Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Full Service Luthier

When I was apprenticing under my Master Luthier, Dave Pennington, it amazed me just how many services he could perform as a luthier.  There were so many little things that could go wrong with a guitar, and it was important to know how to fix all those odd problems. 

When I was working at Guitar Center I had many of the employees tell me how I was able to do things that they had never seen, and that most of the luthiers there before me did two things.  Change strings and pickups.  Outside of those jobs, they didn't do anything else.  So when I pulled up with a tool case almost as tall as myself it really surprised them.

Which brings us to today.  I don't perform public work on guitars anymore, but I do work for friends, family, and friends of friends.  I was brought a guitar from John C. (we'll call him John C. since I don't want to use his full name on a public blog.)  He had a few problems with his guitar, so I went to work correcting them.  I took pictures so I could show the importance of the work I do.

First off, the three way switch was acting up.  Instead of an expensive replacement, experience has told me it may just need a simple electronics cleaning.

In the second picture, I am using true electronics cleaner to clean the switch.  Never! Use WD-40 on electronics. 

John's guitar is an Epiphone ES-339.  So I will call him Epiphone.  In this next picture I am running Epiphone through my amp to make sure the three way switch was working.

The good news was that it worked just fine.  All's the three way switch needed was a little cleaning and not a replacement.

Next, Epiphone was missing a screw on the pickguard.  So I made a quick trip to Ace Hardware to find the correct parts.

They fit just fine.  So now it's time to adjust the bracket.

Next is a little trick I learned from working on archtops.  Use masking tape to tape off the F hole so you don't lose a screw in the guitar.

Next I made sure the pickguard was fit tight, and in the end everything fit just right.

Next I felt that Epiphone hadn't been socialized properly.  This can happen if an owner doesn't have a ridiculous amount of guitars.  So I let Epiphone socialize with other guitars named Epiphone.

This was greatly therapeutic for Epiphone.  All the Epiphones were able to talk about the usual guitar stuff.  You know, pickups, woods, electronics, and the power of the Alnico 8 magnet.

Next, I felt that Epiphone had a lot to talk about, but no way to loudly express himself.  So I hooked him up to my amp named Epiphone.  They really hit it off.  I had put Epiphone Amp together a few months ago from an Epiphone Valve Jr. Head, a Bitmo mod kit, a WGS C/S speaker, and some mahogany.  Epiphone the Amp really let Epiphone the Guitar find his inner voice.

Epiphone then decided to watch some TV, but I caught him napping. 

I then thought Epiphone was a little tense so I decided to give him some spa therapy.

Next, I thought Epiphone could use a little massage.

I then really had to work the kinks out of his neck.

After the massage I offered Epiphone a nice cup of tea.

Which Epiphone gladly accepted.

Since it was such a nice day Epiphone decided to lay out in the sun, and work on his tan/sunburst.

Well, the fun went on the rest of the day and night.  But when the day ends it's time to hit the hay.  So I made sure Epiphone was comfy at the Adrian Bn'B. 

So that concludes my luthier duties.  As you can see, I really strive to be a full service luthier.  So here's the total:

Spray of electronics cleaner:  $0.24
Screw for plate:  $0.14
Nut for screw: $0.15
Adrian Bn'B for two nights: $378. 63

Total:  $379.16.

I don't think that's too much to ask for such illustrious service.

No comments:

Post a Comment