I’m Jim Kozel, a Cleveland-based luthier. I am also a guitarist, songwriter and teacher. Music is the heart and soul of my life. I have been performing my musical stories for well over half a century; setting up, repairing and building instruments for nearly that long. Your instrument needs to fit you like a comfortable old pair of jeans. I approach every repair, setup or commission with that in mind. This website was created as a BLOG space so you can leave comments and ask questions.
As a luthier in Cleveland, Ohio I see a lot of guitars requiring some manner of crack repair. Large side crack repairs can me among the most challenging. Here’s how we repaired a major side crack on a Martin D-15.
A lot of telecasters that come into my Cleveland guitar shop for setup often have output jack issues, the dreaded snap, crackle and pop. Here’s how we addressed those issues while setting up this telecaster.
Cleveland-based Rachel Brown and The Beatnik Playboys https://rachelbps.com delight audiences wherever they perform. So, when Rachel brought her 1964 Gibson LG-1 to the shop for a stage-ready restoration, I was happy to help. Here’s days of restoration/repair condensed into a ten minute story.
Some years back, I wrote a song about a miner in Telluride, Colorado. Here’s an arrangement of “Short Cut” performed at Brent Kirby’s 10×3 at Brother’s Lounge on September 18, 2019. I’m playing my latest Tele creation, the Jimmy-Caster.
As a Cleveland area luthier and performer, I’ve a soft spot for the Fender Jazzmaster. Here’s a video on how this Fender Jazzmaster Classic Player gets its vintage mojo back with a Jazzmaster bridge retrofit, Lindy Fralin pickups, and a personalized setup.
This Strat came into the shop with four stripped neck bolt holes. Here is how it was repaired with rock maple plugs taken from the 90 year old stage floor I salvaged from the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Pavilion stage.
It was a treat to perform at Brent Kirby’s 10×3 on June 19th. As a Cleveland area luthier, it’s rare I get to perform with instruments that I restore or repair. But that’s just what happened last night. When the output jack on my archtop failed, Ray Flanagan loaned me his 1923 Gibson L-01. I had done some major crack repair restoration to bring it back to life. Here’s me and the Gibson performing two of mine, “Jessica” and “Neptune Bar & Grill” then an old favorite with everyone singing along.