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Entry for August 2019's Guitar Of The Month is now open!


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About Shay

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  1. Picked up an after market middle of the road maple neck with a maple fretboard on eBay recently. Now this was suppose to be a completely finished ready to go neck with frets and all, all set up. So, for the most part it's right on, everything's good. The back of the neck seems to have a CLEARCOAT on it, your hand slides nicely along it and it feels good and plays well. Now the fretboard appears to have no finish on it at all. Now Is this a standard thing for a maple fretboard? Or do they usually have a CLEARCOAT also? It seems to me like it should.. Does Fenders strats that come with maple fretboards have a CLEARCOAT on them? Or is there something else to use? The fretboard plays and feels terrible the way it is now, so I'm wondering what I can use to get this thing straightened around?
  2. So what did you come up with? Did you end up using it?
  3. I'm replacing a neck on a guitar, I picked the neck up on eBay and it was a standard fender strat type maple neck with a standard clear coat finish on it. I of course have sanded off a big part of the clear coat when I worked the heel to achieve a proper fit, as well as the neck had some deep scratches in the finish I wasn't happy with. Now I am in a bit of a hurry and need to get this done quickly, so what I'm wondering Is, can I use a standard rattle can clear coat that you can purchase in one of the big box stores? Will this work for me? Can I achieve the same outcome that your typical maple neck has? I would use nitro, but when I purchased it in the past it took a couple weeks to get through the mail and I don't know anywhere else to get it at locally. So I'm just looking for some input on the best way to get this neck finished and what I can use.
  4. I was a little Leary of Ben and His videos when I first started watching these type of videos but as I started running out of videos to watch that I hadn't already saw, so I gave it a try one day I started watching one of His custom build series videos and I thought that He was very imformative and was also building a nice instrument. It seems that He was really concerned with giving the customer the quality they deserved in a custom build. Now I'm not really into all that electronic stuff he seems to add to His builds sometimes, like piezo system, moog board the sustainer pickup. I guess it's good to see the installation of that stuff but I just think too much of it isn't always a good thing. I happen to like the sustainer pickup but not a fan of the rest of it. I saw recently where they installed a set of those truetemperment frets in a guitar and I found that interesting. But I agree, He does ramble on a bit, but then He must be doing something right because 4 or 5 years ago He was building guitars out of his shed in the backyard by himself and today He's got 15 plus employees and I think we all know how difficult it is in this business just to make enough to take care ourself let alone 15 others. But he obviously works hard at it, He seems to put out a new video every other day and his business is constantly growing.
  5. Fantastic thread! Once I started it I couldn't put it down until the end. First of all congratulations on celebrating your recent anniversary, I also reached a milestone in my recovery last year when on July 3rd I celebrated 10 yrs. of good clean healthy sober living. I also recently came across this forum, so I'm a newbie or maybe a transplant. I used to spend a lot of time hanging around motorcycle building forums (another weakness of mine). I have a question or two for you if you don't mind, I was wondering what method you use to press your frets into your fretboard, are you using a caul on a drillpress or do you use the luthier hammer ( the one with shot in the hammer head) to beat them in like Ben Crowe does? I've always used my drillpress but recently I caught a video of Ben doing it with a hammer and that seemed to work very well. I was always afraid of causing damage using a hammer. I also couldn't help notice that you must be an avid you-tube watcher like I am. Its amazing what a great learning tool it is! I've picked up a ton of great guitar building tricks. Well I'm excited to see what you come up with for the guitars finish, and I'll keep an eye out for your future builds. I see your also a Midwesterner like myself. I live in Nw Ohio. So that gives us both plenty of building time during winter months of course. Oh, also one more thing. How did you do the lettering that you put on the trust rod cover. I think that really looks great, I have recently been trying to get together a set up to print my own headstock logos, I want to be able to Change them so they can be different on each guitar, like color and size and maybe change the wording but I'm having a difficult time getting it done. I had a printer do them in the past but that could start being an unnecessary expense. I have everything at home to do it. OK WELL ITS GOOD TALKING TO YA' PEACE,. -SHAY
  6. Both of these jigs are great ideas, and they work great. I use similar jigs, and as Skyjerk was saying, you can find on you-tube a couple videos on both of these jigs. There use to be a guy on the forums that built and sold the same jig for doing the fretboard radius, but I haven't seen him around in a while. Also what I have found that worked out well for me was, I ended up picking up this mini tablesaw, they have them for doing hobbies and I think Ryobi sells one. I ended up getting mine at harbor freight and they sell a 4" saw blade for that in the thinner size. I think mine is .022" or somewhere in that neighborhood.i set it up for cutting fret slots basically the same way Skyjerk did and it works great. I'm in the process of modifying my jig right now so I can cut fret slots for multi-scale fretboards. And they take up very little space as well as they are relatively cheap, I think I paid $45 for the saw.
