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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:38 pm 
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Cocobolo
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This one from the Kempa factory in China...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOuuVyfA96g

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:17 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Neat. A jig and a machine for just about everything. I like the tuner hole and the side dot drill jigs... Boom done!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:15 pm 
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With a Gibson-shaped peghead and a Taylor-shaped bridge? You have to sell a lot of those guitars to pay for that factory machinery.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:56 pm 
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Mahogany
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It is fascinating and thanks for posting. But oh it is so dispiriting. All those handwork processes that surely we all enjoy, reduced to pushing pieces of timber into machines. And the end product, yes it looks like a guitar but almost certainly sounds incredibly poor, to be sold to people who haven't met a decent guitar.

I'm sorry, winter is arriving in the UK and it's beginning to get to me. Also my rosewood bindings won't go round the cutaway. They keep breaking Why does this always happen!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:09 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Disgusting...
As in comments, what's with the Am flag at 9:44...

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:11 pm 
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Dave, try making your bindings a little thinner where they have to bend the most. They will fatten back up as you bend them. And, a scarf joint across the face of a rosewood binding can be pretty much invisible. So, you don’t have to throw out the whole piece if it breaks. The last time I bought rosewood for bindings, I couldn’t get boards any longer than 29 inches. I’ve been doing bindings with multiple pieces per side.

Now, back to the factory tour. One of the scary things in the video to me is that it doesn’t look like it would take too much modification to the processes to make a decent guitar. It would slow things down a bit, but if the mods were made, why would anyone buy one of my guitars?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:53 pm 
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First time I've ever seen a CNC glue applicator.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:58 pm 
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The ants marching at 6:45 - oh my! Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:21 pm 
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The fret arbor press is pretty cool. Especially the amount of flex that they induce on the neck at 7:00

Honestly it's just supply and demand, if people demand that many guitars, there will be someone around who will make them that many guitars.

I see some opportunity in it though, if I can show people the lack of individual care that is shown in these guitars then I can more easily sell them on a nice handmade/personalized one


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:04 pm 
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Guitar as commodity. I do admire the cleverness of some of the mass production methods they use, but still.



These users thanked the author J De Rocher for the post: Haans (Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:11 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:54 am 
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Cocobolo
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bobgramann wrote:
One of the scary things in the video to me is that it doesn’t look like it would take too much modification to the processes to make a decent guitar. It would slow things down a bit, but if the mods were made, why would anyone buy one of my guitars?


I played a few guitars from the Kampa factory (albeit with a different name on the head) and they were very well made, well finished and well set up guitars. They sounded as good as any other factory guitar from any country you could think of. The ones I played were retailing for less than it costs me to make a guitar.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:52 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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A beautiful, modern factory producing first quality product.... Look at all those factory workers getting paid factory worker money...

What did the factory you worked in look like?
Where do your kids work? Modern places like that?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:10 am 
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Anyone notice the guy spraying finish wearing a dust respirator?

My buddy works for a large music retailer & spends a lot of time in Asia, usually in factories. He was in one where the guys spraying finish weren't wearing masks. He asked why & was told they don't like to wear them because they're hot.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:20 am 
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I noticed that too... I was hoping it was water bourne, but even then, she needs full respirator on.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:17 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I think they save the full respirator for when they have to go outside.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:20 am 
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The question I have is if they are allowed to do things our manufacturers aren’t (ignore CITES, no respirator, $5/day wages) why are they allowed to sell their guitars in our countries?

I don’t believe in protectionism, but I do believe that everyone should be playing by the same rules. At least if they want access to our market. They can shower their workers in radioactive sludge and baby seal tears if they want, just don’t sell those guitars here. Otherwise, what’s the point in us passing laws if you can have all the benefits of our markets and none of the responsibilities just by shifting production offshore?


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These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post (total 2): George L (Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:47 pm) • pat macaluso (Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:37 am)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:52 am 
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That's a very good point Hett. But then again, a big part of our comfortable modern society is relying on this model.

I'm surprised they didn't have a gang saw for the frets, yet 6 tuner holes at a time!

I think all that Machinery is beautiful. Sort of Steampunkish. I would love to have access to it to speed up some of the repetitive/mundane tasks and give me more time to spend on parts that I enjoy.

I don't think there will ever be a wood binding machine!

