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 Post subject: Doing setups for others
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:02 pm 
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First name: Steve
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I was recently approached by a local music store to do some acoustic setups for them. I’ve taken Dave and Hesh’s fretting and setup course, but I’m concerned about what might happen when I run into a neck, for instance, that hasn’t been as pristinely prepared as I’ve been trained to do :-)

I know that with a well-prepared, well-fretted neck, I can get the action below 5/64 at the 12th.

But I’m assuming that not all the guitars I’ll be dealing with meet those criteria.

What are the expectations in a scenario like this? What are the bright red flags that I have to watch for?

I bow before the hard-acquired knowledge of the repair folks on this forum.

And as always, thanks in advance.

Steve


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:47 pm 
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You can only do what you can do. If the neck (or any part of the instrument) is out of whack (or simply crap), that's it. We are not miracle workers.

Stick to the basics: truss rod, then bridge, and finally nut. In that order. If you need a memory tool - TRiBuNe. Get it?

Good luck, and feel free to ask more....

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Last edited by Chris Pile on Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:14 pm 
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I do setups for my local music store as well as people who have heard about me in other ways.

I try to meet the owner when they bring the guitar to the store, if not I get their phone number and ask them several questions about how they play, what they expect of their guitar, what they think is wrong with it. If I had a dollar for every one who says "I want my action as low as possible without buzzing...."

Before I do anything with the guitar I measure EVERYTHING. I created a little spreadsheet (PM me an e-mail addy and I'll send it to you). I start with the condition of the guitar - is it hydrated, condition of frets, neck angle and structural issues. Those are red flags - if the guitar is dry or frets are bad I stop there and discuss with owner.

If it passes that test I measure relief, nut (1st fret) and 12th fret action, intonation, and a couple of other things. I've even learned to measure the strings that were on it - you'd be surprised how many people don't know (or the store will give me a completely different size which will throw everything off). Based on the measurements (1) I know what needs to be done, and (2) can give the owner an estimate.

The columns in the spread sheet include "as found", "target", "reference" and "final". The target and reference are the values for a given parameter and where I got it - for instance Martin might recommend relief at 0.010 but a setup tech that I respect might prefer 0.004. I'm quite sure that Dave and Hesh have values that they use - its nice to be able to point to something like that when you are talking to your customer.

By the way, I can fill out that spreadsheet in ten minutes, if the owner is there she can watch me take the measurements and we discuss them at that time.

Based on all of that I do the setup and fill out the "final" column. Some things might not apply to one guitar - intonation or pickup height for an electric might be left blank for an acoustic, neck angle might not apply to an electric. But the important thing is that I go thru the ritual for every guitar.

When its done I print a copy of the spread sheet and include it with the invoice - that way the owner has a copy and I keep it in my database. I tell the owner that if there is any problem, usually a buzz because we pushed it too far, to call me immediately and I take care of that - even if it means making a new nut or saddle.

Last comment about the spread sheet - I put a second tab on it with a lot of helpful information - each time I find specs that are useful I put them there so I can find them easily.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:25 pm 
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^^^ Not a bad idea. ^^^

It's a lot of extra work, but not a bad idea.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:40 pm 
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Chris Pile wrote:
^^^ Not a bad idea. ^^^

It's a lot of extra work, but not a bad idea.


Thanks Chris. Its really not a lot of extra work. It forces me to be methodical, to have a game plan with my customer and to document what I have done. I'm also an anal engineer so it sort of keeping in character.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:54 pm 
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Freeman wrote:
I'm also an anal engineer ...


Phrasing. idunno

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These users thanked the author George L for the post (total 3): James Orr (Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:00 pm) • Colin North (Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:47 am) • bcombs510 (Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:01 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:16 pm 
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If they were the shops guitars, probably just as quick and cheap as you can to get them close to factory specs.

If they are for customers then I would definitely want to talk to the customer. If anyone says they want low action without buzzing I usually recommend a fret level.

TSN?....Hmm... I thought we all decided on TNS? Hmm


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:29 pm 
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Asking for the lowest action possible without buzzing is actually a pretty reasonable request.

It's just that that's usually not as low as the customer expects...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:52 am 
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Dave and I are frequently joking that most of the work that I do seems to come in when I am not there. I'm a very fast and hard worker who hits the ground running most days staying on my feet doing six set-ups or so (other types or repairs, fret dresses, bridge regales, etc) in six hours before I eat my lunch. It's that old Six Sigma training that I can't unlearn, when I pick up a #2 screw driver everything in my world that needs it gets attended to with that thing before I put it down.

