Art Linkletter said many years ago, "People Are Funny!" One could say some people are even obnoxious . . . no new observation there, right?
My workroom, den, rec room and bar are being overrun by cigar box guitars I've been building, even though I've sold some and given others away. So, I decided yesterday morning to place a classified ad on Cigar Box Nation for interested parties to see, with the thought in mind that perhaps I'd sell a few.
Within minutes, I got response. People were looking at my blog to see what I had for sale. And one guy even contacted me by email to share his thoughts. That's where the obnoxious comes along!
The guy questioned my work and the prices. OK, I can live with that. I might even be inclined to make a deal, if I were hearing from someone sensible. But, this guy suggested the reason my prices were out of line is because he could build a better cigar box guitar in a couple hours. It's probably true, and I have read where someone has built multiple instruments in just a day. So, why is he contacting me instead of building one? Just to give me a hard time, I suspect, because I'm not giving the things away!
Some guys are gluing a stick into a cigar box, rough-cutting sound holes in the box, adding an eye bolt for a bridge, more eye bolts for tuners, drawing lines for fret positions or gluing down nails or toothpicks, and stringing it with anything from wire to weedeater string.
I have no problem with that, in fact I respect what they do, but, that's not what I do!
Hell, it takes twenty-four hours for the glue to dry on the neck and fingerboard, to say nothing about the time I spend thinking about a design, locating and/or purchasing the necessary elements that make up the instrument. Each neck, from headstock to tailstock is finished by hand. Every fret (real honest-to-God stainless bulk stock purchased from my friend Ben) is hand finished and set in the neck. Tuners are 'real'. Each cigar box is chosen to fit the design I have in mind, and they are the best I can find from smoke shops around the country (many of the best coming from my friends Jennifer in Houston or Eric in LA), and then, if the design calls for sound holes, they are designed and cut to match the theme. Nuts, bridges and saddles are the result of design and hand finishing. I use 'real' guitar strings (Ernie Ball 10-46 is my favorite). All of the guitars have pickups to amplify sound, some are transducers and others are comercially made. Some of my guitars are fitted with necks from manufacturers like Fender and enhanced with hand-applied pinstriping, which some folks say is 'art'. And, when I'm done creating, I finish each guitar with several coats of oil or poly, which takes more time.
So, Marvin (that's the guy who wrote me), that's why I charge what I do for my guitars! You CAN create your own, or buy something less expensive, and I recommend you do that.