I hope you’re well!
This last few weeks have been manic in the workshop. It seems the Christmas rush has started already!
But I have also been working on guitars. In the last update; I finished my paint booth. Well since then I have been putting lots of hours into painting and repainting many of the guitars I have about the workshop; several of which are now almost finished!
I’m super happy with these, and I have put many plans into action. I have updated and re-machined parts of my mould, changed materials, and actioned several small design changes that all add up to make a huge difference.
I have also invested in a lot of new tooling. I found "making do" with non-luthier specific tools meant that even though they worked; things took a lot longer than they should and it made many tasks laborious. Turns out a luthiers file and a carpenters file have more differences than just a £80 price jump!
Now that my paint finishes are consistent, finished in-house and more robust; I have turned my focus to finishing. Wet sanding and polishing have been extremely time consuming and difficult by hand.
Elbow grease wasn't getting me far enough... so today I took delivery of a buffing machine. This took a few weeks to arrive from the USA, and I had been holding off on finishing several instruments until this arrived. My previous buff had a nasty habit of grabbing the guitar out of my hand or damaging the paint (ask me how i know!) Again... the wrong tool for the job.
Here is a sneak-peek of one of the guitars, Ruby. It's a deep metallic, multi-stage colour and it really pops in the morning sun. Ruby also features my new inlay design and my new method for installing frets on a new style of fretboard, using stainless steel frets. At a glance Ruby may look like the previous instruments; but it’s very different! It's not quite finished yet and will need a finishing polish (with my fancy new buffing machine 😄) before installing a pickup and completing the set-up... but I couldn't resist throwing on some strings to see what it looks like!
Also, I’ve abandoned serial numbers and have just started naming the guitars. It’s easier to remember and when discussing with friends and family, it makes more sense! Maybe I will let customers name their own guitars so long as its unique and not offensive? What do you think?
It's taken 3 years of testing, development, refining and starting over; but I'm really feeling momentum build and these recent guitars are finally where I want to be in terms of sound, quality and finish.
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Thanks for reading!