Anyway most of my clients I do not get to speak with even though when I do it is an advantage to know a bit about:

1). How hard they hit.
2). What do they play.
3). This is YUGE - alternate tunings.
4). Do they use the trem.

Like Freeman I used to record initial action specs before doing anything else. I would measure at the 12th and record in 1/64th" and my notation would always denote the treble side first and then the bass side. It could read for example 6 and 8 for 6/64ths" and 8/64th" treble to bass side respectively.

My thinking was I wanted in the end to be able to document differences that I made. The assumption AND reality for me was that what ever I set the thing to it was capable of doing in the end, for that instrument, buzz free with an attack simulating the player's style. If I don't know the player's style a light to moderate attack was what I simulated. I can personally play pretty much any style from light to very heavy.

But after some years of recording action specs going in I stopped doing it because never once did I need to recall to document what I did, it was a waste of time for me and for me time is everything. I'm a competitive sort who with the previously mentioned heart attack waiting to happen Six Sigma training my goal is to work very fast, very efficient, and very precisely. I also usually have CNN on and that makes me pissed off and I work harder....;)

Anyway as our friend Chris rightly says you can only do what you can do. Industry specs mean nothing if the instrument is not capable of a specific low action. There may be limiting factors and the good news is when there are you annotate them in capital letters on the receipt such as "Needs a fret dress for lower action, estimate $180" making a "call to action" for the steward and taking any blame off your shoulders since you are pointing out that the POS is in need of further attention beyond your authorized level of repairs, for now...... It's been my experience that most of my recommendations are followed so be ethical about what you point out, it will likely happen.

All in all though even with the limitations of most of the instruments that I set-up which is around 600 plus annually and these are complete set-ups too with not a Rolling Stone left unturned you can seemingly ALWAYS dramatically improve things with a few exceptions. One exception is neck reset time. Although I can improve a guitar that needs a neck reset the level of improvement may be minimal. But again you write on the tag "Needs neck reset for lower action" and create either that call to action or that get out of jail card free or both.

What I really want you to know though, Steve and others is that we CAN and DO dramatically improve things even when the instrument is not ideal and they never are.

Let's face it people do not bring us their babies and throw money at us because everything is hunky dory......;)

Some of the pitfalls of music store work is the poor triage. The instruments are often assessed by folks who are basically ignorant.... about what they don't know about and more interested in getting through the transaction than getting it right. If it sounds like I have little respect for some of the pukes who seem to grow in the tile grout of music stores its with good reason. They will take an instrument that needs a neck reset and send it our way for a truss rod adjust.... So you will have to have a meeting of the minds as to what YOUR expectations are if you do music store work.

Insist on a minimum level of work because after all we are not.... communists.....

I would also instill in the folks taking things in that they are to advise the client that they may be called, may be, not always, time is money..., with further assessment and that the initial triage is not final, what you say is. Get phone numbers, always.

Don't work for peanuts and if the store does stupid things such as pricing things by single actions such as truss rod adjust, $15 change their policies and pricing to have minimums with a minimum level of work being a set-up. I would not even agree to do a restring unless the client is a previously paid set-up client because sh*t happens that can prevent even a proper restring if the instrument has not been gone over previously. We will not restring unless we have set-up the instrument prior, no exceptions, well some, the poor kid, etc.

By the way I went for a walk Monday morning with nothing to do and came back to three set-ups that came in in 30 minutes.;). Must be my breath....

Ideally music store work is fraught with pit falls and should be avoided. But when I was developing as a Luthier I took it on anyway and did work for several music stores and it was valuable and rewarding experience. Becoming friends with the owners can work wonders too to giving you the necessary control on just what kind of crap they take in and how expectations are set.

So Steve I would go ahead and you will do great. Remember too to put me on speed dial because that's what our friends/students do. We heard form Jim F. today who is doing stainless refrets and had a question.

It can be fun, rewarding and great experience. The pay for music store work is less since you will only get a percentage, I insisted on 60% but that's me, I would have worked for less in the very beginning.

Just remember that although you can only do what you can until you hit any limitations in the instruments most of the time you can do excellent set-ups with what you have. Remember to take a look, check this and that for 60 seconds and then have a mental plan on your approach. I clean instruments and folks not only appreciate it greatly and often say so (read our reviews about this...) they think I do it for them.... No silly I do it for me I don't want to be touching their germs that they spit all over their instrument.... sheesh.... ;). In reality this cleaning lets me focus on every inch of the instrument and I OFTEN find things that I will need to address in the set-up as a result.

