Saturday, August 23, 2008

dust flying on Saturday

"you okay Leo?"
"that bass sounded really dead when he brought it in"
"did I mention how much I love my incredible neck tweezers?"
"last night I woke up at 3 in the morning and thought: 'why don't I take the best bits out of the two boxes of forstner bits I have beneath my bench and make one box of good bits?'"
"is there a place where the razor blades are?"
"I don't suppose there's a cardboard box of Skyway saddles around here..."
"do you have one of the straight-edges and can I borrow it?"
"the back of this neck feels gooood!"
"hey tim have you ever waxed a superglue finish?"
"what's for lunch?"
watching: the Olympics

Friday, August 22, 2008

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

Here our Fearless Leader sights down the fretboard of a tiger-striped shredder prior to giving it a last little nudge required to send that spandexed power ballad solo into the troposphere. The Eighties were hard on everyone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We're not the first to point this out

but if you want a very low profile and low cost option to shiny metal knurls poking out the ends of your guitar strap simply purchase a pack of frosty cold Grolsch beer. After enjoying your adult beverage responsibly, prize the proud red washer off the top of the bottle and force it gently over the strap button while the strap is on the guitar. Works like a charm and won't set off TSA weapon detectors. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle...that's one of our mottos too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

weirder & cooler

After being bent by the notorious fastmatt (check out *his* blog) this charming preschool-level learning device does stuff it's manufacturer clearly never intended. Now, one of our more charming customers is interested in continuing the mod a step farther, this time to benefit a hands free performance environment. Clearly anyone would want their hands free while operating this machine. It's a simple issue of employee safety. Safety is our number one concern, after tone, playability, reflectivity, clarity and throughput.

Friday, August 15, 2008

a great, simple (but not easy) mod

The bridge in this photograph has individual saddles for each of the strings on a Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar. This is a good upgrade, and challenging for the tech to get the spacing just right. The stock bridge on this guitar combines each of the string courses on a single saddle, making it difficult to intonate. This is one of many cleaver tweaks we can perform on this unique and characteristic instrument to make it smoothly playable and sound even more glorious.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Righteous Indignation (or: Fedex Has a Posse)

We ship instruments all over the country. We've done this for decades. No turnip trucks have recently been fallen off of by us. Well, there was a burrito truck once...but that's a story for another time. Recently we became aggressively hounded (via phone, email & USPS) by a collection agency for an incorrectly billed Fedex shipment (their screwup) to Denver for one of our touring clients. When contacting Fedex to clear up the situation the Corporate Helper Underling Delinquent (CHUD) biodroid insisted it was our responsibility to contact the collection agency and call off the dogs. Using the powers of Moral Superiority I managed to get the CHUD to admit the collection agency is actually a division of Fedex. This (right) is what they currently call themselves. Now you know too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


things that help us retain the will to live:

1. (top right) cool jobs - the owner of this funky archtop has elected, against all common sense, to bring it back to life. That translates to a neck reset, a refret, bone nut, and glueing up various sections of binding and most of the braces. It's illogical, it's irrational and it's oh so cool. The owner is aware of these judgments. We love work like this.

2. (top left) the repairman's friend - entertainment that doesn't monopolize all the lobes (we can only watch reruns of Men in Black so many times).

3. (duh) lunch - sandwiches, who can get tired of them?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

the hands of Leo Knapp

Leo is dressing the fingerboard of a Fender Stratocaster prior to refretting. By using a sanding block he's able to "true" the fretboard. Trueing the fretboard makes it possible to take less metal off the frets during the computerized fretmill (PLEK). Less metal off the top of the fret means a longer life for the fret. Leo is fond of pointing out that wood was never intended for guitar building. It evolved as an integral element of the earth's ecosystem. He tells us stuff like that because he's confident we'll listen.

Friday, August 8, 2008

rockstar senility

you know the joke:

what are the two signs of rockstar senility?

1.) speaking about yourself in the third person
2.) golf

let's add a third...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

timing is everything

From the thoughtful and erudite note included in the case of a USA Fender Strat shipped to us from the far back of beyond (yes, Idaho) for a stainless steel refret. The gent who owns this guitar knows exactly what he wants, makes his decisions with confidence and will be picking it up in person while his family collects their visas from the French consulate in San Francisco for their big move to that country. The instrument's owner is fifteen years old. We'll have it done in time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

ouch #1627

One of two guitars in cases placed carefully side by side next to her car and she turned away for a moment and a friend backed his pickup over them.