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Everything posted by NotYou

  1. Congrats on everything! I bet deciding you needed to rank things up was a good feeling. Nothing like evidence of progress. That's a big space too! I used to have 300sf and didn't know what to do with all of it. I'm at 250sf right now and it's comfortable. Granted, I'm just one person (and that's not changing) with only so much stuff and I'm certainly not teaching anybody, let alone five people. That must be exciting. You seem to be doing something right. Keep it up!
  2. Hey! I haven't been in this site for a while and just saw this. I've been really busy. I didn't float away. Denver didn't really flood outside of small, annoying flash floods that soak your shoes. I walk, bike, or take the train everywhere, so I got pretty damn tired of being wet. I've NEVER seen that kind of rain around here. Not even anything close. It was about as weird as snow in Florida. Weird weather is kind of "our thing", though. Today it snowed a bunch after three days of autumn. If it's 90 degrees on Monday, nobody will be surprised. Scott, I actually moved downtown/uptown recently (right where downtown, uptown, and cap hill meet. Your son probably knows what I mean). The day I got my new job I started looking for appartments and left as soon as possible. Rent in this area is about 3x as much as the rest if the city, so my place is tiny, but absolutely love it. This area is ideal for me.
  3. Consider one of these too. Tried one once and it worked surprisingly well. Not sure it's what you need, but a $10 wrench is a lot cheaper than a new neck. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Truss_rods/Wrenches,_hex_keys/Gripper_Truss_Rod_Wrenches.html
  4. Photos, for sure. I had that problem with a welded on adjustment nut before and couldn't find a reasonable way to fix it. I used a Dremel and cut a slot into the end of it, so I could use a flathead screwdriver. Worked perfectly. That was on a personal guitar I won't sell, so I was okay with an odd fix like that. It's not exactly a professional way of going about it. At all. I used a diamond coated needle bit (you can find whole sets for surprisingly cheap), so I could push the bit perpendicular to the nut. For other styles, StewMac sells kits to remove and replace the nuts. I've never tried them, though. Edit: This the (very expensive) kit I was talking about. It works with the threaded rods Swed mentions bellow. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Truss_rods/Special_tools_for:_Truss_rods/Truss_Rod_Rescue_Kit.html?tab=Details
  5. Yeah, I gave up on that design a while back. I'm back to all clear finishes and natural looks. I still use the knobs and recess them, but not with that sleek look.
  6. Most people haven't, it seems. Most parts I buy on there are 50-70% off retail. It's pretty amazing. They also have a lot of parts I've never seen before. They have a couple styles of knurled brass knobs that I'm love with. I've been using them quite a bit lately: They have long shafts that are more narrow than the top, so they're perfect for sinking into the body almost invisibly. I stripped, distressed, and aged these, but this is (was?) the other type of brass knob. Smaller with a flat top: Anyhow, that's nothing important. I'm just always excited to find new stuff I've never seen before and they have plenty of that.
  7. I thought Paulie was American. I guess I never actually checked, though. There a lot of Austrialians on this site too. I tend to assume a person is one or the other automatically. And then there's Wes, from Texas. What the f*ck is that all about?
  8. The cool thing is lawyers aren't allowed in small claims court. The judge would have to hear his insane ranting right from the source.
  9. I'd be willing to bet money he won't sue. People like that get off on that kind of thing. I'm sure he has a friend or family member with a halfway normal brain who will tell him it's a lost cause. Also, if he yells at you and tells everybody his version of the story, he'll always be "right". If he sues, he risks having a judge tell him *officially* that he's full of sh*t. When you break down the thought process of an idiot like that, it's not about money. Somewhere deep in his irrational, irate brain he knows it was all his doing and he'd have to be completely insane to take legal action. But, he could be insane. People have done stupider things. I'd still make that bet he won't wont sue, though.
  10. I'd vote for larger bushings as well. I've come across this problem a few times, usually when doing alterations for people. Plugging the holes can give surprisingly crappy results. No matter how well it's done, there is a great chance for it to muddy up your tone. I didn't believe it at first, but I've experienced it first hand. In theory, making plugs with horizontal grain (probably on a lathe), as opposed to dowels, then lining the grain up with the body grain should help the problem. YMMV. In contrast to that, it always seemed like a bad idea to glue them in to me, but I've had amazing results that way. If I do that, I like to attach strings and tighten them just a little right after applying the glue. That way it sets in the right position and won't shift or come undone when you string it up. It still* seems* like a bad idea to me, but it really works and won't kill your tone. But, like Swed said, it can make future repairs and alterations a pain. And like Swed also said, we could go around and around about the tonal effects. My experiences are just my experiences. Others could have done the exact same things with opposite results. So, back to my first comment, larger bushings are the way I'd go if possible. I like to go for larger ones in general, even without this issue, so it's win/win in my opinion. WDMusic is a good source for parts like that. WDBiz.com is their wholesale/discounted store. You need to be in business (retail, manufacturer, or repairs) to get an account, but you might be able to with some clever wording. Then you can get all those kinds of parts ridiculously cheap.
