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Due to concerns with the COVID-19 virus here in Ohio, our customer support team will be working remotely and will be communicating exclusively through email.

Thanks again, stay safe, and please make music at home.

21 N. Shafer St.
Athens, OH 45701

US & Canada: 800-848-2273
International: +1-740-592-3021

Monday through Friday • 9am-5pm Eastern Time

US & Canada: 740-593-7922
International: +1-740-593-7922

21 N. Shafer St.
Athens, OH 45701

Customer Service FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I'm having trouble using the Search, can you help? Read Answer Search Tips:
    Check spelling.
    Try a less specific search (Example: strings).
    Try being more specific (Example: Five-Star banjo strings)

    If you still can't find what you are looking for, try browsing through our listed departments.
  • What if I don't see the product I need on your website? Read Answer Our website lists all of the products that we currently have available. If it is not displayed on our site, we do not sell it. However, we are continuously updating our product line, and welcome your suggestions and comments.

    Try using the Search box, at the top of the page. Try using broader search terms if you can't find the specific item you are looking for.
  • Is Stewart-MacDonald an instrument dealer or a repair shop? Read Answer We don't sell or repair instruments. Our role in the music industry is as a supplier of parts and tools. We recommend that you take your instrument to a reputable local repair shop.
  • Do you have a store? Read Answer We do not have a "brick and mortar" store. Our operation consists solely of administrative offices with warehouse and manufacturing facilities. Shopping is through our website.
  • Do you offer any discounts? Read Answer You save money when you buy certain items in quantity! When quantity discounts are available, they appear in the price column in red. When applicable, discounts are applied automatically when you order.
  • How do I convert measurements to metric? Read Answer Use our online conversion tool to easily get measurement conversions.
  • I need technical information on your parts and tools. Can you help? Read Answer Your question may already be answered under under the FAQs on this page. If you're still having trouble, ask our technical staff using our contact for on this page. English inquiries only, please.
  • Can I change my order after I've sent it? Read Answer If you have just completed an order and need to change something, contact us right away and we will do what we can to help you. However, we process orders very quickly, so it may be too late in some cases. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we hope that most of the time our speed works to your advantage.
  • Help! I ordered the wrong item/quantity. How do I correct my order? Read Answer Contact us quickly, we may be able to amend your order.
  • When will my credit card be charged? Read Answer Your card will be charged as soon as we ship your order, usually the same day we receive it.
  • Is it safe to use my credit card? Read Answer Absolutely. We encrypt all personal information such as your credit card number when you transmit data to our website and when we transmit data to you. We use SSL security. When your web browser is using SSL security, you will notice a solid key or closed padlock in your browser window. When the page is not secure, the key icon appears fragmented and/or the padlock appears open.

    We have joined with Verisign and Hackersafe to further secure your information.
  • What duties and taxes will I have to pay? Read Answer When orders are sent to another country, local customs officials will determine the amount of any customs or import duties you may owe. Customs policies vary widely from country to country, and we have no control over these charges. Please contact your local customs office for further information.
  • How much will I pay in the currency of my country? Read Answer Currency conversion tables are updated every 2 hours. However, the amount charged will be the conversion rate at the time your credit card is billed.

    Select your preferred currency in the drop-down menu in your account, on the order form, and on product pages. You will see all prices and charges converted to your currency. If you have a account, clicking any of the currencies will lock that currency for future sessions.
  • How will you ship my order? Read Answer We ship U.S. and Canadian orders by a variety of carriers (DHL, FedEx, USPS, UPS, Canada Post), and we will indicate on our e-mail shipping confirmation which shipper we have used for your order.

    For international orders, DHL is our express carrier. We also use Postal Air. Learn more...
  • Can I place or pick up my order at StewMac? Read Answer Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate shop sales or order pickups. Please contact us if you have any questions. We're happy to work with locals!
  • How much is shipping to other countries? Read Answer We calculate shipping to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada by the weight of the order and the country the order is being shipped to. To see what your shipping charge will be, enter the items on the order form, then proceed to International Checkout. Select your country and you will see the shipping price and options available to your country.

    Read more about customs and duties to other countries.
  • When will I receive my order? Read Answer You will see an estimated delivery time when you choose your shipping method. It is based on the time the order was placed and which shipping method you choose.

    Orders received by 4pm Eastern time (Mon-Fri) ship the same day!

Product FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What tuners will fit my guitar? Read Answer This can be difficult to answer without inspecting the instrument. Many manufacturers use a variety of different tuners on their guitars, sometimes within the same model run. The technical specifications of the tuners we stock can be found online and in our catalog. We suggest comparing your existing machines and peghole dimensions to our listed specs to help determine the best replacement.
  • What specific motor do we recommend for the Buffing Arbor? Read Answer To power our Buffing Arbor we recommend a 1/3 to 1/2-horsepower motor with a 2" pulley that runs at 1725 rpm.
    Click here to view our recommended motor.

    Dayton Motors model 3K772 is a common motor that is available from a number of suppliers, as well.
  • Can I build a left-handed instrument from your guitar kits? Read Answer Though our guitar kits are intended for right-handed players, the soundboard bracing patterns can be reversed to build a left-handed instrument. You can make a left-handed bridge from scratch using one of our bridge blanks.
  • What nut files do you recommend for my guitar? Read Answer Choose nut slotting files that are the same size or no more that a few thousands larger than your individual string gauges.

