I’m going to visit 16th Avenue in Nashville soon. I need to get some repairs done to several of my instruments:
1. Fret work on my Stelling Red Fox.
2. Fix a separated neck (no truss rod) on my very first stringed instrument; a ‘taterbug’ mandolin my brother and I had bought when we were teenagers from a small music store. The proprietor’s name was Gus Miesel, a very courteous and formal man and a German immigrant, if I recall correctly. We paid $40 for it and had a great time just learning how to make chords and pick some simple tunes.
3. Fix my second mandolin, a Harmony H-8025. This one is rather distinctive as you could call it a ‘semi-F series’. The scrolls on the body and peghead look more like horns than scrolls. The body has buckled slightly on both the front and back. I suspect I had put some heavy gauge strings on it years ago and it wasn’t made for them. I bought this one at Hornbuckle’s Music Store for $225 I had from selling my drums. Yes, my very first musical instrument was the drums!
4. Repair my first banjo, a Lark. It is a very standard beginners model like many others you see even today. Although I must admit, the beginners models today do have fancier inlays, probably brought about by CNN-capable (i.e., computerized) machining processes. Anyway, I used to lend this banjo out to folks and at some point, someone tried to adjust it and messed up the threads where the neck connects to the pot. I bought this one in 1977 at the same place Gus Miesel used to have his small shop. I paid $125 for it from the sale of a guitar back to my brother.
You’ll notice three of these repairs are on pretty cheap instruments. They’ll most likely cost a good bit more than they are worth, but I’m a sentimental old guy. And I’ve been meaning to get these tasks done for many years, no, decades, now.
I’ll take them to Classic Ax on 16th avenue in the heart of Music Row in downtown Nashville. If they can fix these instruments for a reasonable price, then it will be so great to be able to play on these same instruments once again!