Lastly alternate tunings though popular these days require a disclaimer on the tag or in person. You want low C, sure your sh*tty instrument may not have the range of travel associated with setting intonation properly for it and it may buzz and rattle like an old car before it's restored but we can do it for you. We can be mindful that the truss rod will need to be adjusted for it. Be sure that full step bends are possible and say good bye to your hair if it has a Floyd. We charge more for Floyds too and folks are used to paying it since we are not the only ones.

Go for it Steve and you will also notice a rather strange thing with Lutherie that rarely happens to most folks on this forum and others. The direction of the flow of money will change from away from you to toward you...;). Go figure....


Last edited by Hesh on Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:16 am 
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Trouble sleeping Hesh?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:12 am 
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Back on your meds, Hesh. Or just take a deep breath. You sound like a guy about to burn out. I've been there, OK? Just settle down... a bit.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:26 am 
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Thanks guys but I'm fine! I've been the sort who sleeps half a night, is up for an hour and then sleeps the other half of the night for decades now. Oh well.

Chris what I need more than anything else is more business. We are just on fire breaking all our previous records by double digit percentages and that has me excited to do even better. Even though I work pretty hard because I love it I still have a couple hours every work day with nothing to do which I hate.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:30 am 
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I think more than anything is to work carefully to get a feel for the owner...
Is he honest?
Knowledgeable?
Does he pay his bills on time?
Is he honest with his clients about expectations, costs, and what to do about other stuff that is found wrong?

Or is he looking for a patsy to dump all his junk onto and then short you on the bill..



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:00 am 
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Huge topic.
Hesh wrote:
Some of the pitfalls of music store work is the poor triage.

The whisper down the lane thing is big.
It can cut both ways. Either help put the brakes on mission creep and free you to put your head down, or tangle the goals of everyone involved into a mess. As usual, it depends mostly on the personalities of those involved.

With the exception of some work for school systems. All my work involves direct contact with the player. Despite some negotiations with other businesses for other models, I can not get my head around how to make it work. Luckily, I do work other shops can't' and just give them cards to handout with directions to my shop on the back :)

I've dealt with great players that have their strings 1/8+" over the twelfth and like it that way. Selling them a flawless fret job or lowering the action toward more typical numbers would be a dis- service.

If I do business with my name on it outside of a store, and my name will be associated with the work. I'm reluctant to hand customer satisfaction over.

Triage is big even if your doing the work directly.
Almost without exception,every instrument you see will have a collection of things that can be fixed or improved. Especially fretwork. Getting to the potential budget for work as quickly as possible I find essential. In the first minute I try and throw out some numbers, watch the reaction, and get a quick read on whether further, more thorough investigation is worthwhile.
Hesh wrote:
.........There may be limiting factors and the good news is when there are you annotate them in capital letters on the receipt such as "Needs a fret dress for lower action, estimate $180" making a "call to action" for the steward and taking any blame off your shoulders since you are pointing out that the POS is in need of further attention beyond your authorized level of repair ..........

Hesh, I assume your customer is consulted about the need for a dress before performing the set up.
Part of what I think I'm hired for is to help people make decisions by explaining the lay of the land with their instrument. If I just perform a setup as best as possible and return a bill that says "needs a refret $350+", many customers will be disappointed that wasn't pointed out before charging for the set up.
A surprisingly large portion of the time, someone comes in with a small complaint but it turns out there is a foundational problem and they choose no to spend the money on a superficial fix. This often leads inturn to a return with a new/used instrument and a request to set that one up. The mechanism for this education/negotiation when working for a shop seems tricky.

I record in and out specs similar to Freeman. It's a time suck but I can't figure a way to throw them out.
The vast majority of instruments I work on are acoustic and repeat customers. For example, If everyday was a new day, I would be shrugging my shoulders and charging folks to lower their saddle and then make them a new, taller one, two weeks later . If I set something up with a certain gauge string set and they get changed many would expect an explanation why thing are off not just a charge for further work. also, when juggling multiple repairs with longer turnaround times, my memory can't retain important info on all of them so notes are required anyway. I get spared confusion and wasted effort from these records a lot but haven't determined if they are a net profit.



These users thanked the author david farmer for the post: Hesh (Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:34 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:03 am 
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I don't want to go off topic, but I have a question for the repair folks. Do you find you need to also document each instrument with pictures / video? Dave, I know you do a lot of inside the box inspection, but that is only if you suspect a problem there? Or do you automatically get pics inside and outside of the instrument?

