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trying for a job building Englehardts

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by RyanHelms, Nov 2, 2004.


  1. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I sent my resume to the Cleveland Conn-Selmer facility, who owns Glaesel String Instuments, who handle Engelhardt.

    [recovers from dizziness]

    My interest in luthiery, proximity to the company, and a new-found obsession with double bass all pointed in that direction. Not to mention the benifits of gainful employment :/

    I'm not sure how much actual production is involved, but there has to be enough hands-on work to learn a thing or two.

    The pics are Glaesel basses, btw. Learning the finishing alone would be worth it!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    No offense, but I don't think I'd call putting together Engelhardts on a production line Luthiery. They don't make tops or backs, they just assemble parts. You will end up being a production worker who happens to work on cellos/basses. A luthier makes parts and turns them into instruments. Learning the full spectrum of luthier skills should be your focus: wood selection, dimensioning and shaping; tone development and adjustment; finishing and set-up. The best way to do this is through a violin-making school or apprenticeship with a bona fide luthier.
     
  3. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Hey Ryan, if you wanted to get into more luthieri as Ahnold described, you have a number of shops in Ohio that you could check with. Here's a quick list:

    Cleveland:
    Horst Eubel

    Canton:
    Martin's Violin Shop
    Rodger Stearns Violins

    Columbus:
    The Loft Violin Shop

    Cincinnati:
    Nick Lloyd
    Cincinnati Bass Cellar
    Strings N Things
    Violin Maker's Workshop

    All of the above are either making new instruments or doing respectable set-up work. Any of them can teach you a good bit about the business. I get the feeling that if you work in a factory, you'll just learn how to be a factory worker.
    Good luck to ya!
    John
     
  4. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    No offense taken, my instinct was telling me these things. But I couldn't help but hope that there was some hands on aspect that would make it worth getting in there, not simply production line routine.

    I'm glad for the feedback guys, and thank you for the names, John. My experience/skills are in the plank arena thus far so convincing a luthier who builds acoustic to take me on may be quite the exercise in groveling ;)

    I've heard tell that the late Mr. Don Banzer, a highly respected and renowned luthier from my neck of the woods, was known to tell apprentice hopefuls "Nope. Get a kit and put it together. Then when you finish that, put another one together. Then put another one together..."

    "wanted - luthier's apprentice" doesn't seem to turn up in the emplyment classifieds all that often...ever onward.
     
  5. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    You'd be surprised! I speak with alot of shops, and a common topic is the lack of warm bodies in the shop. Everybody knows you need to start somewhere, and many good luthiers never went to school. They're Road Scholars. You may be able to get into a larger shop like The Loft or Stearns, and get training starting with the bottom level stuff and work your way forward. Once you're in a shop, there will always be pressure for you to learn more and more so you're more useful, which works out perfect for you. I would definitely recommend sending resumes to those two guys, you'll learn excellent setup skills from either. Smaller shops or one-person outfits will probably offer work-for-free type apprenticeships like we do, if you can swing that then it's a great way to learn as well.

    There are other shops in Cleveland that I didn't list, the names just aren't coming to me.
     
  6. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    John, Canton and Cowtown are quite out of my range, though I will definately keep them in mind. C'land has it's share of shops, I know. Guess the thing to do is get out and about. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.
     
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Here are some questions for you: Do you have experience working wood? Can you sharpen all the standard tools? Do you play a string instrument? Have you repaired or built a string instrument? MOST important: Do you get along with other people, and take direction well? If you can honestly answer "yes" to all these questions, someone will be eager to take you on. If not, get to work learning what you can on your own, through local courses, books, etc. Get subscriptions to string instrument magazines and Fine Woodworking. Hone your people skills...
     
  8. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    It's uncanny the chord you struck with your reply Arnold, the explanation of which is beyond the bounds of a public forum. Suffice it to say, you put this in the proper perspective for me.

    Incidentally, no reply whatsoever yet from Conn-Selmer. Perhaps it's for the better.
     
  9. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    That should be in the archives.
     
  10. RyanHelms

    RyanHelms

    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    So should "never pet a burning dog"!

    Seriously, I finally recived confimation that the company is still accepting resumes, but I can check back. More that likely translates to "thanks but no thanks". The powers that be have spoken. One more signpost pointing in the direction of going it on my own...
     
  11. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Be an optimist, for starters! It probably just means that not enough people have applied for them to make their decision. Most importantly, be in touch if you want the job. Write a thank you note to whoever interviewed you or took your resume, make a call each week, etc...
     
  12. I know a married couple that works at Cleveland UMI (United Musical Instruments,the Conn-Selmer people). Aside from a couple strays, most people in the shop (there are hundreds, if not thousands) have no knowledge of music or musical instruments.

    One person runs the CNC for mouthpieces, one person draws out metal tubes, one person bends metal tubes, one person straightens metal tubes, and yet another puts stuff together. The husband assembles low brass and knows very little about the instruments themselves; only that part A fits into part B thusly.

    To top it all off, as members of the UAW, they are constantly in negotiation and on strike and in a generally unstable environment. Although they love their jobs, I doubt they'd recommend UMI to anyone else.