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Southpa last won the day on November 28 2012

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About Southpa

  • Birthday 06/21/1959


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    Jack of all trades

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  1. Thanks for the reply. The hard part is finding an insurance company that will readily agree with an outsider's unbiased appraisal. It would have to be "official" , on paper and I'll bet there would be some fees involved. Another sticky point is assessing a value on something that has never been done before. I have one tele project that sports a SOLID 1 piece HOLLY neck with an ebony skunk stripe. I don't think anybody has ever done that before so how do you appraise that, and who is going to believe you? I guess I could itemize all the parts and materials, but would have to submit receipts. It can get pretty complicated. A good analogy would be a friend of mine who bought an '89 GMC truck. The bluebook value for said truck is currently around $800-$900. But its loaded with about $54,000 worth of racing accessories, ie. blower, racing suspension / drivetrain etc. (the truck will do the 1/4 mile in less than 10 sec.) not the mention the $10,000 paint job. But the auto insurers have a special category for modified vehicles. I don't know if the same exists for guitars.
  2. Hi folks, been a while. I have a few relatively new builds but I've stopped for the time being. No more room! Not enough cases either! I have about 40 gits and banjos now. I managed to get a few out the door but they ain't moving fast enough. Anyway, I was wondering what would happen if the house burnt down or if someone busted in and cleaned me out. I used to spend about $300 a year for apartment insurance but I felt it wasn't quite enough coverage for my unique, custom-built guitars. Who's to say how much these guitars are worth? And how do I prove it to an insurance company? I own a few factory built Gibsons, an old Hagstrom, a few Fenders and assorted others. Its easy enough to get a bluebook value for those but the ones I built are basically in limbo. I can put a value on my builds, ie. cost of parts and materials, man-hours etc. but that is not acceptable to an insurance company. When I asked them about it they suggested bringing them into some guitar store and getting employee(s) to assess value. I DID bring a few in but the guy was too busy, I actually talked to his partner previously on the phone but he did not communicate my wishes to him. So he was too busy at the time, told me to email him a few pictures and he could give me a number from that.. Sorry, that is not good enough for me. How do you guys protect your property if the need arises? and how do you convince an insurer that your work is worth it?
  3. I can't see any real technique involved aside from sliding the block back and forth over the fret board. So long as the fb is straight, pre-slotted and pre-inlaid, I can't see any issues. Like sanding anything it should be done uniformly, ie. no excess rocking and rolling as well as using a contrasting guide coat ( eg white chalk on dark surface. This is simply a 20" long X 3" wide segment of a cone with radius graduating from 10" to 16".
  4. I just posted in the CNC section of the forum. If it works as well as I hope, I should be in good for custom work. I couldn't imagine any other way to do compounds with any real accuracy so easily.
  5. A buddy at work finally got around to making these for me. Was about a year and a half before he could swing this little "rabbit" between company jobs (shhhh, nuff said :)) But it was well worth the wait. The faces merge from 10" to 16" radius over a 20" length. 3" wide and the chambering was his idea to maintain ridgidity, ie. WILL NOT warp. I made the handles out of 1/2", NC bolts, he was nice enough to drill and tap those holes, and cut up oak broom handle. Gotta admit I work with some of the best talent in the country. I was only looking for one but he offered to do two so...what the hey! I can use one for coarse sanding and t'other for fine sanding. I'm looking forward to making accurate "true" radius compound fretboards.
  6. Been suffering will allergies the past while. I remember waking up one morning and walking into the living room. Grabbed a Kleenex and blew my nose....HONNNNNNNNKKKKKK!!!!! The banjo (tuned to Open G) on the stand nearby started singing...sweet!
  7. I could make you one if my main computer wasn't down, been procrastinating a bit too much and relying on my laptop. Anyway, I get the numbers from the Stewmac fret calculator and then draw the fb template by inputting the numbers in AutoCAD with nutwidth and endwidth. The rest is just making a printout in 1:1 scale on two separate sheets, overlap and tape them together. Then cut out w/ scissors and tape onto proposed fb wood. Then cut initial slots with my jeweller's saw, pull off paper, rub in chalk then slot the proper sized kerf for your frets. Can't get anymore exact when inputting numbers accurate to 1 thou.
  8. OK then, lets get back to basics. I've worked on a LOT of guitars and have learned quite a bit about truss rods and about a variety people's playing preferences. I've also worked on a lot of cheap guitars and I've vowed to NEVER do another repair job on a guitar that doesn't have an adjustable neck. I've actually taken a few apart, ie. pop the fretboard, pull the steel reinforcing rod and replace with a single action adjustable rod. I make them work but it definitely does not justify the time, money and effort in making a cheap guitar playable, good expereince tho. So why would you want to build a guitar that does not have an adjustable neck??! I'm not just talking about how long a guitar neck "might" remain static. I don't care if its got carbon fiber, steel or even diamond for stiffening, eventually the wood is going to move and cause internal stress and your neck is going to bend. ALSO, I've had some people want (even NEED) to have a different action. I got one friend who uses a bigass plastic thumpick on his guitars and hes constantly complaining about buzzing after I do a normal (to us) setup. So I'm constantly adjusting his relief ie. loosening his truss rod, so he can have more room for his strings to vibrate. A non-adjustable neck is useless to me.