I'm asking because I want to know if there is a need to do this and if so, why? Is it liability reasons? Do you sometimes see things in the pictures that prompt you to investigate something else?

Good topic and timely for me.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:21 am 
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When I go down to the music store to pick up a guitar (and hopefully talk to the owner I take a very small pocket full of tools - a 24 inch straight edge with scribe marks for the 12th fret location on Gibsons, Fenders and both of Martins scales - anything else I can figure out. I take a chromatic tuner with an analog needle (Korg) and a short cable to plug into an electric. I take a capo, a set of automotive feeler gauges and one of StewMac's little action measuring thingies.

I do the triage in this order:
- structural? Bridge on tight? Any cracks?
- hydration? Sharp fret ends, lay the straightedge across the lower bout, maybe an overset neck. If the guitar is dry I won't work on it.
- neck angle? Straightedge on frets pointing to bridge. Four possibilites - overset, just right, marginal, needs reset. If the neck angle won't work then I don't either
- frets? Grooves? One of more high frets? I do the "next fret clearance" with a feeler gauge - I hold down the string at each fret and check with a thin gauge at the next one - I want to see the same 2 or 3 or 4 thousands clearance all the way down the board. More clearance is a low fret (rare), less or no clearance is a high fret. Gives me some idea of what is going on at the heel. Based on this we can decide whether to go on, dress frets, do a refret...

If the guitar passes those tests I do the measurements for the setup - relief, nut (fret 1) and action (fret 12), intonation, pickups if its electric. I like to watch the owner play - attack, style, where does she play on the neck, does she slide or bend notes, what does she say about how the guitar is playing.

It is always helpful to think of which operation affects another and do things in that order. Changing relief changes action at 12 a lot and at 1 slightly. Changing action at either place doesn't change relief. Changing action at nut has a small affect at 12 (half), Changing action at 12 has almost no affect at the nut. Changing relief or action at 12 will change intonation, changing intonation does change anything else. Therefore once I've got the frets perfect I always do relief first (and don't touch it), nut slots second, bridge/saddle third, intonation and then pickups. The last thing I do is that next fret clearance again on all strings at all frets - if I have 2 or 3 thou at every fret all the way up the neck I know it will play buzz free. And thats about as low as I can go....


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:23 am 
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bcombs510 wrote:
I don't want to go off topic, but I have a question for the repair folks. Do you find you need to also document each instrument with pictures / video? Dave, I know you do a lot of inside the box inspection, but that is only if you suspect a problem there? Or do you automatically get pics inside and outside of the instrument?

I'm asking because I want to know if there is a need to do this and if so, why? Is it liability reasons? Do you sometimes see things in the pictures that prompt you to investigate something else?

Good topic and timely for me.


I do take pictures, particularly if there is something radically wrong or I want to send them to the owner as we discuss what needs to be done, however its not automatic. Filling out the as found column in the spread sheet is automatic for setups.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:33 am 
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truckjohn wrote:
I think more than anything is to work carefully to get a feel for the owner...
Is he honest?
Knowledgeable?
Does he pay his bills on time?
Is he honest with his clients about expectations, costs, and what to do about other stuff that is found wrong?

Or is he looking for a patsy to dump all his junk onto and then short you on the bill..


VERY true John and bad vibes going in are usually worse getting out..... A client complaining about the last place they "deposited" their work may very well be someone to use that punitive quotation on.....


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:52 am 
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david farmer wrote:
Huge topic.
Hesh wrote:
Some of the pitfalls of music store work is the poor triage.

The whisper down the lane thing is big.
It can cut both ways. Either help put the brakes on mission creep and free you to put your head down, or tangle the goals of everyone involved into a mess. As usual, it depends mostly on the personalities of those involved.

With the exception of some work for school systems. All my work involves direct contact with the player. Despite some negotiations with other businesses for other models, I can not get my head around how to make it work. Luckily, I do work other shops can't' and just give them cards to handout with directions to my shop on the back :)

I've dealt with great players that have their strings 1/8+" over the twelfth and like it that way. Selling them a flawless fret job or lowering the action toward more typical numbers would be a dis- service.

If I do business with my name on it outside of a store, and my name will be associated with the work. I'm reluctant to hand customer satisfaction over.

