Chad Fitzpatrick has quickly become a rising star in the world of guitar repair and vintage guitar restoration work. Chad gained a lifetime’s worth of vintage guitar knowledge and experience by holding primary repair / luthier positions at Chicago’s top vintage guitar dealerships (Chicago Music Exchange, Rock-n-Roll Vintage) before setting out on his own and opening up “Chicago Guitar & Amplifier” in 2008. In 2011, just as Chicago Guitar & Amplifier was becoming a roaring success, Chad made the tough decision of moving his young family and booming business back to his hometown in central Indiana. Renaming his operation “CF Restorations”, he opened up shop in Indiana and continues to be the go-to-guy for Chicago area guitar repair and vintage restoration work. He’s quickly gaining a national and international reputation as one of the best in the business and receives regular work from all over the country.
More about Chad Fitzpatrick:
“I grew up in a family full of music and began playing guitar at thirteen years old. I remember begging my mom to teach me some chords on her vintage Framus Texan”, “I got started repairing instruments by fixing my Grandpa’s vintage Harmony and Kay guitars. I still own and play his old Harmony H-50 plugged into his original Silvertone model 1482 amplifier”
Chad’s career in guitar repair began at the tender age of eighteen at “Geoff Benge’s Guitar Shop”, a well- known Chicago repair shop and a staple on the Chicago guitar scene. During this initial experience Chad was able to cut his teeth working on many fine new and vintage instruments. Deciding to take his passion to the next level, Chad left Chicago to attend the “Galloup School of Lutherie” in Big Rapids, Michigan. “I went through their master builder program, learning to build flat top acoustic, classical, and carved archtop guitars”
When Chad finished Galloup Luthier school, he returned to Chicago and began repairing guitars at “Rock- n-Roll Vintage” in Chicago. “With a busy repair shop there and the top-notch stock of vintage guitars, I was able to see every kind of repair and restoration project imaginable”. At Rock-n-Roll Vintage, Chad could be found re-setting necks on vintage Martin guitars, performing route repairs on 1950′s Les Pauls, refinishing vintage Fender bodies as well as helping to authenticate new vintage acquisitions. It was really a chance for him to hone his skills in the “vintage” arena and learn the ins and outs of proper, period correct restoration work.
In 2008, Chad left Rock-n-Roll Vintage and started Chicago Guitar & Amplifier. With the new shop came a lot more work, and CG&A quickly became the busiest repair shop in Chicago. With capabilities of vintage correct refinishing and finish touch-up, Chad was “up to his ears” in vintage Fender, Gibson, and Martin guitars in need of restoration. He also had the opportunity to begin building custom guitars for some of Chicago’s most formidable guitarists. It was during the early days of Chicago Guitar & Amplifier that Chad took his refinishing process to the next level: “I was able to recreate vintage-correct original nitrocellulose lacquer recipes and finishing techniques”, “the result is flawless refinish / finish touch up that looks, feels, and reacts just like the vintage guitars do”.
In 2011, Chad moved his shop to central Indiana and rebranded it “CF Restorations”. Chad continues to perform the same incredible work in the peace and quiet of his boyhood hometown. “I’m still doing all of the same restoration work here, and also beginning to produce my own designed acoustic and electric guitars”.