Repair and Restoration with Robert O'Brien

If you want to learn how to do setup and repair work, then this is the course for you! In it I cover everything from simple setups all the way to complete restorations on historical instruments.

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About This Course

Welcome to the Robert O'Brien Online Repair and Restoration course.

Doing repair work requires a different skill set than building an instrument. I believe that building instruments doesn’t make you a repair person and vice versa. That is why I have put together this course that specifically addresses the skills needed to do quality repair and restoration work. Over the course of more than a year I documented several instruments that came across my bench for repair work. Some only needed a simple setup but others required a complete restoration.

In this course I show how to evaluate an instrument when it comes into the shop and decide what needs to be done, develop a plan of attack for the work needed and then how to execute the repair, be it structural or cosmetic. I am sure you will pick up a few tricks along the way as I show how I do repairs and setups on a variety of instruments.

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Please read the FAQ page before beginning. To begin just register/login and purchase the video lessons. Due to the large files sizes, this is a stream only course. After purchasing you may view the video lessons as many times as you like.

Chapter 1 • Loose Back and Binding
56:17
Introduction 3:05
Lesson 1: Evaluating the instrument 7:37
Lesson 2: Developing a plan 9:47
Lesson 3: Doing the repair 9:35
Lesson 4: Scraping and sanding 8:39
Lesson 5: Repairing the finish 9:50
Lesson 6: Oh no! A loose brace 7:44
Chapter 2 • New Nut and Saddle - Classical Guitar
49:42 $15.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Fitting and shaping the nut blank 15:12
Lesson 2: Slotting the nut 8:17
Lesson 3: Making the saddle 7:25
Lesson 4: Adjusting saddle height 5:38
Lesson 5: The setup 13:10
Chapter 3 • Loose back braces
12:30
Lesson 1: Why brace ends come unglued 2:15
Lesson 2: Gluing the braces 10:15
Chapter 4 • Bad Intonation
1:57:09 $35.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Diagnosing the issue 12:52
Lesson 2: Giving options to the client 3:56
Lesson 3: Removing the bridge 11:12
Lesson 4: Re-attaching the bridge 9:56
Lesson 5: Removing frets 7:52
Lesson 6: Dressing the fretboard 7:41
Lesson 7: The slots 4:54
Lesson 8: Preparing frets 7:54
Lesson 9: Installing frets 21:24
Lesson 10: Fretwork 13:48
Lesson 11: Setup 15:40
Chapter 5 • Steel String Setup
44:51 $20.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Intro 4:32
Lesson 2: Inspecting the instrument 7:33
Lesson 3: Cleaning the fretboard 3:46
Lesson 4: Neck relief 6:22
Lesson 5: Action at the nut 8:09
Lesson 6: Action at the 12th fret 4:55
Lesson 7: Intonation 6:58
Lesson 8: Cleaning the instrument 2:36
Chapter 6 • Bridge Removal and New Nut
46:16
Lesson 1: Evaluation 1:59
Lesson 2: Bridge removal 9:16
Lesson 3: Re-attaching the Bridge 4:52
Lesson 4: Making a new nut 9:35
Lesson 5: Slotting the nut 4:37
Lesson 6: The setup 12:21
Lesson 7: The test drive 3:36
Chapter 7 • Soundboard Re-finish
44:19
Lesson 1: Should I re-finish 3:51
Lesson 2: Surface prep 12:58
Lesson 3: Applying shellac 27:30
Chapter 8 • Lute Repair
24:18
Lesson 1: Removing CA glue 6:02
Lesson 2: Soundboard crack repair 11:33
Lesson 3: Re-gluing a lute fret 6:43
Chapter 9 • Cedar Soundboard Crack Repair
