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"Do It Yerself" -hands on, or hands off?-Are guitars sacred objects?

Hands ON-All's fair in music and warfare,D.I.Myself,anything could go...
16 (69.6%)
Hands OFF-Get it right the first time, like it like it is, off-the-shelf
3 (13%)
Little of both, Drac... (explain, if ye would...)
4 (17.4%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Voting closed: June 27, 2005, 01:30:37 PM

Author Topic: Is Nothing Sacred?  (Read 8024 times)

Drac

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« on: June 27, 2005, 01:30:37 PM »
Hello, axegrinders...
I repair and build guitars...
I make my living doing a lot of banal tasks that people could easily do themselves, if they had the desire or confidence-
just curious-How holy is yer Guitar?-
Would you operate on the family dog?-shoe yer own horse?-bake yer own bread?
-Some people like things the way they are...
-others are never finished questing for the grail on the green grass on the other side of the proverbial fence...
There is no right or wrong, but what do you say?-
would appreciate some diatribunals as to yer feelin's...
-I want to know!- Drac the guitarknacker
"If common sense is so common, where the hell is it?"

PhilKing

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2005, 04:10:49 PM »
Hi Drac,

I do everything to my guitars except make them from scratch!  What I do includes routing for pickups, refinishing, all setup work, fret finishing, fret edge cleanup (it is amazing how many guitars seem to need this) and all the electric work.

I did a short course on guitar set up and repair with Stephen Delft at the London College of Furniture in the late 70's, this was really great to tell you what to do and what not to do.

The only other thing I would say is to get the right tools.  They make life so much easier if you are going to do a lot of work.  Stewart MacDonald in the States is the best source that I have found (www.stew-mac.com).
So many pickups, so little time

TwilightOdyssey

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2005, 04:15:08 PM »
I'd rather have a tech do my work when I have the time/money.
When I don't I do the work myself, but I'm really just a player, and am not interested in being a builder or tech.

Ratrod

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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2005, 04:43:17 PM »
I'll do almost everything myself whenever possible. The only time I bring it to a pro is when I don't have the tools myself. That's gonna change. I will get me a router, rasps, files etc.

DIY will save you a lot of money. (as long as you have the skills)
BKP user since 2004: early 7K Blackguard 50

TwilightOdyssey

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2005, 04:44:18 PM »
You need the space, too, Ratrod. My NYC apt cannot accomodate any serious tools.

Ratrod

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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2005, 04:50:32 PM »
Band saws, column drills n' stuff do soak up a lot of room. Fret and nut files don't and neither does a Dremel. When you wanna build from scratch you'll need a shed or something. Thankfully I have the room for it (after I clean it up :? ) Repairing and modification doesn't need that much room and tools.
BKP user since 2004: early 7K Blackguard 50

balde

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2005, 05:09:56 PM »
I hope i had the patience and skill needed to work on my axes! It seems that the only thing my hands can do is pluck and bend the strings, all the rest,hmmmm i am handicapped. Donīt give a screwdriver or might end up stabbing myself :twisted: !!

Drac

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Checkin In...
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2005, 05:59:26 PM »
-Kewl for the feedback ,and hoping that more chime in...
 - It's neck & neck , @ this point...
-We're all guitar players, but not every one has the time, or resources (  a workplace where you can freely make a hell of a mess,  alot of noise,  without annoying neighbors, spouses, pets, etc., tools, books,machines, etc.  )  to grind their own axes.
- The desire to do the work is the line in the sand...
-Who has enough time to address their guitar addiction as it is?
Being a sharp player is  demanding enough- other thing is, that when yer tweaking and tuning, hotrodding, etc., yer axe is in pieces, and you can't play at least that one...
 Like the 'operating on the family dog' analogy, some people would rather hand it over ( along with the responsibility) to someone  who has done the deed before, rather than run the risk of  making their number one axe look/feel/play/sound like "#2" - (childish toilet humor implied...)
-working on guitar is an immensely satisfying labor of love
 , though-
- Anyone who plays could be glad for a fundamental  understanding of what's involved in making and maintaining a guitar, if only to dismantle the mythology and heresay in regard to what  makes one better than another, how to buy and sell them , and raise the standard of common knowledge about our  infatuation...
-I hope to hear more replies from others in regard to the question,
 and warm thanks to you lot that broke the ice, and told me how yer thinking...
-virtual "pints of joy" to ye to you from Drac of the icy north
"If common sense is so common, where the hell is it?"

TwilightOdyssey

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2005, 06:09:31 PM »
I agree that you definitely get a profound appreciation for a quality build when you do work on your own guitar.

Just swapping out pickups was the limit of my involvement until most recently.

I also agree that time is a seriously limiting factor, and when faced with a choice, I'll take playing over modding/building any day.

Drac

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Understood-
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2005, 06:12:14 PM »
Read ye loud & clear, T.O.-
-I feel the same way about my car, and my teeth...
"If common sense is so common, where the hell is it?"

Ratrod

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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2005, 07:19:36 PM »
I think it's gotta be in your nature. I'm the kind of guy who takes things apart to see how they work. It is very rewarding to repair and customize yourself. Setup work is great if you know how. A guitar setup can be a very personal thing.
BKP user since 2004: early 7K Blackguard 50

38thBeatle

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2005, 11:46:45 PM »
I am a DIY disaster area so I'd rather leave it to someone who knows what they are doing. I am sure that if I watched, say, a pickup change, I could get the hang of it. I have stripped down my Precision bass a couple of times and it all went back together with no bits left over which was, for me, an achievement. It is also a question of available time. What time I do have I would rather be playing ( we have a family business and I also have a full time job). I also know someone who can do repairs and mods ( Ron at R/2e) and he is quick and efficient and not that far away from me. BTW Drac, loved your "planks". I am a conservative traditionalist but I like the craziness and lunacy of yours if you don't mind my saying so. I like Copenhagen too for that matter though haven't been there for a while.
Send three and fourpence we're going to a dance
BKP's: Apache, Country Boy, Slowhands.

Bird

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2005, 12:04:34 AM »
The only thing I don't do is frets, or the nut. I'd like to pickup some files and a book and give it a try though. :D
"Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny." Frank Zappa

Kemra

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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2005, 12:48:06 PM »
I'd love to do all the work on my own guitar, I think it would be very rewarding and ultimately cheaper than getting a tech to do the work for me. I would actually be very interested to learn all about this and become a Tech?Luthier, how does one go about this? I guess this is aimed mostly at R/2e and Feline Guitars, as I know they are both UK based luthiers.

rinse_master

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Is Nothing Sacred?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2005, 10:04:54 AM »
I do most of my techie stuff myself, all except fret and nut work (gonna get some files soon though).
"What frequency are you getting? Is it noise or sweet, sweet music?"