Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Assembly Line For Me!

I appreciate the need for assembly line work, and for those who have the patience for it.  But I learned this past week that it is not for me.

The annual Art Center Holiday Fair is around the corner and they asked that I once again participate, to the tune of displaying for sale, fifteen guitars.

Cruising around my shop and basement rec room, I discovered that I didn't have that many guitars that I wanted to part with.  I've given a bunch away and sold others, so I had to get my butt moving.

I needed to build five guitars in one week, which under normal circumstances would take me about four weeks . . . design necks, headstocks, bodies . . . round up parts . . . measure, cut, slot fingerboards for frets, drill, sand, glue, sand more, apply finish, and install hardware . . . tune, and finally make sure they play well.

"How in hell am I going to do this", I asked myself?  Myself said, "Well, I guess it's time to try the assembly line venture that so many of the guys I know are able to accomplish."

I scratched my head until it bled.  This isn't how I do things.  But, I don't have a choice, I spent too much time recently doing fun stuff, like building a case for Roger, carving six-string guitars, and playing with my new pickup winder.

Got my crap together, literally and figuratively, and away I went --- same neck designs; fret slots cut directly into the necks; same style frets and tuners; same design for nuts, saddles and bridges; similar style cigar boxes.

When the dust settled, I had created five really cool three-string guitars.

I'm happy with the results of the effort, and I will price them to sell at the art fair, because they really are cool.

But, the assembly line routine is not for me.  I don't have the desire nor patience for stuffing round pegs in square holes.  And, I cannot, for the life of me, come to understand how the other guys do it.  But, I've seen some of the 'fast track' creations and they're not what I will ever turn out of my shed.


  1. Very nice blog, thanks for your generous info. More power to you!

  2. Thanks Ed. I cruised over to your site and all I can say is, "Wow", your furniture creations make my stuff look like freshman shop projects.

  3. Hey Jess,

    Check out my buddy Josh playing...that twanger look familiar?