14:27
Lesson 1: Cedar soundboard crack repair 14:27
Chapter 10 • Spruce Soundboard Crack Repair
17:45
Lesson 1: Spruce soundboard crack repair 17:45
Chapter 11 • Peghead Finish
1:59:21
Lesson 1: Intro 3:04
Lesson 2: Sanding 4:45
Lesson 3: Just say no! 3:17
Lesson 4: Inlay and peghead veneer replacement 8:53
Lesson 5: Fretboard removal 8:14
Lesson 6: Custom scale length 7:04
Lesson 7: Attaching the fretboard 14:31
Lesson 8: Leveling, radiusing, inlay 12:11
Lesson 9: Fretwork 16:49
Lesson 10: Pore filler 11:52
Lesson 11: Lacquer 3:44
Lesson 12: Rubbing out the finish 15:28
Lesson 13: Drop fill leveling and buffing 4:23
Lesson 14: Re-attaching the neck 4:18
Lesson 15: FINALLY DONE! 0:48
Chapter 12 • Humidity
5:54
Lesson 1: Humidify before during and after repair 5:54
Chapter 13 • Documenting Instruments
5:18
Lesson 1: Documenting Instruments when receiving 5:18
Chapter 14 • Martin Clapton Model Repair
45:25
Lesson 1: Crack repair 10:54
Lesson 2: Bridge removal and re-glue 22:42
Lesson 3: Binding repair 11:49
Chapter 15 • Resonator Guitar Pickup Install
13:45
Lesson 1: Resonator guitar pickup install 13:45
Chapter 16 • 1931 Centerseam
23:37
Lesson 1: 1931 Centerseam repair 23:37
Chapter 17 • Neck Removal
34:08
Lesson 1: Removing the neck 5:49
Lesson 2: Adjusting 12:22
Lesson 3: Re-attaching the neck 4:50
Lesson 4: Gluing fret ends 11:07
Chapter 18 • Expect the Unexpected
7:25
Lesson 1: Expect the unexpected - Gluing back braces 7:25
Chapter 19 • String Buzz
47:42
Lesson 1: String Buzz - ARGH!! 47:42
Chapter 20 • Resonator Repair
1:18:01
Lesson 1: Evaluation 3:42
Lesson 2: Removing the fretboard 14:21
Lesson 3: Side cracks 6:56
Lesson 4: Making a new fretboard 23:30
Lesson 5: Neck finish 4:42
Lesson 6: Setup 24:50
Chapter 21 • Banjo Setup
16:55
Lesson 1: Banjo Setup 16:55
Chapter 22 • Manuel Contreras Repair
50:52 $25.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Evaluation 2:09
Lesson 2: Bridge removal 10:49
Lesson 3: Side crack repair 11:16
Lesson 4: Re-glue bridge 9:27
Lesson 5: Side crack finish repair 5:16
Lesson 6: Filing fret ends 11:55
Chapter 23 • Manual Rodriguez
2:07:44 $40.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Evaluation 2:53
Lesson 2: Removing the back 14:45
Lesson 3: Repairing the back 25:49
Lesson 4: Making bindings and purflings 8:00
Lesson 5: Bending bindings 10:30
Lesson 6: Cutting binding channels 6:22
Lesson 7: Installing bindings and purflings 22:37
Lesson 8: The fretboard 9:01
Lesson 9: The finish 19:29
Lesson 10: Conclusion 8:18
Chapter 24 • Floyd Rose Floating Tremolo Setup
14:23 $10.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Floyd Rose floating tremelo setup 14:23
Chapter 25 • Telecaster Setup
18:33 $10.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Telecaster setup 18:33
Chapter 26 • 1860 Martin Restoration
2:49:39 $45.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Evaluation 4:03
Lesson 2: Removing the bridge 6:32
Lesson 3: Removing the bridge patch 7:56
Lesson 4: Removing more pieces 8:40
Lesson 5: Adding structural integrity 12:24
Lesson 6: Gluing top to kerfing 15:30
Lesson 7: Adding a bridge patch 4:26
Lesson 8: More crack and brace repair 13:10
Lesson 9: Putting together the top pieces 21:50
Lesson 10: Splicing in pieces of the top 18:36
Lesson 11: Finishing the top 16:02
Lesson 12: Attaching the bridge 14:24
Lesson 13: The fretboard and finish 9:43
Lesson 14: Strings! 12:02
Lesson 15: Playing the 1860-ish Martin 4:21
Chapter 27 • String Buzz at First Fret
9:50
Lesson 1: String buzz at first fret 9:50