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J. Ellis Guitarworks offers a full range of services including setup, maintenance, and custom builds. All playing styles are taken into consideration, ranging from soft finger picking to full on shredding leads. The player's needs and preferences come first, as everyone has their personal preference for feel and tone of their instrument.

You have the confidence and guarantee that we will handle your instrument with the utmost care and consideration. Whether it's repairing something sentimental, restoring an old or broken guitar, or modifying it into something completely new, we've got you covered! Check out the services/repairs, setup list and examples below. 

Services & Repairs

-Fret level, crown, and polish
-Premium fret polish
-Install/repair electronics
-Install new pickups
-Custom bone nuts and saddles
-Tusq replacement nuts and saddles
-Cracked and/or loose braces
-Cracks in top, sides, or back
-Broken headstock
-Neck reset
-Bridge pin hole repair
-Finish repair (color matching, scratches, dents)
-Loose acoustic bridge re-glue


Setup Includes:
-Consultation to gather player preferences
-Detailed assessment of the instrument

-Set the neck relief
-Set string height at 1st and 12th fret

-Fret polish
-Oil the fretboard (and bridge if acoustic)

-Lubricate tuners, nut slots, and saddle slots
-Tighten all screws, hardware, and electronics
-Spray clean electronics
-Stretch strings
-General cleaning and polish
-Test play. 

All setups are backed by a 1-Month trial. Setups always need some time and playing before they truly settle in. Please contact us within that time frame to make any necessary adjustments or changes.


Examples of major/simple crack repairs and refinishing.

Black Acoustic Repaired
Red Acoustic Repaired

Before and after of cleaning, oil, and polish.

Acoustic Before And After Cleaning

Broken headstock repair.

Broken Headstock Repair
Premium Fret Polish

Premium Fret Polish*

Many luthiers will simply polish frets by scraping them clean with steel wool. While that is totally acceptable and expected work, this process takes it to the next level with the following steps: 

-Tape off entire fretboard for protection.
-0000 grade steel wool to remove dirt and oxidization. 
-Sand frets with fret erasers up to 8000 grit.
-Polish the frets with Nevr-Dull.
-Hand rub every fret clean with paper towel. 

This guarantees a mirror finish that almost glows, the frets will look better than brand new! Bending the strings along the frets will feel smoother and easier. The polished shine will also last several months longer than a standard fret polish, even with regular play and weather. 

Dirt From Frets

Check out what comes off the frets in the last step!

Fingerboard Modification

Modifying Your Instrument

This section is a bit more vague and more of an umbrella term since modifying an instrument can mean just about anything!

This picture on the left is a stock fretboard recarved to match the sound hole dimensions. The original is a bit like talking with a hand covering part of your mouth. It compromises a part of the sound. Why not remove that muffling effect?

The picture at the bottom is a procedure called brace carving, a common repair for pre-war era Martins. Most guitars are over built to ensure their life-span. However, this also chokes off the overall sound of the guitar. Lacking clarity, dynamics, and response. Carving and shaping the braces at key locations can make an astounding difference in overall sound quality, unlocking the guitar's true potential. 

Other modifications could include: 
-Removing the gloss from a neck for a smoother and faster feel.
-Hot rodding the electronics.

-Upgrade hardware for tonal qualities and tuning stability.
-Switching from standard tuners to locking tuners.
-Replacing a plastic nut with a bone or Tusq nut.
-Copper tape or conductive paint for better electronic shielding.

-Carving braces (see below)

Brace Carving
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