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Use the form on the right to contact us.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your instrument, repairs, any instruments we have for sale, ordering an instrument, or any instrument you wish to sell.

800 Greenwood St
Evanston, IL, 60201
United States

847-864-7730

I began making guitars in 1966 in Dayton Ohio, where I worked out of my house. From 1968-1970 I lived in Mexico City, returning during the summers to build instruments at the Dayton location. 

During this time I was studying Anthropology and playing flamenco guitar professionally in various troupes in Mexico and around the U.S. In 1972 I moved to Chicago and worked briefly out of the back of a music store before moving to my present location in 1973. 

At that point I gave up any pretensions of being a professional guitarist and dedicated myself full time to lutherie.

 


My 800 Greenwood Street shop has undergone several renovations and changes over the years, the most recent being the 1995 massive renovation I did of the outside and inside of the building. 

As a result, my building is now climate controlled throughout the entire 4,000 square feet, and it has now acquired a nicer facade, with more interior showroom space than was previously available. 

Consequently, we are better able to serve those who prefer to visit the shop to select an instrument from our extensive inventory, which is housed in glass fronted rosewood cabinets. Being able to play many instruments side by side is very helpful in making a final selection, and we have full repair/restoration facilities on the premises for minor action adjustments to major restorations of valuable collector instruments.

Repairs

The Bruné workshop is happy to perform repairs on your guitar.  From simple adjustments of the action or crack repairs to replacement of worn frets or fingerboards, all work is done to the very highest quality level for the most demanding musicians.  We are thoroughly steeped in the traditions of hot hide glue, french polish and other traditional materials and methods to ensure the ongoing longevity, vitality and enduring value of your instrument,  Each job is quoted based on what the instrument specifically needs.

We do not recommend refinishing instruments.  Refinishing may change the sound and value of your instrument.

If your guitar gets damaged, it is NOT a good idea to try to try to "stabilize"or perform a temporary emergency repair to hold the instrument until you can get it to the Bruné workshop.  Do not put anything on the damaged area.  It is far, far better to do NOTHING than to attempt a homemade repair using store bought adhesives.  Keep your fingers off of the damaged area. Skin oil and dirt can reduce the adhesion of the glue and will make the repair more visible.  If your instrument has suffered a catastrophic injury resulting in separated parts and splinters of wood, do NOT attempt to fit it back together.  Save every tiny splinter in a zip-top bag, and avoid handling any of the  areas around the damage.  You would be surprised how well damage such as this can be repaired, and usually the repair is stronger than the original wood itself.

 

Advice for Avoiding Repairs

 

Many repairs are the result of incorrect humidity control.  Rather than rely on inexpensive commercial hygrometers, which can be notoriously inaccurate, learn to "read" your guitar, which will always tell you if it is too dry or too wet:

 

  • If the instrument is too dry, the fingerboard will shrink but the metal frets remain the same length, so they will feel like they have expanded past the edge of the fretboard, and will feel rough on the corner.  Immediately begin using a humidifier in the case with the instrument.
  • DO NOT FILE THE FRETS.
  • If the instrument is too humid the fingerboard will swell past the ends of the frets, and when running your fingernail along the corner of the fretboard, you will feel the gaps where the fret slots are.  Keeping bags of silica gel inside the case with the guitar may remove some excess moisture.

 

Cracks are caused by excessive dryness.  Resist the temptation to have a crack which is open repaired immediately.  The proper procedure is to humidify the instrument until the crack is nearly closed, and then glue it with hot hide glue.  The worst thing to do is insert a piece of wood to fill the gap when the instrument is too dry.  When the humidity level returns to normal, the instrument will swell against the inserted piece causing distortion and other problems.  Remember, no matter how old wood is, it still expands and contracts with changes of moisture levels. 

The best place to keep your guitar is in a good hardshell case, with the lid closed and LATCHED all the time.  It is much easier to control the humidity in the small volume of the case rather than the larger volume of a room.  If you are using an in-case humidifier, leave it in the case with the lid CLOSED when you take out the guitar.  Leaving the case open when the guitar is being played will allow the case interior to quickly adjust to the room humidity level which is probably the wrong level for the guitar, particularly in the winter, or during the peak rainy seasons.  Case keys left in the string compartments often will fall out and get into the main area, causing very avoidable scratches.  

 

Mechanical tuning machines need a light film of oil to prevent eventual wear.  Oils such as 3-in-1 oil work quite well to prevent wear, and should be applied to the gears once a year when changing strings. 

 

Finally, we do NOT recommend the use of any waxes, oils or other commercial preparations, neither on the varnish, nor on the fingerboard.  Even when these products are marketed specifically for guitars it is our experience that they can cause more harm than good.  To clean your instrument use a clean natural fiber cloth dampened with water and buff dry.  Anything beyond that should be left to professionals.