Simon Jones - the founder of SGL Guitars
I have been making, repairing, customising and servicing all types of stringed instruments for around 27 years but intensively for the past 25 years. In that time I have probably repaired/serviced some 16,000 instruments ranging from guitars, basses and double basses... electric and acoustic, mandolins, violins, bazoukis, classical guitars, Welsh harps, cellos, banjos and many more.
The bulk of my work is with electric and acoustic guitars and basses with between 30 and 50 instruments passing through the workshop in a typical month.
The top four instruments that consistently take up the workbench are probably electric guitars, acoustic guitars, electric basses and classical guitars

History
I started out as a professional diver which lasted for some 15 years, I was privileged to spend three years as a member of the recovery team during the raising of the Mary Rose in Portsmouth. But several episodes of ear problems resulted in periods off work and the beginning of a full time hobby of guitar making and general messing around with guitars which lasted between diving jobs for several years. My first guitar was a Strat style thingy which actually turned out quite nicely but was subsequently used as a test bed over the following years and was unfortunately finally destroyed in the sake of research and development when I jumped on the neck to experiment in strength levels of a Strat neck and neck joint and how to repair such severe damage!... Oh well!
I was asked by many people to carry out work on their guitars, but until I was satisfied with the results of my efforts, I resisted the temptation until, in 1988, I became confident that my work was of an acceptable standard and I started to carry out repairs, re-frets and set-ups by request.
It was not long before I realised there was a big market for my services and in 1990 established "SGL Guitars" which has and still is the first choice for musicians for miles around... and many from opposite ends of the country. I finally finished diving in 1993 and concentrated solely on the guitar business.

Workplace
For those who have visited me, I am probably well known for my one-to-one customer service, an abundance of unlimited advice.

Things changed fairly recently and I have relocated my business from my native town of Swansea to Baffins in Portsmouth with my wife and 6 yr old daughter.

My customers used to be primarily based in the South Wales area but word seems to travel and SGL Guitars has gone very much National with referrals from professional and amateur musicians all over the UK. The website has played a particularly helpful role in that respect. This is very important as most of my work has been, and still is through referral and this can only be achieved through reputation alone...
... the secret is that I insist on using only the best parts and materials available and constantly strive for perfection in my work and offer an abundance of useful technical advice on offer to all who meet me... whether they want it or not!

The Mary Rose
My main involvement on the recovery of The Mary Rose was as a member of what was initially a four-man team that we called the "Dismantling Team". Our job was to carefully remove large and heavy contents from the wreck such as the iron and bronze guns, hundreds of canon balls, anchors and any parts of the structure that might hinder the recovery operation.
During the final year, the team was extended to 12 divers and our job was now to remove any remaining heavy stuff and prepare the ship for the big lift. This consisted of lowering stage 1 of the lifting frame over the wreck and tunnelling under the hull to fit iniviually and precisely made cables from the frame, down to the hull and through major structurally sound sections, secured from underneath the wreck with a large metal pad and a bolt.
Then there were two stages to the lift. Firstly, the frame was lifted, with the Mary Rose suspended below it. The wreck was then swung over to the side of the site and lowered into a custom built frame positioned on the seabed (which it still sits in to this very day). The whole thing was finally lifted onto a huge barge standing by for the journey back into the harbour that it had sailed out of 500 years earlier!

So, although I can work wonders with guitars... if you need anything big lifted off the seabed, let me know and I'll have a word with my mates!



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