  9. CA accelerator works wonders, will give you a stiffy in a jiffy!
  10. Not an original idea, do a little research on Hagstrom guitars. they came up with the "H" or "I" beam (depends on what angle you are looking at it) truss rod sandwiched between two neck halves and then capped with a fb. This allowed for using less wood as the truss rod "I" shape is more stable in comparison to the traditional round truss rod...ie. no twisting. Thats why they are called the "fastest necks ever made". http://www.hagstrom.org.uk/expander_stretcher.htm
  11. Funny how you miss some things along the way. All those years I've been using my palm sander with that useless little dust bag that clogs up in 10 minutes . I didn't even realize, until today, that the dust bag attachment mates up with the nozzle on my shop vac. Talk about brain fartz.
  12. I just picked up a "previously enjoyed" '74 Gibson SG. Got it for $400 and it definitely needed some work Those old buggers are DEFINITELY worth the trouble and expense to fix. It originally came with mini-humbuckers, someone hogged wood out of the bridge position for a full sized HB, looked like they might have done the job w/ a sharpened spoon. I had to make a custom "hybrid" pickguard and made a new truss rod cover. levelled, crowned and polished the frets and rewired with a 4-wire Dimarzio SD w/ a series/parallel switch. This is an awesome guitar and is now my number one. ANY older Gibson if you can get your hands on one. I originally thought the guitar was one of the original walnuts but after taking hardware off i saw the cherry stain, so its totally faded back to clear mahogany...cooooolll
  13. Ah well, ya can't get blood from a stone...sometimes. I saw the guy last week at work (he on daysshift, I work 4-12) and he was very apologetic and ashamed of himself. We have a few mutual friends/acquaintances that I got to put the squeeze on him. But I think it probably was a little reckless on his part to approach me with the project in the first place. The paint is a candy pearl metallic urethane. I made a new pickguard out of clear scuff resistant acrylite and sprayed the back with gunmetal metallic duplicolor. All the broken area was soaked thru with West Systems epoxy (great stuff). If its going the break again it will be the surrounding wood. There was a crack runing along the front that wouldn't quite close so I laid down some light grey pinstriping and then sealed it up with urethane clear. I didn't do much with the neck, just cleaned it up and polished the frets and more epoxy in the heel crack. I'm glad I didn''t install one of my good high output DiMarzios (like I said I would:), just a regular HB and the neck HB came with the guitar. Its been so many guitars ago that I forgot if I supplied the TOM and stop tailpiece, one or the other, I forget. Next time I see him I'll just ask for the guitar, try to sell it and take my 250.
  14. Just going through what I've started and left unfinished. "Loose threads" as it were. So here is some closure for this particualr thread. The guy picked up the guitar way back in June and said, "Sorry, I don't have any money! The wife is spending it all!" I should not have let him take possession. I've talked to him twice since then, he has 4 kids and has split with his wife. Its a good thing I don't really need the money (only $250) and I DO feel like a bit of a sucker because I actually dropped 70 bucks on a case for the guitar. If this wasn't just a hobby I would have taken the usual precautions and got some money up front. You will always meet a few deadbeats along the way and sometimes circumstances will take you where you do not want to go, sh*t happens, kinda stinks too! heres the guitar: ... I hope he enjoys it.
  15. Every time I finish a project and show some pics to my Dad he says, "Why aren't you selling them??!" I smile, knowing that there are probably 14 guitars for every human on this earth already made. Make money FOR guitar building? Stay in school, work hard, study hard and get a steady well-paying job. Make money BY guitar building? Maybe later, you need to cut your teeth on getting LOTS of experience. I fix a lot of junk for next to nothing. Hell, I buy guitars just to fix'em! My motto?: Make 'em play, make 'em play. I don't expect to make a business out of this. I'll fix a guy's guitar for a box of beer and the experience. But my expertise over the years has risen as a result. Things that used to take me 4 hours I can do in 1/2 an hour now. Thats more money in my pocket if I were doing it for someone. So basically, my advice is get really good at it before you even consider getting serious about it. More tips, starting out is an expensive venture. You need the tools, materials, parts, a place to do it and the time to do it in. Oh yeah....you also need MONEY. Think of ways to avoid spending money. You can make some of your own tools or adapt existing tools and learn techniques to do specialized work. Example: I started out doing my fret dressing with an everyday triangle file. Take care of your tools. Its too bad there is a lot of junk out there and one thing I HAVE learned is that if you buy cheap you get cheap. I now believe that buying quality tools could mean that I only have to buy them ONCE in my life. You just have to take care of them. and also Keep your eyes peeled for free wood.
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