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Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by boofis, Mar 16, 2004.
What are some of the smaller luthiers that are just getting started?
i would fall into that category!
i have been making guitars and basses for 3 years now, but i am really just getting started with branching out and making them for others. i am 99% done with my first internet customer's bass (you can see a picture here: http://members.fortunecity.com/skbasses/topoiled2.bmp ) and i have 2 new customers who i am now starting to build for. a website will hopefully be coming along soon, but as for right now, i have been trying to do things word of mouth through various bulletin boards and friends. thanks!
I used to be a smaller luthier but I gained a lot of weight recently
Darn those Oreos.
I am a small Luthier.
I have been doing repairs, setups, and modifications for over 20 years as a serious "side hobby", and last year decided to start building custom basses as a full time business. I am hoping that in the next 12-24 months I can build my business up to where it will be my main source of income (supplemented by the occassional studio and / or live session work I get, a few limited bass students, etc.... oh, and my wife's income as well).
I am a one man shop, and no one touches a bass I build except me from start to finish. I'm looking to build 15-25 basses this year, and 30-50 next year. I'm also hoping to be able to take on a part time apprentice this summer, and even more next year.
I'm going to work to keep the business small. I don't want to get to the point where all I do is run the business and never build basses. I want to build every bass that comes out of my shop, so in that regard I truly hope to stay small. If I end up having to hire anyone in the next 1-2 years, I would hire office help before giving up buildling basses myself. I could see growing the business to where I would still be a small shop with maybe 2-3 people helping me build basses.
WOW! Thats a nice bass Sk. I like you already just judging from your attitude to your work.
Edited for commercial content
Let me remind all parties that discussion of pricing, availability, turn-around times, or other topics directly associated with builder/client commerce are strictly forbidden.
Boofis, by you asking for these details, you inwittingly draw the respondents into a violation of forum rules. That's why it's best not to discuss ANY of these topics in the public forums. If you have questions for these builders, please contact via email.
As this topic goes so far, it isn't in violation. I'll keep an eye out and if it does get out of hand, I will shut it down.
Sorry I had no Idea about that, thanks for warning me. I'll keep it away from that from now on. Anyone care to post pics of the basses they've built? Hope thats not in violation?
I am also another small luthier. I have been building for 3 years. I have built a few for the Houston area. I am always looking for new customers. I have some contacts in the UK that I am working with. Hopefully things will work out there with them.
I have some photos on my website if you would like to take a look, and any one else can too if they would like. Link is down below in the signature. Contact me if you have any questions.
Here is one to take a look at.
I am another small timer, and intend to stay that way. Much more fun. Anyway, I decided a year ago to make my basses available to the public and will have a much more efficient workshop soon to help expedite my endeavors. I am currently building a bass for Byron Santo for an endorsement deal.
It's a fun business and you are constantly learning no matter how many years you put into it. I have been woodworking for 10 or so years and playing bass for 15 but building basses for only 3. It is always great to learn a new technique and get some wenge sawdust up your nose
Here is the top for Byrons bass. Red blue curly buckeye!!!!!
For the hell of it, I included my favorite scroll design which will be used on Byrons bass much unlike the figure drawn on the wood
The guy that builds my basses now is local to me and is working on his 5th and 6th bass right now... he has built about 6-8 acoustic guitars so he is not extrememly new.
This was his first and the other is my new one he is working on.
Wow! Everyone very nice basses, those clarkand are nice and boyds look sweet and the Stroys are nice also but I like the fully rounded edges the best they have to be good from looking at the name lol, have you got any other pics all?
Well, my previous lame attempt at humor aside, I am a small part-time builder in addition to my "real" job(s). I have built one guitar and six basses to date, sold one, and am currently building basses number 7 and 8. Both of the new ones are for customer orders. Here's a pic of no. 6:
I am a small time luthier, but I wouldn't call myself a lutheir, I just do it as a hobby.
I started building musical instruments seven years ago. I've built guitars, ukuleles, a mandolin, and two basses.
Here is one I built a year or two ago, and sold.
Here is the second I recently finished, it was a custom job for the lady that owns the above bass. She wanted a few custom apointments to suit her playing style.
Here is the third in the early stages. This will be the top.
Those basses on the Clarkandcompany website are built by a guy named Jake Marchlewski... I will have more of those pics soon... a few weeks.
Wow, Lex. I really dig the shape of that second bass! Classy, but not classic. Additional props for the single pickup.
All right all you luthiers, how the hell do you decide on one design to make that yours? I have SOOOOOOOOOO many that I've designed and I love them all!?!?!?!?! HELP!
Well, to answer the design question from my perspective, I tried many different body designs before deciding on a final one. My decision was based on coming up with a design that met the following criteria, listed in order of importance (for me, anyway...):
1. A design that would be fairly unique and recognizeable as mine, without being too "radical".
2. A design that I would like, and would want to own a bass with this design.
3. Good balance when playing standing with a strap.
4. Able to play when seated and holding the bass in your lap
That was it for me. Again, the first 2 were of the upmost importance. I figured that if the design appealed to me and I would want to own a bass of that design, it would appeal to others as well.
I spent a lot of time analyzing other bass designs, especially those that are popular (Tobias, Fender, etc.) and talking to owners of those basses to find out what they did and didn't like about them. There were many initial designs that I came up with that probably would have worked okay, but to me they just didn't seem to stand out from other basses enough. I used several approaches. Some I drew free hand, others I drew using standard drawing tools (straight edges, a variety of french curves, etc.), and then some I drew on a computer using the QFX program. My final designs were done on the computer using QFX.
As a graphic designer for over 25 years, I've gotten over falling in love with my work. I've designed so much and had so much of my best work shot down by clients that I've sort of grown immune to getting too excited over designing radically unique forms.
The Big Kahuna pretty much says it all regarding what drives my own designs. Function is the primary aspect. What works and works well is going to get serious consideration when I design.
In a related vein, there is more to the "design" of basses than the visual form. That's what attracts me to building. There are all sorts of areas that can be improved in the mechanical apsects of making sounds. For example, in a few weeks, I'll be unveiling a very interesting approach to truss rods that just might become a popular modification in all guitars. For me, coming up with ideas like this is often more fun and rewarding than creating a nice body shape.
Can wait, but it hurts
I agree on Hams post. Not at all being a luthier, but small and building bass, I think the fun part is to rethink old "truths". New functions would be fabulous to invent, but that's not my line, really. But to rethink od ideas is great!
Visual design is just a means to reach functionality.
Very Cool! I can't wait to see your truss rod idea! I agree that is something that could use some improvement.