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National ShieldNational Shield~ How to Order a National from Catfish ~

Ordering a National or Scheerhorn is easy.

All I need is your name, shipping address, phone number, email address, payment, and of course, what you want
. Email me at 

FREE SHIPPING in USA (except Alaska & Hawaii), comes with hard case, NO SALES TAX in USA (except Iowa).

Payment options, in US Dollars:

1. Check, cashier's check, money order, or bank draft on a USA bank or bank draft on the Royal Bank of Canada. No fees for any of these.
Send by first class mail to me at my bank:
Keith Kozacik (my "real" name)
c/o West Bank
401 10th Ave.
Coralville, IA  52241  USA

2. Paypal is easy and fastest. This adds Paypal's processing costs of 3 in the USA, 4% outside of the USA. I am happy to send you a Paypal Payment Request email with % added in. Easiest, especially for international orders. You can use credit cards, debit cards, and your bank account with Paypal. PLEASE ASK ME BEFORE YOU PAYPAL, as there may be ways to save money on this. Email or call me at 319-338-3614.

3. Bank Wire. Adds $50 outside of USA, $10 within USA. Please ask for official instructions, I'll email them to you. This method can take the longest internationally (up to a week, maybe more). Not as easy. But from one USA bank to another, it can be almost instantaneous, only costs $10. This usually uses bank routing number and account number. Pretty easy and fast.

Instruments that are In Stock, Available Now:

These can usually ship right away. All instruments ship directly from the National Factory in San Luis Obispo, California, to you. The free shipping (from me) method in USA and Canada is UPS Ground. All shipping outside of USA and Canada, or Overnight, 2nd Day or any other premium shipping services are the actual cost of those services.


Instruments are shipped ready to play, with good action. The normal setup on a guitar is so both picking and slide can be played on it. Usual strings on a regular scaled National Guitar are Medium or Light Gauge John Pearse Phosphor Bronze or 80/20 Bronze. You can request a custom action (BEFORE THE GUITAR IS COMPLETED ONLY), and Scott, the setup guy at National, will make every effort to get it the way you want it. Good idea to have a local luthier or repair person available if you want to tweak the action further.


All Nationals are made with a double trussrod, and are fully adjustable, using a 1/8" Allen Wrench. Please BE CAREFUL if you attempt to adjust this yourself. It's easy to do BUT If you do it wrong, and get a sloppy fit with the Allen Wrench, you can snap the trussrod. Then, you are doomed; there is no adjusting the neck, and the repair involves removing the fingerboard and replacing the trussrod, which is expensive and time consuming. I advise to CALL ONE OF THE GUYS AT NATIONAL and have him walk you through the process. Main thing is a firm snug fit with the wrench before you turn the rod. And, only go a 1/4 turn at a time. Call: 805-546-8442 ext. 11, ask for Shanon, she will get Jason or Scott or Mike or someone to walk you through it. Their hours are Tue-Fri, 9:00am-4:30pm Pacific Time.

Build Orders:

For a guitar that is not in stock, or coming in stock soon, I encourage you to make a build order to get exactly what you want. Timeframes on a build order can take up to several months. Engraved guitars take the longest.

National is very good about getting my orders done as quickly as they can; it depends on their workload and how many guitars are in the queue. Since I always have many guitars ordered, it is quite likely you will get your guitar faster through me than through most any other dealer. I can't promise this, but I CAN promise I sure do try! I do talk to the staff at National almost daily, and will get you an answer as quickly as I can on wherever you need or desire in a National or Scheerhorn.

Custom Orders:

One of the beautiful things about getting a National is how customizable and unique your guitar can be. Any options they do, you can order. That includes finishes, neck and body woods, metals, cutaways, Baritone and 12 String necks, lefty guitars (no extra charge for any lefty, but they do not do lefty cutaways), bindings, headstock overlays, custom duecos, engravings, etchings, tuner upgrades, fingerboard inlays and more. Many of these are at a reasonable cost. And National will combine option costs sometimes; if they don't charge more, I pass that savings to you. So, please, just ask me. Dream up your super dream National, I'll make it happen.

Most of the custom finishes and features do not make a guitar take longer to build. Only highly engraved guitars (like the Don, and Style 1.5, 2, 3, and 4 Tricones) can have a longer timeframe.

There is also a lot of info on National's site:  


National usually uses FedEx or sometimes UPS to ship. When you order from me, shipping in the lower 48 states of the USA is FREE. Every instrument comes with a hard case. Other than that, I charge the actual shipping cost. Please enquire.

When it ships you get a tracking number which is usually accurate as to what day your guitar will arrive.

Import Duty (outside of USA only):

Instruments shipped outside of the USA are usually charged an import duty by the country's government when the instrument arrives. It is the customer's responsibility to pay this when it arrives. Duty price is based on the declared value. National declares value of 60% of the list price, so you are dutied on an amount quite a bit lower than the actual price you pay on the guitar/uke/mandolin.

If you are coming to the USA, I can arrange to have your guitar shipped to you for free shipping, and what you do about duty, or not, is your businiess. This can save you a LOT of money and I've done it several times, successfully. This includes customized guitars. 

Return Policy:

You can return an instrument if it and the case are still brand new (no scratches or wear of any kind) within 2 days of receiving it. You must pay for shipping both ways, fully insured, and any transaction fees that were charged to the seller. Custom and/or customized instrument sales are final. This includes instruments that have any custom alterations/options including adding pickups, strap button, etc.


National will install pickups to guitars still not complete, OR on already completed instruments, but ask for cost. It costs more (an hourly shop price) to take a completed guitar apart, install pickup, then reassemble it.  

Bottom line, National will do a great job installing whatever you need.

This adds very little time to your build, and can be added to any in-assembly instrument and installed expertly and quickly, often, likely the same day it ships at the National Factory. On a guitar one end of your strap goes on the tailpiece screw, the other end, on the strap button, which National installs on the heel of the neck. Strap button install is $10 on not yet complete guitars. $35 including labor on a guitar already packed up. The picture of me below clearly shows the strap button end located on the neck's heel of my M1 Baritone. This is where they install them.

Pickups include:

Keith with his M1 Baritone TriconeHighlander IP-1X (for single cone only) $450, installed. These are great sounding pickups, the absolute best if you want the real acoustic sound of a National, amplified. They are powered with a preamp, and have an external battery box that holds a 9v battery.

More on Highlanders at:   Highlanders are best for using though a PA or acoustic amp.

National Slimline (for any single and tricone and spidercone guitars) $280, installed. These are passive (no battery) and have an electric guitar-type of tone. Sounds great through an electric guitar amp, but not like your National actually sounds.

Charlie Christian Lollar (for any single cone, tricone, or spidercone guitar) $400, installed, only on build orders. These are passive also with an electric guitar tone, with clearer, cleaner highs, no distortion. They also require a hole in the top of the guitar. Also good through an electric guitar amp. These are installed on the BLACK RUST DELUXE models.

Hotplate (for single cone only) $400, installed. This is a nifty coverplate replacement designed by Mike Dowling that has a lipstick Lollar pickup, volume and tone control knobs, and jack plugin all on the coverplate. Good through an electric guitar amp. And an electric guitar.

Please do feel free to call me at 319-338-3614 or email me at
National ShieldI will respond as quickly and completely as I can, 24/7/366 (includes leap year).

yours,   Catfish

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