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rhoads56 last won the day on January 29 2017

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About rhoads56

  • Birthday 09/17/1974


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    Five Time Winner

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  1. Please change your name, so you aren't confused with a similar brand also from Australia.
  2. For the record, the Shark was a candy clear over unstained Quilt Maple. As per StratsRdivine's post.
  3. Its certainly a difficult business to "make it" in. Of course, levels of success are what we determine them to be. Five years ago I'd achieved everything I had ever dreamed of, and more. Now? Im of the opinion I was just mucking around, and Im not even half way where I want to be. To some, Im an inspiration (or frustration!). To Fender? "Who's that clown with those funny frets?" My original goal was to "work in a hardware store, to support three days a week building guitars". I never in my wildest imagination thought I'd have five staff. Now I wonder "How many people will be working for me in two years, and at what point will it become less fun?"
  4. Ive chatted about this stuff on the luthierist podcast. If your quality isnt there, you can fool people for a while, but eventually you come unstuck. If you dont have something different, no one will care. Forget about trying to emulate someone else, you dont know how they got there or why. Example: a company recently tried to emulate our sales process, with similar products, and cheaper pricing. We sold approx $200k worth of guitars in a week. They have yet to see a single sale. You need to learn how to market your wares. (and going to open mic nights is not marketing) You need to know who your customers are (and I dont mean "guitarists"). You need to offer quality that is sort after. I know two luthiers with 3+ year waiting lists. One has 6 orders on the books, the other, 5. We've had as many as 90 on the books at one point (now 35?). Most people go full time around the point of having 12 orders. They then find either: 1. Thats not enough to sustain them, and they take on part time work 2. 12 overwhelms them, and they go back to work. The biggest mistake some people make, is jumping into full time building. You need to understand cashflow. We now plan 6 months forward. You need to know your costs. Every single item needs to be accounted for. You need to be efficient. Efficient enough with tools that you either KNOW you can do a job perfectly, or you dont even think about it before doing it perfectly. IF you are still "oh shit, I must get this right" then you need to practice more. If you are "shit, i dont even know what happened there, but the neck joint is sloppy, damn tools!" then you are really really not ready. Success rarely happens over night. It will most likely be much slower than you imagine. It took a long time for us to be profitable (we did reinvest everything though for years). Most full time luthiers barely make minimum wage. It is possible to have more than that... we've had our first million dollar year (turnover, not profit), but I dont know anyone that pushes as hard as I do. I havent had less than a 70 hour week for the last four years.
  5. Please dont assume that because Im not here posting meaningless updates every week, that stuff isnt happening. When the kits are ready, you'll know all about it.
  6. It amazes me how many "luthiers" actually dont do ANYTHING. We employed a guy who had a fantastic reputation. Basically he would be "another Perry". He wasnt local, so we relied on skype for interviews. Wasn't until he started that we realised he was a 'bit rusty and needed a bit of time to settle in'. With all my commitments at the time, a month passes pretty easily. That's more than enough time to settle in, right? Nope. We got so frustrated, that I made him sit down an write a list of jobs he could do without supervision. Demeaning? Yep, I was at my wits end. He actually asked one of my guys with help him compile that list: 1. solder jack wires to jack 2. Install jack if hole is in body 3. check jack works 4. put strings on 5. tune strings 6... It was only at this point he revealed that he used Fast Guitars in Canada for ALL but one build, and that one build was done in a class over six months....
  7. Yeah this will happen, especially now that my little group of luthier followers have all announced they will release kits too (seriously, does anyone not come up with their own ideas anymore?). We will do 6+7 kits to start. Blanks with routs + bodies ready to paint. If we sell enough, then 8's will be added, plus headless, plus new shapes. $500-600 AUD range all in. Hopefully we can have a kit where you choose hardware, pickups, etc all inclusive.
  8. We are currently about to start developing a range of kits for the DIY community, based around our Multiscale designs. These will be manufactured in Indonesia, rather than the usual Chinese kits, to allow for a high quality level. This will of course mean they are a little more $$$ too. We plan on 6 and 7 string versions, but there are some things we arent sure about. Most kits come as a premade body, and you basically finish it yourself with oil or lacquer, then assemble. Usually a headstock is either precut, or its the paddle arrangement so you can design your own. We'd like to consider either having a precut body, OR simply a body blank with all relevant routs completed (eg: pickups, controls, neck joint, plus bridge location). This will allow end users to cut their own body, but still avoid the more difficult parts like routing. So, you'd be free to design and cut your own body shape, plus your own headstock, but still have a completed neck shaft, frets, control and pickup routs, neck joint, etc. Of course, all kits will include hardware and pickups too, with upgrades available. Thoughts?
  9. Fantastic idea. Signed up for $10 a month to help out. PG was a wonderful resource for me when I was starting out.
  10. Second time ive heard this in as many weeks. I DID have some that went more purple with UV, and brown when freshly sanded. But it would generally be the opposite way around.
  11. Vacuum is great for veneers or drop tops. Ive not been 110% successful with gluing thicker carved tops. We use a venturi type bag.
  12. Ive hardly dominated the world. Only 10% I went down the 'lets build pedals and amps and everything' route. In the end I just got distracted.
  13. whoa! Kinda disappeared on us for a few years huh?
  14. Ive posted photos on my page about 12 months ago of a couple gibsons that cupped 8-12mm WITHOUT removing the lacquer. How can you trust a company's specs for building, when the 2015 Les Paul lineup lists the dimensions of the bobbins (under covers) but not the output of the pickups? Or the WEIGHT of the strap buttons?
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