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Giving deposits to builders

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stu Rose, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    Best post of the thread - Thanks! :D
  2. I apologized for the remark, If people read this thread I apologized twice and now a 3rd time, sorry I was wrong, can we move past that now.

    BTW I wasn't talking about me, people who do nothing but ask a plain question get accused of all kinds of things for no reason.

    Why do you think that is?
  3. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    That's why I stated it is somewhere between Stu's post and your post
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    There is a glue joint for the body blank assuming its two pieces, the book match, the top to the body blank, and the fret board. All of which would need more than one day to dry.

    If he is saying he had 24 man hours, then it is believable. If he is saying he accomplished all of this in a 24 hour period then he is lying.
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Stu was saying that they build batches of premade parts, which is entirely different than building the neck and bodies of two or more simultaneous at the same time. If a builder had to builds going on at the same time it would only make sense to build the necks and bodies together, and spray the finish at the same time.
  6. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I don't have the same experience......and you didn't ask a plain question.
  7. Yes sort of for example when I bought my Smith bass, Ken gave me a shop tour etc... He had raw wood aging on racks and what not.

    There was a room full of already shaped body wings with all kinds on tops on them, he had 3,5,7 piece neck blanks already glued up, finger boards already blanked and slotted, he has a set up room full of tuners, pick-ups, bridges, strings.

    Ken didn't use my deposit to run to the wood store for some walnut or maple he was set-up to do business and make basses when people ordered them.

    I gave him a substantial deposit but I also got my bass in three months because he had a good production process and he wasn't just holding my money for months just because he could.

    Anyway beat this into the ground, getting old.

    Peace to all, Thanks
  8. There's a you tube Carvin I think they use marine type glue for the basses that they clamp up and it sets strong in an hour and can be worked on right away. Fully cured in 24.
  9. HaMMerHeD

    HaMMerHeD Supporting Member

    May 20, 2005
    Norman, OK, USA
    Ben from Crimson Guitars. It was 24 working hours, not all within a single contiguous 24 hour period. And actually it came out to be more like 25 hours. It's still pretty impressive, but the greater point is that it is not feasible to expect every builder to bust arse on every build like Ben did in that video series.

    32 to 40 hours is reasonable for a relatively sophisticated custom. I'm working on an entry level hand-made standard model that I'm hoping I can reduce to 10-12 hours of fabrication time, mostly through the reduction of tool changes and the extensive use of templates and jigs specific to that model, and the bulk processing of lumber into uniform glued billets. It's been an interesting experience, going through my processes and making new tools and jigs, and shaving minutes and hours here and there.

    Yeah. It's a quick cure epoxy. It's nice stuff, but very expensive (compared to wood glues), and has its own set of unique challenges and problems, just like wood glue.
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    So they use a quick set epoxy, which does not make for as strong of a glue joint as yellow wood glue, and its much more expensive and harder to work with.
  11. I'm sure marine epoxy is plenty strong. It was good enough for Jaco's fingerboard.
  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Epoxy is plenty strong, but that quick set stuff that dries in an hour is not nearly as strong as the stuff that takes overnight to dry, which isn't as strong as wood glue. Also using it to glue a wood joint, is completely different than using it as a finger board finish. There is absolutely no structural load put on a finger board finish.

    And epoxy is epoxy, putting the word marine in front of it doesn't make it better.
  13. smcgov

    smcgov Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Northshore Mass
    there are 2 kinds of people, those who lump people into groups and those who don't.
  14. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Then there are the people that pee in the shower, and liars :D
  15. Neek


    Nov 26, 2008
    South Florida
    It seems that the deposit is just the price to pay (figuratively and literally) for a unique custom instrument. There is understandable trepidation when handing over a large stack of cash before any wood is cut; but just as you might be wary of the builder, the builder might also be wary of you.

    You aren't dealing with a huge corporation raking in profits left and right, or mindless automated drones, you're dealing with a human being who has bills to pay and other customers to worry about. He has to make sure any time or money invested in your instrument will not be wasted and possibly set him back financially.

    Just because your lumber won't be on the workbench till the end of the year doesn't mean that there isn't any work on your instrument being done. Planning is a huge part of a successful build. It might not produce an immediately tangible product, but that should not detract from it's importance. With a solid plan, when the time comes to cut wood, the builder can hit the ground running. A wise man once said, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."

    [Obligatory internet forum disclaimer] This is just the way I see things, of course. [/Obligatory internet forum disclaimer]
  16. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    to paraphrase: Piss Poor Planning Predicts Poor Performance
  17. Deep Cat

    Deep Cat Supporting Member

    I've just gotten started in building, but one of the things I've noticed is that the hardware is more or less one of the more expensive parts of the overall build. for example, hipshot ultra lite tuners will run me $28 each at retail. For a 6 string bass, that means I'm into it for at least $168. The cost goes up from there when you start to include fun things like pickups, pre-amps, knobs, and nuts. By contrast, a curly maple neck blank is about $50. You can use cheaper wood, and buy cheaper tuners, but I wouldn't if I was a custom builder.

    One of the more important things I've learned along the way is that you should really have your hardware completely squared away before make your first sawdust. The wood changes, the hardware doesn't. And even though manufacturers will publish specs, small things that matter change a lot due to the irregularity of their (and our) manufacturing process. Sometimes its just small things. Other times its huge. I imagine if I were building for a customer I'd want things right, not almost right.

    Wood also isn't really cheap. You can lower the cost by milling it yourself (resawing, planing, etc) , but you have to have developed a lot of highly specific skills along to the way to make that happen. If you are on a timetable as a builder, maybe you don't just spend a workday milling lumber you might not use.

    The vast majority of the overall cost and thus the risk of the build, minus labor and incidental building expenses is accrued before you really "begin" building the bass.

    I think a significant deposit for a custom build is worth it. Also, remember that the deposit isn't just going to a finished product, but it is also payment for being able to participate in the custom building experience.
  18. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    There are 2 types of people posting on this thread.

    Those who I've followed on Luthier's Corner, and read awesome build threads by, and everybody else.
  19. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Banned

    Dec 11, 1999
    Also a builder might buy wood and have to wait months or years until it is dry enough to use
  20. But there's an upside too: All the positive threads praising small builders help generate business. You've gotta take the good with the bad. :)

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