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my first commission to build


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i've been doing this for several years now

started out learning how to set-up, install nuts, etc on yard sale cheapies

the first one was a cort ferarri II i believe

then on to fret work

i've got stew/macs neck jig in my shop along with all the other goodies needed to do quality work

i've built & done repair work for friends & family

all of the items in my collection (strat, 2 teles, early '80's kramer baretta, epi les paul w/chambered body & f-holes....) have been bought needing something to allow them to play well for the class-room opportunity

i'm to the point i'm currently building for myself a laminated (maple/purpleheart in the neck, mahogany/maple/purpleheart in the body wings) neck through 24 fret 7 string baritone on a 30" scale length

i don't yet have all of the heavy woodworking tools needed to be productive on scratchbuilts so i'm carving it out by hand...router, files, sandpaper,etc

finally last weekend a guy, after checking the work finished & in progress on my own stuff commissioned me to build one for him

it'll be a mahogany tele with reverse rout, fixed bridge & humbuckers (yet to be decided on), strat style switching

neck will be maple w/tele headstock, boat neck profile, 1 3/4" nut width (the guy has huge hands), 6100 fretwire

quite a rush finally after all the study & head scratchin to finally have reached the level where someone is willing to pay...cool!

once i learn how to load pictures to the forum i'll post a few as it comes along

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Your story is quite an inspiration to me. All I've ever done is tech work for friends, and my only payment has been beer or :D

I've been wanting to build my own for a long time now, got lots of original ideas, but I allways figured that I wouldnt make any money to justify all the work thats needed, and to cover the investment in tools and such.

I'm very happy for you, and I hope this starts up a trend for you as well!

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Your story is quite an inspiration to me. All I've ever done is tech work for friends, and my only payment has been beer or :D

I've been wanting to build my own for a long time now, got lots of original ideas, but I allways figured that I wouldnt make any money to justify all the work thats needed, and to cover the investment in tools and such.

I'm very happy for you, and I hope this starts up a trend for you as well!

if it's what you want to do...set your mind to it & never settle for less

it happens slowly, that's why i still have a day job...but as your competance in your craft progresses it will happen!

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if it's what you want to do...set your mind to it & never settle for less

it happens slowly, that's why i still have a day job...but as your competance in your craft progresses it will happen!

Thanks for the kind words Daddy Ray :D I definately plan on doing it as soon as I have the spare cash for power tools and enough wood to make my mistakes on. I got a space to do my building and crafting, I got the time, and best of all, I got acess to the advice and knowledge that's in this forum. I just pretty much lack the money (credit card debt) to get up and running.

I know alot of people in this forum make guitars just for fun, which I'm sure its a whole lot of fun to do. But to make money at doing something you love to do, is the dream of dreams. Second to winning the lottery anyway.

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they will be at cornerstone music festival in illinois next summer

i'll have 2 of em on stage

Where's the festival? I'm in Wisconsin and it's a short hike for me to be there.

I'm going to meet with a band tonight that has a 9 stop tour this spring with Atlantic Records and see if they are willing to play one of my guitars and a bass on the tour.

:D

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they will be at cornerstone music festival in illinois next summer

i'll have 2 of em on stage

Where's the festival? I'm in Wisconsin and it's a short hike for me to be there.

I'm going to meet with a band tonight that has a 9 stop tour this spring with Atlantic Records and see if they are willing to play one of my guitars and a bass on the tour.

:D

i'll get all the particulars & get back to you asap

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Congrats buddy. I just sold my fifth, which also happpens to be my second commissioned job to a repeat customer. You can see this one being built in REAL TIME in my pinned thread.

"he's bringing cash before i order anything...on-going"

You mean like as you need to order materials he gives you the money? In the future I would start asking for a downpayment of at least half, more on instruments with more "goodies", and also have a reciept system of somesort so you both know and understand how much is paid/owed.

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Congrats buddy. I just sold my fifth, which also happpens to be my second commissioned job to a repeat customer. You can see this one being built in REAL TIME in my pinned thread.

"he's bringing cash before i order anything...on-going"

You mean like as you need to order materials he gives you the money? In the future I would start asking for a downpayment of at least half, more on instruments with more "goodies", and also have a reciept system of somesort so you both know and understand how much is paid/owed.

no problemo on the ledger work...my lovely wife has a background in corporate management :D

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B):D:D:DB)PS, Congrats!!!!!!!!! B)B)B):D:D

Yeah, why I asked.

50% up front helps weed out the 'not-so-serious-I-might-back-out-at-anytime' flakes.

They give you that much up front, non-refundable, they're serious and in it all the way.

And if it's a custom application you have the right to ask for it to cover yer butt. :D

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:D  :D  :D  B)  B)PS, Congrats!!!!!!!!! B)  B)  :D  :D  B) 

Yeah, why I asked.

50% up front helps weed out the 'not-so-serious-I-might-back-out-at-anytime' flakes.

They give you that much up front, non-refundable, they're serious and in it all the way.

And if it's a custom application you have the right to ask for it to cover yer butt. :D

yer right

this one comes with excellent references due to his friendship with my son

someone not so close to the family...it's a different story

plus if he don't come back i still have his STUFF B)

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Congratulations.

I work out my payments like this: assuming a $1400 guitar

Deposit = $350

1st payment after fretboard is inlayed and attached to neck blank, truss rod installed. = $250

2nd payment after body is shaped, and neck attached = $250

3rd payment after lacquer is finished = $250

4th payment after hardware is fitted, guitar buffed, and ready to ship = $300 + shipping

I find that this makes it a lot easier on the customers wallet, and it gives them the opportunity to control the speed of construction. The faster they pay, the faster their guitar is finished.

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Just as a point of fun conjecture...

In our business, the payment that is always in possible jeopardy is the -last- payment.

That's the one the customer will try to either hold, bargain with, dispute, dabble with, ...whatever...

So we work out payment schedules in the contract that leave as -little- on the table as possible for the last payment.

In that $1400.00 scenario above, we would typically have a last payment of something like, maybe $100.00.

Just a business/strategy call. The more you leave in their pocket for the very end, the curtain call, the more leverage/power you give them if they feel like excercising their 'attitude muscle'.

I'm sure it's very different with guitars tho... :D

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Just as a point of fun conjecture...

In our business, the payment that is always in possible jeopardy is the -last- payment.

That's the one the customer will try to either hold, bargain with, dispute, dabble with, ...whatever...

So we work out payment schedules in the contract that leave as -little- on the table as possible for the last payment.

In that $1400.00 scenario above, we would typically have a last payment of something like, maybe $100.00.

Just a business/strategy call. The more you leave in their pocket for the very end, the curtain call, the more leverage/power you give them if they feel like excercising their 'attitude muscle'.

I'm sure it's very different with guitars tho... :D

Well, most of my work so far is going to the USA, so i figure they aint getting the guitar until its been paid in full. There needs to be a level of trust between a luthier and a customer. Im happy to trust the customer, they are paying for the guitar at every stage, and paying the full amount prior to even testing it.

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Same deal, close enough I guess.

You're not shipping it out without getting paid first, that was my basic point I guess.

Wow.

Just perused your site and all those great detailed pics!

I really appreciate folks who take those kind of quality construction pictures.

Most appreciated! :D

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thanks to all who have responded to this point

the volume of insight provided by your individual experiences & comments are most illunimating & helpful as i consider where things might go for me from here

question: how do i get photos on the forum...i see them frequently...but can't seem to figure out what's required

i'm not up to speed on some of this computer/internet stuff yet

i have shots of several in depth projects i've done that may be of interest once i learn how to post them

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