, and explains his technique for making a replacement that looks vintage but is stronger than the original.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 24 April 05, 2007
Making a perfect bridge with the Sanding Station
Dan Erlewine's getting fancy with his Sanding Station: with his shop-made jig, he's making better bridges than he ever has before.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 23 March 29, 2007
Use a Fret Setter upside down for faster fretwork!
This week, Dan gets an email with a Trade Secret from luthier Jason Ingrodi. Jason's tip makes fret filing faster (this means a lot when you've got dozens of frets to file!)
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 16 February 08, 2007
New ways to use the Guitar Repair Vise
In this issue of Trade Secrets, Dan makes his Guitar Repair Vise sit up and roll over. Who knew cast iron could be so flexible?
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 10 December 28, 2006
Installing an endpin jack
Ever have trouble installing an endpin jack? Did you chip the guitar's finish, or drill the hole out-of-square? Did you goof up on a customer's guitar? You'll want to read this week's Trade Secret from Dan Erlewine.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 9 December 21, 2006
Straightening the neck on a 1914 Gibson mandolin
This week, Dan Erlewine and Erick Coleman revive a beautiful old Gibson F2 mandolin that's become warped after nearly 100 hot summers stored in the attic.
Trade Secrets! Newsletter Issue 8 December 14, 2006
Make this brad-point bit for installing side dots
In Trade Secrets this week, Dan Erlewine shows a trick for installing side dots that are perfectly positioned: he modifies a hardware-store drill bit to make the job easy.
Product Instructions I-0631
StewMac Ultimate Scraper Instructions
Scraping and sharpening instructions.