  11. Thanks for the input. I think we're going ahead with the whole thing. For now, she'll just get a cut of what she sells and if anything is made from trade shows or events, so no big loss if it doesn't work out. I'm pretty confident it will, though. I know it sounds iffy doing this with somebody who has no experience in this business outside of living with me, but this is one person I've learned to not underestimate. Also, she's an extremely talented musician and crazy hot, which will help a ton with customers, and she has the right badass attitude and loads of passion. I think she's going to be amazing at it. She's not going to manage my schedule or anything like that. I have no doubt she's going to be kicking my ass to be productive, but her job is going to be dealing with customers, selling the guitars, organizing shows and events, and general marketing. Every aspect of the guitar work will be entirely on me. I contacted a guy a few days ago about helping me wire, fret, and setup guitars as needed, but he hasn't responded. I never wanted outside help like that, but I spend a significant amount of time on that stuff and paying somebody else could really speed things up and pay off quickly. I'm in business because my of talents regarding designing, building, etc, etc, so getting somebody to do that straight forward work isn't a comprise, in my opinion.
  12. I've had some dumb customers (my most recent being the worst), but nothing like that. If you would have paid him anything I would have facepalmed my head off. Keeping your cool is very under appreciated. When I worked in NYC I got plenty of practice staying calm in the face of irate people. Nothing will piss an angry person off more than somebody who won't get angry back at them. You'll come out on top every time. It's especially effective if other people are around. They'll eventually realize how insane it looks to be red faced and yelling while the other person doesn't look bothered. It also works with physically aggressive people. Losing a fight is one thing, but threatening a person who shrugs you off like you're a ten year old kid is humiliation on a whole different level. (Shrugging a person off and backing down are two very different things, just to be clear.)
  13. Well, somebody had to make a thread here eventually. I'm wondering how the rest of you handle the representation issue or at least how you view it. There have been builders -albeit not many- who never get represented by anybody and do great. Personally, I couldn't do that. I know my strengths and weaknesses and I need somebody else to handle that part of things. I'm curious in general how you all deal with trying to gain exposure. I bet some don't even bother. Some guys probably do it on their own and are successful. This is a young industry and there isn't a whole lot of talk on the subject. That's the real topic. This post isn't about my issue. Anything below this sentence is basically my response to my question (and a request for opinions about it). It ended up way longer than expected. --------------------------------------- Here's my issue: I've been with Destroy All Guitars for a few years now and they've been great to me. I haven't even looked around at other dealers or anything like that because I haven't seen a reason too. Recently, I've been thinking of finding new ways to handle business. Things have been a little stagnant, but no part of me believes it needs to be. Cliff at DAG is dealing with an impossible amount of crap. I won't go into detail here, but he is one tough sonofabitch. They're still fantastic, but I can't help but feel I could get more accurately represented by somebody who isn't dealing with as much in their personal life. That doesn't mean I'd leave them, I'd just branch out. I'm actually very loyal to them and thankful for them. I'll stick with DAG until one of us goes under or they give me the boot for some reason. I've always viewed Cliff as an agent and that's how he describes himself too. He only gets paid when sells something, there's no formal contract between us, he handles a great deal of the logistics, emailing, etc, etc. It's the same thing an agent would do for a writer or any kind of artist. Here's what I'm getting at: My roommate wants to represent me. She has no reputation or experience in the boutique guitar world of any kind (except for being my friend), but I honestly think that could be benificial in this case. She has an amazing talent for networking, finding people, impressing people, and generally getting people to admire and listen to her. I honestly think she'd do a truly amazing job. Her lack of experience in this industry should actually result in an agent who is more passionate about representing my work, as opposed to dealing with many builders and spreading it out. She's also a legitimately great guitarist and she's crazy hot. Let's be honest, that's going to give her a huge advantage. Also: Tonight I had the idea of making her my manager. That's something I've never seen a builder do, but I'm loving the idea so far. I'm terrible with all that crap. I never do trade shows or events or anything because I just want to build. She would handle all that stuff and I'd give her a cut of what I make overall. It would cost me money (percentage, no wages), but I'd go from zero trade shows (or ANYTHING) to all sorts of benificial things without having to do all that stuff I hate. And, again, I think she'd be amazing at it and she really wants to do it. So, I'm curious what others think about that, especially the manager thing. This is basically a new industry and there really is no best way of doing things. Like I said, I'm terrible with that stuff. I do best when I can be creative and work my skills while letting somebody else handle that part. I think it could really kick start this thing.