    A smaller file can also be rocked side-to-side to widen a slot to the desired size. For example, you can cut a .036" slot with a .035" file by moving it around a bit.
  • What should I use to slot my Tune-o-matic saddles? Read Answer Nut slotting files work great for saddles. Simply use the same techniques you'd use for nut slotting. After filing to the desired depth, we suggest polishing the slot with Mitchell's Abrasive Cord to remove file marks and burrs.
  • Will your attachments for Dremel fit my generic brand or other moto-type tool? Read Answer If your tool has a removable nosepiece with a 3/4-12 thread, it should work with our attachments.
  • Which size truss rod wrench do I need? Read Answer Unfortunately, not all instrument makers provide this information, and it's not uncommon for companies to switch rods between production runs or models. There are a few standard rod sizes, however:

    Gibson guitars, mandolins and banjos (American made) have a 5/16" adjustment nut. Use a 5/16" hex wrench. This measurement also comes in a pocket-size wrench.

    Fender guitars and basses (American made) commonly have a 1/8" Allen nut. This includes the bullet adjustment nut, the American Standards, and most models made in the USA with a peghead-adjustable truss rod. Use a 1/8" Allen wrench.

    For Fender vintage-style heel-adjustable "X" nut, use a flat blade wrench that is a specially made Truss Rod Wrench for Fender.

    Martin guitars (American made) have a 5mm Allen nut and would use an angled wrench to reach the neck heel through the soundhole. Use our Soundhole Truss Rod Wrench.

    Taylor guitars have a 1/4" hex nut. Use a 1/4" hex wrench. This measurement also comes in a pocket-size wrench.

    Necks through StewMac have a 4mm Allen nut. Use a 4mm Allen wrench for these necks:
  • Can I make my own custom-scale fretboards? Read Answer You can make your own fretboard using our miter box and saw, and a blank fretboard.

    Use our free online fret scale calculator to determine the proper fret spacing and bridge location.
  • Do you stock gold powder for Goldtop guitar finishes? Read Answer No. It's manufactured by the Crescent Bronze Powder Company in Chicago, IL. Their product number is 256, although Dan Erlewine sometimes uses 255 depending on the instrument. For application details, see our book Guitar Finishing Step-By-Step.
  • Can you ship nitrocellulose lacquer outside the USA or recommend a source? Read Answer We cannot ship nitrocellulose lacquer outside of the USA, and we don't have an overseas source to recommend to you. An internet search should help you find a supplier in your area.

    However, we'd like to recommend our ColorTone Waterbase Lacquer, which we can ship internationally. It is non-flammable, and is available as a Brushing Varnish. It is formulated to work with ColorTone pigments and liquid stains.

    Learn the standard process for finishing an instrument with waterbase lacquer and application tips. Click here to read more...
  • I just finished a bolt-on neck with a maple fretboard. I read online that I should spray the lacquer directly on the frets, so that's what I did. How do I remove the lacquer from the frets? Read Answer Don't use any kind of solvent to remove lacquer overspray from frets, or you'll damage the fretboard finish. Instead, the finish can be carefully scraped off. Using a nut slotting file of the appropriate gauge, you can make a custom scraper using a nail, X-acto blade, or something similar.

    Dan Erlewine uses a 16-penny nail. He simply files a notch in the nailhead, just deep and wide enough to fit over the fret without touching the fretboard. Using an X-acto knife, he carefully scores the lacquer on both sides of the fret to prevent unwanted finish chipping. He then slowly scrapes the lacquer off of the fret with the slotted nailhead. For details and photos, see our book Fret Work Step By Step.
  • Can I replace a modern Fender American Standard Tele bridge with a vintage style 3-saddle bridge without modifications? Read Answer Installation of a Traditional Bridge for Tele on an American Standard model requires additional drilling. The mounting screws on the vintage models are in a different location. The string mounting holes match, however.
  • How do I tell the difference between the gauges on my Double-edge Nut File, they're not marked. Read Answer We recommend that you make a cut on a scrap piece of bone or wood with both sides of the Double-edge Nut File, then measure the width of each cut with feeler gauges to determine which side is which. Guitar strings of known gauges will also work as measuring tools in a pinch.

    Once you have determined the proper edge, mark the file accordingly with a permanent marker.
  • I'm interested in getting into guitar building and repair. Do you recommend any specific books or DVDs? Read Answer We offer a wide variety of books and DVDs that cover repair and building procedures, from beginning to advanced, as well as specific areas such as fretting and finishing. Outstanding resources for general information include the Guitar Player Repair Guide and Dan Erlewine's Maintenance Setup DVDs. A variety of excellent books are also available for building a complete guitar.
  • I don't have any experience with this type of work, do you think I could fix my...? Read Answer Take your instrument to a reputable local repair shop for an evaluation. That way, you can determine if you're comfortable doing the repair yourself, or letting a professional do it.
  • Does Stewart-MacDonald offer custom shop services or custom woodworking? Read Answer We don't offer custom services. A luthier or woodshop in your area may be able to help you with your project.
  • Does Stewart-MacDonald have an in-house repair facility that I can send my instrument to for repair? Read Answer We don't offer repair services. We recommend that you take your instrument to a reputable local repair shop.
  • Is a product safe if it carries a Proposition 65 warning? Read Answer The fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not mean by itself that the product is unsafe.

    California's Proposition 65 entitles California consumers to special warnings for products that contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm if those products expose consumers to such chemicals above certain threshold levels.  For more information please visit: