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Trade Secrets NEWSLETTERTips, tricks, news and know-how!
Here are all the Trade Secrets issues that have been sent so far.
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Dan Erlewine & The Trade Secrets Team

Issue 188 April 11, 2013
Binding repair on a '55 Gretsch Roundup
A truss rod fix leads to a binding repair: Dan Erlewine has to remove the fingerboard from this great old cowboy guitar, and some of the red side dots disappear. He shows two techniques for replacing them. 

Issue 187 March 28, 2013
No-cost tools for shaping Martin guitar bridges
Two do-it-yourself tools that I’ve been using for years to shape the bridges on Martins: I show you how to make one in a jiffy, and there’s a free downloadable plan for the other one! -- Dan Erlewine 

Issue 186 March 14, 2013
How to get a good clean solder joint!
The three basics to keep in mind if you want your work to be as good or better than the guitar’s original wiring. — Erick Coleman 

Issue 185 February 28, 2013
Is this bridge saddle in the right place?
The free Fret Position Calculator at stewmac.com does the math, but can I trust its numbers for placing a Martin bridge? I tested the computer against my “stone age” method. — Dan Erlewine 

Issue 184 February 14, 2013
Do-it-yourself banjo bridge lifter
Dave Collins at Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan shows an easy-to-make tool for swapping banjo bridges. 

Issue 183 January 31, 2013
Rare black Dan Armstrong bass: fretboard repair
Dan Erlewine’s working on a black lucite Dan Armstrong bass -- one of only eight that Ampeg ever made. The fretboard has a nasty crunch. Step-by-step, Dan details how he does this tricky fix. 

Issue 182 January 17, 2013
Good tone from 0-10: easy clip-on mod
Trade Secrets On The Road: Dan Erlewine visits the repair shop at Herb David Guitar Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He brings back this great, simple tone tip from repairman Brian Delaney. 

Issue 181 January 3, 2013
Repairing a broken-off tuner screw
In this Trade Secrets video, Dan Erlewine extracts and replaces a broken screw in a Fender peghead. 

Issue 180 December 20, 2012
The simplest custom build ever?
Erick Coleman builds a custom guitar that’s even simpler than Bo Diddley's rectangular axe. It's a great example to show the basics of building an electric guitar.

Issue 179 December 6, 2012
Table saw shooting board for fret slots and flexible cauls
A make-it-yourself solution for fast accurate 90 degree cuts on your table saw. Also a cool tip on making bendy, flexible cauls that follow the shapes on a guitar. 

Issue 178 November 22, 2012
How to fit a preshaped nut on a guitar
Tips for fitting a shaped and slotted nut. Dan Erlewine tries a preshaped nut in his own Fender Strat: it's so easy "it's almost like cheating!" 

Issue 177 November 8, 2012
A shrinking pickguard cracks the guitar top!
In Dan Erlewine’s shop: This Martin D-35 has a cracked top due to the pull of a shrinking plastic pickguard. Dan fixes the problem and shows how to keep this happening from happening again. 

Issue 176 October 25, 2012
Video: Plugging stripped holes in bolt-on guitar necks
Dan Erlewine shows what he does when a bolt-on neck's mounting bolts aren't holding tight anymore. 

Issue 175 October 11, 2012
Fixing (and breaking!) a 1957 Gibson P-90 pickup
After 55 years, the original owner sells a 1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior because the pickup's dead. Erick Coleman tells the story of bringing that pickup back to life. 

Issue 174 September 27, 2012
Fixing a small chip in your guitar's finish
This issue of Trade Secrets is a video: Dan Erlewine demos three of his favorite finish repair tips: 1. Super glue drop fills. 2. Frank Ford’s razor blade trick. 3. Strip-sanding with fingertip pressure. 

Issue 173 September 13, 2012
Video: Gluing a Martin D-35 back brace
This issue of Trade Secrets is a video: Dan Erlewine glues a Martin back brace, using Scissor Jacks along with tools you can make in your own shop. After this video, we developed the Brace Gluing Wedge to simplify this job and reduce the number of tools needed. 

Issue 172 August 30, 2012
A curious fact: why the 1970s Musicmaster Bass had such a thin sound
Erick Coleman opens up a 1973 Fender Musicmaster Bass and is surprised by what he finds! 

Issue 171 August 16, 2012
Fixing a loose bridge on a yard sale special
Dan Erlewine fixes a 1980s Harmony guitar with a bridge that’s falling off. To see how fast he can do this repair, Dan decided to play Beat The Clock! 

Issue 170 August 2, 2012
A sign of truss rod trouble, and an easy solution.
Dan Erlewine with a common truss rod problem: an over-adjusted rod that just won’t work anymore. Luckily, there’s an easy fix! 

Issue 169 July 19, 2012
Crack repair on a Gibson ES-350T ("Byrdland Lite?")
Semi-hollowbody crack repair: Dan Erlewine compares Gibson’s ES-350T to their more famous Byrdland. Includes 1955 catalog descriptions of these two great Gibsons. 

Issue 168 July 5, 2012
None of your beeswax? Potting pickups with paraffin.
Erick Coleman answers a frequently-asked question: how (and why) to wax-pot a pickup. 

Issue 167 June 21, 2012
Fixing a 1965 Gibson Firebird with holes in its head!
Dan Erlewine fills holes in the peghead of a 1965 Gibson Firebird. 

Issue 166 June 7, 2012
Upgrading an inexpensive semi-hollowbody with P-90 sound
Erick Coleman installs P-90 soapbar pickups into the dogear pickup frames on an Epiphone Casino. It’s an easy upgrade that makes a big difference. 

Issue 165 May 24, 2012
A pain in the necks: Gibson doubleneck with a broken truss rod
Dan Erlewine has a Gibson doubleneck with a broken truss rod -- a problem that sends lots of guitars to the trash can. What will it take to rescue this one? The answer might surprise you: it takes 65 minutes of work. 

Issue 164 May 10, 2012
Does this bone nut fit my guitar?
Erick Coleman answers a question that’s come up a lot lately: how to find the right size replacement nut. He introduces a new Sizing Sheet that makes measuring easy for anybody. 

Issue 163 April 26, 2012
Ideas for your shop: arranging your bench and vise
Where to put the workbench in your shop? And where to put the vise on that bench? Dan Erlewine’s helps a friend with those questions in his new garage workshop. 

Issue 162 April 12, 2012
"I wired this guitar, but it didn't work. Can you fix it?"
Is it a good idea when a repair shop recommends that a customer try some do-it-yourself wiring? Erick Coleman's customer rewired a Les Paul, but ran into trouble. Now Erick's re-rewiring... 

Issue 161 March 29, 2012
Hiding an "evil smile" peghead break with the Razor Blade Trick
After gluing a broken peghead, Dan Erlewine still a finish repair to do. In this Trade Secret, he shows you how to save time by using amber super glue and his favorite razor blade trick. 

Issue 160 March 15, 2012
Wiring a humbucker to get two sounds
Erick Coleman shows how he modified a Parsons Street Humbucker, turning it into a switchable single-coil/humbucker combination. 

Many Many more HERE

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