  14. For sure. I know of numerous ways to stuff and grill mushrooms (especially portobelli). If you're creative, you can grill some amazing stuff without meat. I actually eat fish on occasion, so I'm not so bad. I'm not against meat, I just stopped liking it and felt street without it. I still LOVE the smell of BBQ. I even have some catfish in the fridge right now waiting for the grill.
  15. I'm admittedly a vegetarian, so I wouldn't have been any help either.
  16. Very good idea. That's perfect for this forum. I know quite a few builders who reference this site all the time and a lot of guys just starting who are trying to figure the business out. This place has been priceless to me when I was learning and I still learn a lot from it. I would have loved to have had that section a few years ago. I get contacted by a lot of guys wanting to get into the business with questions about how to do it right. There really isn't a right way and my way only works if you do everything else just like I do. A section with a lot of opinions and experiences should be a great thing. I also wrote a long post directly related to this topic, but accidentally erased it. I might write again later.
  17. I had a great night tonight making pasta and blasting some Muddy Waters with some Spanish wine. Not exactly BBQ & blues... or beer, but if you're willing to compromise, I'm willing to accept it.
  18. I just fixed a friend's guitar after the headstock broke off. It looked exactly like that. It could just be a scratch, but, in my experience, when a headstock breaks off or starts breaking off, the fracture tends to be about where that crack is. (after zooming in, it doesn't quite have the right look for a fracture. Hard to tell, though) It could also be a line from a repair. Sometimes when they break off, the finish chips away a little and leaves a visible line like that. But, it could just be a scratch. Thumb rings were hot sh*t for a bit in the 90s.
  19. Absolutely. A lot of artist stereotypes are very true and I'm guilty of many of them. He really seems to understand that and has been very accommodating. Most people don't get artists and would have given up on people like me and my brand of shenanigans. Creative people tend to think in unusual ways in just about every aspect and he seems to understand that. If we're honest, trying to build guitars for a living is a pretty eccentric venture. You can't reasonably expect all of us to be normal, standup citizens, especially those of us who are artists. He's lucky I only light my guitars on fire sometimes.
  20. Everything is up to Cliff. He acts as an agent for the builders and everybody else is there for finances, etc.. I'm pretty sure everybody involved is family, actually. I've gotten to know his wife a little and am Facebook friends with her and their son and both of them are involved. Anyhow, he does have set criteria. He just takes on builders he sees potential in. He used to be a very successful producer (he discovered Vai and Satriani) and knows to just trust his gut. That's how he explained it to me, at least. He also likes to find builders who are trying to establish a name. That way the builder grows with DAG, which prevents a stagnant business relationship and helps long term. Right after he took me on (I had established no reputation at that point) he told me he turned down Monteleone. That guy is a f***ing legend! (I won't lie, my ego hit an all time high at that moment). But, he's already very well established and pretty old. Cliff was afraid he'd sell his guitars for a few years, then he'd retire and that'd be that. Even though he likely could have made a lot of money from him, he wasn't interested. I found that amazing. He contacted me first. I'm pretty sure that's how he normally does it. My goal when I first began building for money was to get onto DAG sometime within the next 10 years. He contacted me when I was just a few months into it. When I saw the email in my inbox I about crapped my pants. That's just me, though. It's not like being on DAG is guaranteed success or anything, but it was a big goal of mine and I was very inspired by those builders and the whole concept of DAG. At that point in my career I was more flattered than anything. If you're around he'll know about you. I've known guys who contacted him and I thought they were perfect for DAG, but I never heard from them again. He's not just looking for great builders. If it doesn't feel right to him, he won't go for it. He also tends to take on just one builder for each "type" of guitar. For instance, he told me once he was looking his Tele guy, but there are countless Tele builders out there. The guys like me, who build more "artsy" and strictly one-off instruments, are all very different from each other. Org and I get compared a lot (at least I get that) because we both lean toward the rustic side, but our work and approach is still very different. None of our instruments resemble the other person's at all. Keep in mind, I can't speak for Cliff. I'm just explaining my experience and what he's told me. What it actually takes to get on DAG could be different in his mind. Honestly, even with what he's explained to me, I'm still not sure. Just be unique, show your skill, and hope for the best.