Triage is big even if your doing the work directly.
Almost without exception,every instrument you see will have a collection of things that can be fixed or improved. Especially fretwork. Getting to the potential budget for work as quickly as possible I find essential. In the first minute I try and throw out some numbers, watch the reaction, and get a quick read on whether further, more thorough investigation is worthwhile.
Hesh wrote:
.........There may be limiting factors and the good news is when there are you annotate them in capital letters on the receipt such as "Needs a fret dress for lower action, estimate $180" making a "call to action" for the steward and taking any blame off your shoulders since you are pointing out that the POS is in need of further attention beyond your authorized level of repair ..........

Hesh, I assume your customer is consulted about the need for a dress before performing the set up.
Part of what I think I'm hired for is to help people make decisions by explaining the lay of the land with their instrument. If I just perform a setup as best as possible and return a bill that says "needs a refret $350+", many customers will be disappointed that wasn't pointed out before charging for the set up.
A surprisingly large portion of the time, someone comes in with a small complaint but it turns out there is a foundational problem and they choose no to spend the money on a superficial fix. This often leads inturn to a return with a new/used instrument and a request to set that one up. The mechanism for this education/negotiation when working for a shop seems tricky.

I record in and out specs similar to Freeman. It's a time suck but I can't figure a way to throw them out.
The vast majority of instruments I work on are acoustic and repeat customers. For example, If everyday was a new day, I would be shrugging my shoulders and charging folks to lower their saddle and then make them a new, taller one, two weeks later . If I set something up with a certain gauge string set and they get changed many would expect an explanation why thing are off not just a charge for further work. also, when juggling multiple repairs with longer turnaround times, my memory can't retain important info on all of them so notes are required anyway. I get spared confusion and wasted effort from these records a lot but haven't determined if they are a net profit.


Hi Dave. You're assumption about what the client is advised of going in is incorrect and here's why. My reference to annotating on the invoice what the thing needs in addition to the level of authorization that I am working under and within already is in the example of having a music store worker take in the instrument and not triage it well. It's working with what I have, what I'm asked to do, and within the limitations of the contract that I had nothing to do with creating. This thread is about doing music store work which is usually done with the Luthier never meeting or talking with the client. Most folks that I know who struggle with music store work do it at their own places for reasons of set-up, tooling and schedules. I did it for over five years and rarely had client contact for the music store work.

Now if you want to ask me about how a client is teated at OUR triage bench, Ann Arbor Guitars where we are NOT a music store we have a special bench for this with special lighting and even visual aids to help us explain things such as conversions to unslotted pins and bridge plate damage, that's a different matter.

Of course it's mostly on us to spot all that can be spotted during triage but it's also a realistic balancing act in that stuff does get missed because decent customer service is not making someone stand there for half an hour while we make all manner of measurements. It's a detailed but still cursory check relying heavily on our experience where we just know from the 10,000 other guitars that we repaired what to look for on the POS in front of us. Taylors have certain issues, G*bsons too, etc. etc.

It's also very prudent to ask the client what they have been experiencing with the instrument and then shut the hell up and listen, listen, and listen and when I'm done doing that I shut up a bit more and listen again. I used to teach this by the way and that's how I presented it. Mr. and Mrs. Customer will tell you what they want, when they want it, how they want it, what they want to pay for it we just need to ask the right questions and then respect them enough to really "hear" them.

A very common mistake of amateurs in dealing with the public is assuming that they need to be presenting things, ideas, quotes, concepts, mansplaining.... all of the time. That's wrong. Instead shut the hell up and listen, you will learn in short order that your life improves and so too do the lives of those who depend on us as service providers. This is not directed at you by the way, it's something that I taught to thousands of the highest paid sales people ever when I was still working the real job....;)

I'm very keen to catch it all up front (what's wrong with the instrument...) with the client present so that I can explain the value proposition of doing the work or a subset of the work now to them while I can show them on their actual instrument what I am speaking of. I also really listen... as mentioned.

In the music store model this opportunity may not be present, that's what I was addressing.

BTW regarding estimates I would guess that less than 5% of our work runs over in price and usually we simply eat it and just go ahead and make it right. The better triage the less this happens.

You know keep it to yourself but I really don't work for the folks who think that they own these guitars, for now..... I work for the instruments and as such I have the important and very honorable duty to help them be whole. They depend on me for this and I'm not going to let them down. It just happens to work out that the attached human is happy with the approach too because they get the best work they have ever received in the process. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:23 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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bcombs510 wrote:
I don't want to go off topic, but I have a question for the repair folks. Do you find you need to also document each instrument with pictures / video? Dave, I know you do a lot of inside the box inspection, but that is only if you suspect a problem there? Or do you automatically get pics inside and outside of the instrument?