  7. Thanks, I definitely will check these out, it sounds like it may be what I'm looking for.
  8. I've heard Sully on The Luthierist podcast talk about using it himself as a grain filler and having good results. But it think I'll stick with my elmers wood grain filler and a little water, but it's good to know that if I run out of the elmers the replacement is only as far away as the refrigerator.
  9. Just after reading the first two paragraphs of this response, I knew who the author was without even seeing the closing signature. And I had no idea He frequented this forum. I'm greatful for your input Perry, because I have followed you closely for a while now. I listen to you on the Luthierist podcast with Sully and I've heard all the great advice you've given for new people just getting into the business. I've also seen pictures of the car you drive so I know your doing something right. Ha -Ha I've heard the stories that both you and Sully have shared about your early days in business and how much it took to finally turn the corner and start seeing some success. So thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule and sharing that advice.. -Peace, Shawn K.
  10. I've been trying to make my own headstock decal recently, but haven't had much luck. I've got a laptop and an inkjet printer as well as water slide decal paper. I'm just not sure how to accomplish it. I have a font that I found on a website that I've laid out the lettering in. I'd like to use that for my decal, but I'm not sure how to set it up so I can print it off.,I need to be able to change color and size as well as add or changes words as well. Some say use photoshop, but when I tried that I couldn't seem to go anywhere with it. So if anyone can help with some advice I would certainly appreciate it.
  11. Being a guitar player for fourty years and a part time luthier for the past twenty. And I'm talking about just doing set ups and repairs for friends and family as well as a little word of mouth work sent from the local music stores. (Most of which no longer exist due to the larger store chains and the internet). I guess that I have always planned on having a little music based business for myself when I retired. I thought about opening a small shop and maybe doing some guitar work and lessons and then sell some gear and accessories. We'll that was the plan but recently in the last couple years I've gotten the guitar building bug like so many others have. And I started building a few years back. I've done some complete builds as well as kits and also pieced together some stuff from buying necks and making the bodies myself. I have worked in the trades for almost thirty years and have a ton of skills when it comes to building things, especially woodworking. I also grew up in a family owned automotive body shop and have been fixing cars and reprinting them since I was around 15 or so. I have continued to do this work on the side for years also. I buy a lot of salvage title cars, from insurance co. Auctions and repair them. So I have a lot of experience with paint work and finishes. The automotive paint and guitar paint are very similar. I also have a lot of friends and family that are very experienced painters. I also consider myself to be a pretty talented artist, I draw things very well and seem to be very creative. So I think that all this would give me a good vase to start building and selling guitars like so many are now doing. About seven years ago when the economy went into the recession I decided to get out of the trades, mostly because the work had dried up. I also was pretty tired of it. I ended up getting a good job working in the transportation business and have been driving for the same co. Ever since. But about four months ago the co. I work for lost a very big contract and as a result i ended up getting my work hours cut to about twenty hours a week and my pay cut to les then 50% of what I started at. So know I find myself with all of this extra time and very little income. Also I had just purchased a new house right before my jobs cut backs as well as having four kids, two of them are starting college in the next couple years. Now I have a fully functional workshop set up in my basement with about every tool I could need. So I plan on getting started on this music business thing, but because I don't really want to sink the money into an inventory or renting a store front, I plan on just building some boutique guitars and selling them and keeping my costs down by working out of my home. And this is where my question comes in, my biggest concern is how do you go about building a customer base and how do you find people who are willing to pay boutique prices. I'm just afraid that I would build a bunch of guitars and they would just sit and never sell, even if they are great guitars and well built. I'm just amazed by these guys building guitars for $3k a piece and they have a waiting list. What's the trick to this? Is there that kind of need for these guitars out there? I see some of these custom built guitars on e-abay and the prices they are asking and it's hard to believe that these things are selling. Are they? Well I'm hoping that some of you guys that have built a good business can help me by answering some of my concerns. I spend a ton of time watching videos on u-tube and listening to podcast about it. And the one subject that's never talked about is the sales side of things, like how many guitars a month you can sell and how to go about finding customers or maybe selling your guitars to retail music stores. Well I think I've gone on enough now so I'll shut up and wait to hear some input.
  12. This is a beautiful guitar, I am enjoying this thread very much. Do you have other build threads on this forum? If so I've got to check those out, I can tell your a very patient and meticulous builder. Those are qualities that make the best Luthier. Their's nothing like a well thought out project. I was always taught that 50% of it was in the planning and the other 50% was paying attention to the details, mix in a little paitence and creativity and you'll never go wrong, But I have a feeling you've already figured this out. Ha-ha Beautiful Job my friend! I Love It!
  13. Wow, amazing build! Really glad I joined this forum!
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