I noticed on their website that Rodger Siminoff is advising them. Maybe that's where the American flag comes in.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:56 am 
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Cocobolo
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Interesting variety of responses. When I watch guitar factory tour videos on YouTube, I do so to learn. And I always do. There are always different approaches, and often those - "Why didn't I think of that?" moments. There are loads of guitar factory tours on YouTube. I found this one interesting because of the mix of CNC work to old-fashioned machining. I really like the use of the pad sander for putting the fretboard radius in towards the end of the process. I saw another factory video where they used in-house built pad sanders to flat off the finish prior to the top coats. A very smart idea if you can find a place to make custom fine grade wet and dry belts.

Yes, years ago, "made in China" meant it was rubbish, whatever it was, but they are catching up. I recall an article in Fine woodworking maybe 20 years ago talking about far east machines. The USA firm who were getting stuff made (I think it was in Taiwain) said: "they really see quality control as our responsibility, not theirs." That's not always the case now. Some Chinese companies are understanding that quality counts. And that is a big threat to many of us.

Yep, there is a lot of competition out there, and not all of it is fair. Question is, how do we make our own work appealing when we require more than $5 a day?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:30 pm 
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nkforster wrote:
Yep, there is a lot of competition out there, and not all of it is fair. Question is, how do we make our own work appealing when we require more than $5 a day?


It doesn't require $5/day to be competitive... Your own domestic goods are often preferred when the prices are within a reasonable range... Even double for domestics and they will remain viable

My own starting place would be to simply mirror whatever taxes and duties they impose on our goods entering their country...

China levies 100%-200% duties on American goods - yet America either levies 0 or certainly under 20%.... That puts our goods at a major disadvantage in their markets - but ours as well (they don't have to fund meeting American regulatory requirements).... Yet it is sancrosanct that we must not return the favor? Why not?

The larger problem is not BUSINESS viability but rather investment.. A good business in the USA can make 10% margin and grow 3%/year... Thats respectable.... But investment? It's hard to get anybody interested in investing at 3% growth/year with American businesses when you can go to China and get 50%/year growth...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:34 pm 
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I was struck buy the difference in how the hand-done steps like installing rosettes, binding, and frets are done by the workers versus how I do them. They motor right through at high speed with no fuss no muss, while I'm constantly checking everything along the way to make sure I get things right and don't miss something. I'm sure a lot of their ability to do that comes with the repetition of doing the same step day in day out. I was also struck by how casually they handle the guitars. I'm constantly worrying about dinging the guitar, especially the top, while building it. There's nothing delicate about how they handle the parts and instruments. Maybe that comes with repetition too.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:05 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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J De Rocher wrote:
I was struck buy the difference in how the hand-done steps like installing rosettes, binding, and frets are done by the workers versus how I do them. They motor right through at high speed with no fuss no muss, while I'm constantly checking everything along the way to make sure I get things right and don't miss something. I'm sure a lot of their ability to do that comes with the repetition of doing the same step day in day out. I was also struck by how casually they handle the guitars. I'm constantly worrying about dinging the guitar, especially the top, while building it. There's nothing delicate about how they handle the parts and instruments. Maybe that comes with repetition too.

I saw that too and noted the same thing. Plastic is a lot easier to bend around the tight curves too though.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Bob thanks for the pointer. It does seem noticeable that the luthier suppliers don't seem to take much care about runout on their bindings.

And yes Nigel there is almost always some process where you say Ah Ha which is why it's worth looking at both factory but also of course small workshop build videos. Since I suspect that many of us are beavering away on our own without access to help from real live makers the net is our lifeline.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:07 pm 
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Well, so fast and all.... there's probably a giant stack of screwed up gits from the bumps, scraps, drops etc. Probably burn them to generate power for the factory. Just guessing, except for the stack of rejects that is.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Interesting that they only used one cam clamp to glue on the bridge - do they use epoxy?

I took a tour of a high end guitar factory here on the Easter Shore of MD and the company also has a line of imported electrics and acoustics. They had 2 men opening huge boxes of incoming guitars and checking them out. There were large carts with perhaps 30-40 guitars thrown in each that were rejects - don't know the percentage.

Ed


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:07 pm 
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Just imagine the thousands of board feet of valuable lumber used to fabricate mediocre guitars each year.
Roger Siminoff was/is a mandolin and banjo guy. Knew him fairly well. I doubt he was up to date on guitars. He knew tooling and CNC though...

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