  21. I bet you have. When you and I first got on DAG I constantly got comments from people comparing us, since we seem to be the two utilizing that "style". Honestly, my guitars just end up however they do because that's how I feel that particular one should look. I've never tried for a style, but, for better or worse, that beat up look is definitely what I became known for. As far as business goes, it's great. There is very little to compete with in that niche, so most guitars sell immediately. If not for you, I could probably charge whatever I wanted. Anyhow, I agree about using a third party. DAG is my only dealer at the moment, because I want to keep things simple (I had two at one point and it somehow confused the hell out of people) and I try to have them handle all the customers. It's always simpler for me and with custom builds it's 1000x easier. Unlike me, Cliff is good at keeping the custom process very simple for people. I occasionally get a person who refuses to deal with anybody but me and I hate that. Even though I don't lose out on their commission, it requires me to deal with all the customer stuff and logistics, which, except for rare customers, I hate doing. Also, I would have been out of business a long time ago if not for Cliff, so I feel bad not going through them. They're the main way people find me, without question.
  22. Thanks! I wish I could have gotten all the insects holes and all that in the photos, but I had to rush. It was like a ten minute shoot, then I immediately had to toss it in a box and ship it. The black area in the back has a few small spots where the wood is opened up somehow. Even the binding has burrow holes through it.
  23. Thank you! Scott, I had a little ironwood left. It's all gone now, though. There a strip of it going through the middle of the neck, about 1" thick. You can't see it unless you're up close, but it makes a huge difference in the tone. Hopefully I'll be able to track some more of that down somehow.
  24. Thank you! Black walnut is my favorite wood for guitars, especially for necks. Highly underrated, in my opinion. It has all the good tonal qualities of maple, but without the intense high end. It also has a unique timbre. Most woods are described as "woody" or "bell-like", but black walnut somehow seems to be both. It has plenty of that bell-like power, but still sounds very organic and woody. It's also one of the easiest woods to work with. The only real downside is the toxicity. The dust causes my eyelids to swell and it's hell on you mucus membranes and lungs. It's a little on the heavy side too, but that doesn't bother me, personally.
  25. Well, I didn't exactly post any more progress here. Even the original photo links are broken now, it seems (I'll see if I can fix that in a minute). But, it's done. I submitted it for GOTM. Here's my post: "Grendel" I bought this top wood a couple years ago and set it aside for a time when I felt the right inspiration for it. The wood knots act as f-holes would. I stabilized them in a few different ways, most notably by saturating the cracks with thin CA. I was afraid of them spreading, but they're not going anywhere. After two years of being on a shelf and moving to three new studios, they haven't budged. There are tons of little details throughout the neck and body that aren't in the photos. On the side is a large gap (insect damage, I assume) that I coated with copper dust and gave a deep patina to (sort of a geode look). Some of that copper mesh sits in place of the binding near the neck, as well as pieces of bone in various areas of the binding. There are also a lot of insect holes and subtle rustic details I couldn't get in photos. Even the fretboard has a faint green tinge around the frets to give the impression of old age. Instead of one big control cavity, I made a separate, small cavity for each pot and the jack. It took a lot more work, but I think it looks much nicer and interesting than a big cavity would have. The hardware took quite a bit of effort to pull off, especially the bridge. It's well known among metal finishers that aluminum is practically impervious to oxidation and any type of aging or patina. I really wanted to use that bridge, so I put on my wizard hat and my chemist's pants and eventually - after many experiments with various chemicals, processes, and blow torches - managed that aged look and the patina. The mesh parts are blackened copper. It sounds beautiful and very appropriate for the aesthetic style. The semi-hollow qualities really shine through, but it still has plenty of punch and even a bit of twang when unplugged. Overall, it has a pretty broad high/low range and a mean woody character. I think it's ideal for the type of dirty blues I meant it for. The neck is very large, which is my preference. It's more comfortable when playing for long periods and just feels "right" to me. Honestly, I was concerned when the person who bought it was a woman, because I made it for large hands. But, I had my petite 5'2" roommate try it out and she loved how it felt. Anyhow, here she is. My guitars often cause love-or-hate reactions (which is totally okay with me) and I'm always curious to see which way it goes. Some specs: Top: spalted maple Body: wormy maple, wormy black walnut - semi-hollow Neck: goncalo alves, ironwood - thick C shape Fretboard: goncalo alves Scale length: 24.75" Fret: 22 - nickel - reliced Pickups: handwound PAF style humbuckers - copper mesh covers Controls: blend pickups, master volume, master tone (all hardware is heavily distressed and aged/blackened) Bridge: wraparound - aluminum Tuners: Grover Sta-tites - nickel Knobs: brass Nut: bone
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