#FJFest: TJ Thompson Shop Tour

If you’ve read the pages of the Fretboard Journal (or listened to our podcasts), TJ Thompson’s name should be a familiar one: He’s arguably the world’s preeminent expert on repairing vintage Martin guitars. He also builds his own, exquisite reproductions of Golden Era Martins and is the guy behind Proluthiertools.com, where he offers specialized tools and reproduction bridges for fellow luthiers working on vintage acoustics.

So, when we decided to launch #FJFest, our community-sourced “virtual” guitar gathering taking place during the COVID-19 crisis, we had to ask TJ for a little shop tour. As we’ve heard over the years (and seen in the photos that have run in our magazine), TJ’s workshop is like few others: an expansive place where lathes and hide glue pots sit alongside state-of-the-art CNCs and PLEK machines; where priceless Martins are lined up for future repair (he’s a busy guy); and where a leaf blower occasionally keeps things tidy. It’s a lot to take in.

Our conversations with TJ have consistently been both profound and eye-opening and this handheld video is no different. Whether you’re a vintage Martin fan, a woodworker or just enjoy hearing the mindset of a world-class craftsperson, we think you’ll love his shop tour.

#FJFest is the Fretboard Journal’s way of staying connected during these difficult times: Expect to see never-before-seen shop tours from guitarmakers, unique music performances, live streamed talks with guitar experts, and a ton of beautiful instruments on a daily basis throughout March 2020 and beyond. We are adding content on a daily basis.

Like what we’re doing? These are challenging times for everyone, includi could use your support: Get a digital subscription to the FJ for just $30 and we’ll send you our two most recent issues immediately as PDFs, on the house: Simply click here.