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A Special Guitar Neck Modification

A Special Guitar Neck Modification

by Ralph Bonte

Originally published in American Lutherie #103, 2010

Last week I was able to make someone very happy. Christophe contacted me through my website, in pursuit of a luthier who could help him with his problem. Four years ago he had an accident while cleaning up the bushes surrounding his house. He was working with a wood chipper and wearing safety gloves. To make a long and painful story short, had he not worn the gloves he would have lost the tip of his left thumb. Due to the gloves, his thumb got caught in the motor of the chipper and was torn out of his hand, causing troubles for the muscles and tendons in his arm. Christophe used to be a recording artist playing the guitar. It took him four years of physical therapy to overcome and adapt to the new situation.

In the past year, the urge to play the guitar again became overwhelming. However, he could no longer play a regular guitar since he lost the support of his left thumb. He tried a prosthesis, but that didn’t work. He found it too awkward. When I read his message, I immediately agreed to do the work, although I did not know how I was going to do it.

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