About Chicago Fret Works

Thousands of satisfied customers • Thousands of set-ups and electronic repairs • Hundreds of neck resets, refins, and refrets • Sixteen skilled hands • Eight experienced technicians (and two dogs) • One Shop

Dan Wolf

Dan Wolf

Owner/Luthier

Since 1997, thousands of players, collectors, and enthusiasts from around the country have turned to Dan for their most challenging and difficult repairs. Top crack on your Taylor? Fractured headstock on your vintage Les Paul? A neck reset on your prewar Martin? When Dan’s finished you’ll forget it ever happened as you return to making music with your favorite partner. Dan began learning his craft in 1996 at Red Wing Technical College (Now Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical) in Red Wing, MN. He and his wife live on the north side of Chicago with their dog, CFW greeter Reese. Dan loves taking in live music and rooting for almost all of Chicago’s sports teams.

Steve Baker

Steve Baker

Owner/Luthier

Steve began working on guitars in 2000 at Bryan Galloup’s School of Luthiery. Prior to that, he spent 5 years teaching high school English in Chicago and the southwest suburbs. Over the years, Steve has established a reputation as a knowledgeable, honest, and skilled repairman. He particularly enjoys working on guitar electronic repairs and reviving old guitars that have been in hiding for a while. He lives in the Lincoln Square neighborhood with his family and occasional substitute shop-dog Olivia.

Pat McKeever

Patrick McKeever

Amp Repair and Service (lead technician)

Since 2000, Chicago guitarists and bassists have turned to Pat for complete servicing of their amplifiers. He prides himself on helping musicians “find their tone – the sound that you hear in your head – the way your gear ought to sound.” He trained at the Electronic Institutes of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1985, and has spent the years since focusing on how to get great sounds out of guitar and bass amps. Pat has been a professional bass player and a regular in the Chicago Blues scene for some 25 years, performing and touring with Eddie Clearwater, Willie Kent, and Guy King among others. He also hand-builds the beautiful Fender-inspired Sweet Amplifiers .

Joe Swierupski

Joe Swierupski

Guitar Technician

Prior to joining Chicago Fret Works in the summer of 2011, Joe was part of the customer support team at Fender Guitars in Scottsdale, AZ. Before that, He taught guitar building at the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix. He brings a deep understanding of guitar construction and repair along with a dedication to customer service.  Joe now lives in the Wicker Park area of Chicago with his wife and two dogs. When he’s not repairing guitars, he plays Australian Rules Football (an actual sport!) and was a member of the 2012 National Champion Chicago Swans!

Franz Schuck

Franz Schuck

Guitar Technician

Franz Schuck joined Chicago Fret Works in the spring of 2014 and quickly became the go-to guy for most of our day-to-day repairs. A  Loyola University Philosophy graduate, Franz will happily discuss the works of Descartes, Kant, Clapton, Cooder, and Allman with you between set-ups. During his college years, he spent his summers beekeeping in North Dakota and also started Loyola University’s Organic student farm in Woodstock, IL. Franz hopes the bees return to glory soon along with his Chicago White Sox.

Alex Gustafson

Alex Gustafson

Guitar Technician

Hailing from western Illinois, Alex started here in the spring of 2015. He studied guitar building and repair at Bryan Galloup’s School of Guitar Building and Repair after deciding that cubicle life wasn’t for him. He loves quirky vintage guitars and is a true outdoorsman with tree tattoos to prove it.  He and his wife live in nearby Ravenswood, close enough to walk to work!

Jacob Wilson

Jacob Wilson

Amp Technician

Jacob was originally self-taught on electronics but joined Chicago Fret Works in the spring of 2015 after years of experience repairing guitar and bass amps as well as audio and hifi equipment. Like most amp techs, Jacob loves working on classic circuits and vintage tube amps but he’s not afraid of more modern solid state technology either!

Reese

Reese

Security/Greeter

The first employee to join CFW, Reese is always happy to see you. He enjoys greeting customers, especially young ones, with a tail wag and the occasional kiss. When he’s not on duty, he likes playing frisbee on the lakefront, camping, and sitting on sofas.

Olivia

Olivia

Security/Greeter

Sometimes Reese needs a day off too. When he does, you’ll often find sweet Livy here to take over tail-wagging duties. She would love it if you’d put down that guitar and throw her ball please.

“Guys, I’m a fan. I have spent thirty years playing and you have the ability to make my guitar play great – finally. The set up today at first scared me only because well, it was new. Now I’m hooked. I'm bringing my two other Fenders in for set ups. Thank you again.”

Howard

“You set up my Epiphone Masterbilt over the weekend and it plays gorgeously. Wow, what a nice difference. Very nice work.”

Justin H.

“Thanks for your expert set-up on my Martin. I had been plagued with problems since I purchased it two years ago. It now plays with ease and sounds absolutely wonderful. I will certainly recommend you to my fellow students at the Old Town School of Folk Music if they are in need of your services.”

Ernie S.

“I would like to thank you for the work you did on my Epiphone Les Paul a few weeks ago. The new pickups sound great, the bone nut performs flawlessly, and you did a wonderful job fixing the action. It’s almost as if you transformed it into a Gibson!”

Mike S.

“I brought my 6 string Seagull in to get ‘The Works.’ Your service was great and my guitar is working wonderfully. Thanks.”

Jesse B.

“Thanks for the great fret job and general maintenance on my Martin OM41. It sounds freakin’ awesome again. To quote a famous Austrian immigrant once-Mr. Universe turned action movie hero turned governor turned nanny-boinker: ‘I’ll be back’.”

James C. - Chicago

“To all who have a ‘classic’ guitar, rest assured - the guys at Chicago Fretworks are truly masters! They called at every step to give me updates, and my old Gibson Dove plays better now than when I purchased it over 30 years ago. I highly recommend them to all considering work on your ‘baby’!”

Tim S.