Back in 1987 when I started working on my own I only wanted to make instruments. However, some of my clients also asked me to repair their old instruments and I became aware that I couldn’t just agree to help and repair some people’s instruments and not others! Therefore, repairing quickly became an additional service I offered.

In terms of the kind of repairs I do today, I would say they are based on servicing and maintenance. In other words I don’t take on big restorations; I do conservation and preservation of instruments instead. However, I do have restoration knowledge – but I also know my own limitations as a craftsman.

To illustrate the range of my repair services with an example: I recently fixed a cello which came to me with both a broken neck and with its back sheared off – to me this was a straightforward repair. However, if you were to come to me with an instrument in 250 different pieces I wouldn’t be the right person for the job.

Because of my restoration knowledge, I am used by some as a facilitator for restoration projects however: for example, the Royal Northern College of Music recently brought me a Ruggeri cello dating back to 1694 which was in need of complete restoration. This is a very important instrument and they knew it had to be restored faithfully, they also knew that I would be able to work with them to assess the work required and to find them a restoration expert to undertake the job.

So, if someone comes to me with a restoration project I am happy to put them in touch with the right person to help, and if you are in any doubt about a given repair project please ask me if I can assist. I can at least advise and act as a facilitator for restoration if I do not feel I can take on the job in hand.

In terms of the maintenance and servicing I do offer, it includes tasks such as cleaning, fingerboard planing, varnish retouching, new pegs etc.

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