Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find the answers to many common inquiries not mentioned elsewhere on our site.

Shop Policies

The staff at Calico Guitarworks has a combined 25+ years of professional guitar repair experience. Sharing the knowledge that we accumulate in this focused pursuit is at the core of what we do; It’s why we invest valuable time preparing detailed tech talk articles that are available free of charge.

You may notice that we do things a bit differently than other shops. Our advice and recommendations may occasionally challenge preconceived notions. We ask that clients remain receptive to new methods and trust that our ultimate goal is to help them make music.

We aim to conduct our business in a professional manner and expect to be treated in kind. 

We prefer to communicate via Email for all service inquiries. If you have any questions, please use our contact form or email:

We find that email has several advantages vs. the phone.

Rather than interrupting an appointment with a client or risking distraction while working on an instrument, you can reach out at your convenience and we will answer when able to give your question our full attention. 

Email is checked frequently during business hours, so you won’t be waiting long for a response.

You can send us pictures if necessary and we may include links to relevant information in our response. This process also allows for the easy recall of prior conversations should the need arise. 

There are certainly times when it is beneficial to talk on the phone, but we strongly prefer Email whenever practical.

We operate by appointment only because it helps us to manage our workload and produce consistently high quality results. 

During your drop off appointment, we perform an initial evaluation and provide an estimate based off of our price list. During a pickup appointment, you have the opportunity to play the instrument and ask follow up questions.

In an effort to return work in a timely manner, we accept a select number of appointments per day; They typically book up in advance. If a shorter lead time is required, for an additional fee, most basic jobs are eligible for a rush service appointment.

Book Online Now or, if you need assistance, please see our online booking tutorial.

In an effort to manage our workload, we accept a select number of appointments per day.  Should you need to cancel or reschedule, we kindly request at least 48hrs notice.

Should the need arise, appointments can be updated via the link included in the confirmation email received at the time of booking.

We understand that occasionally things come up last minute that are beyond your control. However, in the event of repeated late cancellations, we reserve the right to decline future bookings.

A guitar is a personal item; We believe that the particulars of its servicing should be tailored to the individual player. In order to minimize miscommunications, time consuming back and forth correspondence, and maximize our odds for a successful outcome, we request that the owner be present for instrument drop off and pickup. 

Our appointment lead time fluctuates around current demand. Current availability is best found on our booking page.
Once in shop, setups and other small jobs are usually turned around within 2-3 business days. Larger jobs will take longer and require evaluation before an estimated turnaround time can be given.  
If you require a shorter lead time, for an additional fee, most basic jobs are eligible for a rush service appointment.

We do our best to complete instruments in a timely manner and request that pickup be made within (7) days of notice of completion whenever possible.

Instruments that have not been picked up within 30 days of the first emailed notice of completion will be considered to have been abandoned. 

Payment is due at the time of pickup.

Cash is preferred. For your convenience, we also accept credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express). No checks please.

We are required to collect New York State sales tax for all sales and services performed.

Calico Guitarworks is proud to stand behind our work with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.

This warranty does not extend to any instrument that has been subjected to poor humidity care, adjusted or otherwise modified after leaving the shop, or to matters that can reasonably be attributed to limitations of the product serviced. Our warranty also does not apply to strings, or any customer supplied components.

If you encounter any issues during the warranty period, simply contact us to arrange a follow up appointment to evaluate any concerns. In the unlikely event that the need for a refund for products or services arises, all reimbursements will be issued via check.

Commonly Requested Services

At Calico Guitarworks, we are extremely grateful to our clients for consistently keeping our shop schedule booked in advance. In an effort to maintain our standards for quality workmanship and service, we have chosen, for the moment, to avoid select jobs that are either outside of our core offerings or that we anticipate will require a substantial amount of bench time to complete.

Some examples of jobs that we are not accepting at this time are as follows:

  • Finish touchup and refinishing work
  • Rebinding
  • Major structural repairs or modifications
  • Neck resets of glue in “set-neck” instruments
  • Parts-guitar or kit-guitar assembly
  • Relicing

We find it necessary to prioritize jobs that we can see through from start to finish.
As such, we are also unable to take on piecemeal work. This includes the completion of in-progress repairs.

Due to high demand locally, we are operate on a carry-in / carry-out only basis at this time.

Shipping and Receiving of repair work is currently unavailable.

In our shop we offer a more complete maintenance service, called a setup, which includes restringing the guitar.
In an effort to streamline our offerings, we no longer offer instrument appraisals.
Gruhns Guitars are recognized experts in the field and conveniently offer appraisals via their website. George Gruhn is the author of the guide to vintage guitars.

We do not buy or offer used instruments for resale at this time.

With individual players needs, personalities, and locations being so varied, we are unable to offer recommendations for local guitar teachers. Google is your friend here.  

Is This Worth Fixing?

We find that these inexpensive look-alike instruments are often a disappointment to the discerning player.

Though they photograph well and receive favorable online reviews, in our experience, clients typically bring these instruments seeking a setup for lower action, only to find that substantial fretwork or other major repairs would be required in order to accommodate the request. The work necessary to achieve a level of playability consistent with our shop’s standards is likely not cost effective on a cut-price instrument.

We are happy to inspect any instrument that you would like, but please note our in shop evaluation policy. We recommend emailing us questions and detailed photos of any instrument that you are unsure of before scheduling an appointment.

Condition is everything with vintage instruments. More often than not, when a prospective client inquires about repair of a inherited instrument, the conversation soon turns to how it has been stored in an attic or basement for many years.

While the instrument may outwardly appear to just need a new set of strings, or the action adjusted, with  humidity control being such a crucial factor in instrument maintenance, many times these instruments require extensive repair work to be made playable. They may also suffer from the degradation of plastic hardware such as pickguards, and tuning keys.

Unless the instrument was made by an iconic brand like Fender, Gibson, or Martin, the necessary repairs will likely exceed the resale value of the instrument.

We are happy to inspect any instrument that you would like, but please note our in shop evaluation policy. We recommend emailing us questions and detailed photos of any instrument that you are unsure of before scheduling an appointment.

We sympathize with the memories that may be associated with a particular instrument. However, for items of limited intrinsic value, we generally believe that it is best to display them in the condition that they were left by a loved one rather than to attempt to restore some degree of playability. 

We are happy to inspect any instrument that you would like, but please note our in shop evaluation policy. We recommend emailing us questions and detailed photos of any instrument that you are unsure of before scheduling an appointment.

Do You Service Other Instruments?

We specialize in servicing electric and acoustic guitars and basses only. 

We are sorry to disappoint, but we are not offering amplifier repair at this time.

We hope to be able to offer the service again in the future, but we do not have a confident recommendation to make at the moment.   

Though we occasionally make exceptions for straight forward repairs like an obviously broken jack or DC power connector, we generally do not offer repair on effect pedals.

Due to the proprietary nature of many of these circuits and components, we find them difficult to troubleshoot.  As such, we recommend that clients contact the products manufacturer directly for all such inquiries.

In an effort to streamline our offerings, we have discontinued our pedalboard setup service at this time.

We do not offer case repair. For damaged cases, we recommend that you seek out a shop that specializes in upholstery and/or luggage repair.

Our passion is for guitars and basses. To help manage our workload, we do not offer service for other types of fretted instruments at this time.

We specialize in fretted instrument repairs. We do not service any of the instruments listed above.

Can’t find the answer to your question?

Sign-up for our Mailing List


* indicates required