I'm asking because I want to know if there is a need to do this and if so, why? Is it liability reasons? Do you sometimes see things in the pictures that prompt you to investigate something else?

Good topic and timely for me.


No.

No sheets with GLOs guitar like objects drawn on them that are intended for us to circle dents, dings, other issues, etc.

If I ever feel that I need to be on guard with a prospective client about issues of liability I show them the door. It's happened before and it will happen again and I am not kidding. We have no obligation to work for anyone other then those who we agree to provide service to. Since we are not a retail store our attorneys and the police have advised us that we are "private property" and we do not have to serve everyone.

I have had to ask people to leave before and they were hallucinating drug addicts that I want out of here especially when I have a client present or I am by myself. Please also know that we donate heavily to the homeless, vets, etc but we won't have someone disrespecting our place of business. When you work in an inner city it may go with the territory....

A music store has a different set-up and does have a direct invitation for the public to come on the premises. We don't. We don't even have a sign on the street anymore and don't need one.

Back to documentation. I know others here will disagree and that's fine but if you have to document you are experiencing "opportunity costs" and if you do too much of this you may never make it as a viable business. There is LOTS of room between running a tight ship in terms of a viable business and cutting corners in anyway. Corner cutting need not happen and we don't do it but we also will not agree to work for someone who is complaining about the last work that they had from a known, reputable source. Red flags, go elsewhere, don't let the door hit you in the arse.

Lutherie repair work can be fraught with pitfalls or very rewarding and even profitable. Which way it goes for you will have everything to the idea of if you are capable of learning a few things and also accepting that what we assume to be a correct approach may not work well in this line of work.

Be honest, provide real value, turn away work if you can't make a noticeable difference or if the client is a jerk, and never stop listening to Mr. and Mrs. Customer and you can spend your days endless toiling by candlelight with sharp chisel in hand and love every minute of it.

I do take photos of very high value stuff when it's on premises but that's a loss prevention and insurance thing. I never spend over two minutes doing it either.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:03 pm 
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Koa
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Hesh wrote:
Hi Dave. You're assumption about what the client is advised of going in is incorrect and here's why.

Hesh,my misunderstanding of what you were saying.

My posts about what I do and have found are offered up not as someone who has figured it all out and is swinging the world by the tail but as someone still struggling to stay above "Walmart Greeter" Wages with integrity. I post them hoping they might provide something useful for others or prompt useful feedback for me.
Hesh is apparently much more successful at the game and his methods should certainly be weighted accordingly.



These users thanked the author david farmer for the post (total 2): Hesh (Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:42 pm) • JSDenvir (Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:05 pm)
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:45 pm 
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david farmer wrote:
Hesh wrote:
Hi Dave. You're assumption about what the client is advised of going in is incorrect and here's why.

Hesh,my misunderstanding of what you were saying.

My posts about what I do and have found are offered up not as someone who has figured it all out and is swinging the world by the tail but as someone still struggling to stay above "Walmart Greeter" Wages with integrity. I post them hoping they might provide something useful for others or prompt useful feedback for me.
Hesh is apparently much more successful at the game and his methods should certainly be weighted accordingly.


No problem and I've always wanted to be a Walmart greeter. There must be an opportunity in there to check out all the old ladies some even still with teeth...;). Don't mind me I'm just a Dotard who likes his life ;)

Never a problem Dave it's easy to misunderstand me when I put the corporate America hat on.....


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 Post subject: Doing setups for others
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:33 am 
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Koa
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Phew, I won't try to compete with Hesh -- my typing skills aren't up to it, let alone my brain.

Just got one question for you, Steve: is the store expecting you to do this work on their premises, or in your home-based workshop? I think you know where I'm going with this -- think "insurance". It's a thorny issue, and I've done my share of dodging it, but you need to think about it. Taking your tools to the music store and doing the work there eliminates any issues with insurance claims denied when the adjustor discovers you have a "commercial" enterprise at home. Selling the odd hand-built guitar from home is one thing, doing contracted repair work from home is another. Personally, I'm relieved that my home is fully covered, as is that $15,000 vintage guitar the second it steps foot on my property -- even if the idiot who drops it is yours truly! But it ain't cheap and digs deep into the profit.

As for "pristine" fret work coming into the shop -- it rarely happens. The cardinal rule is "Do no harm!" (I think that's a Hesh mantra?). To respect that rule, we often need to be loose with hard-and-fast "ideal" specs and do what is best and affordable for the client. I work on everything from "just make it playable" done at no charge for young kids whose parents can't afford it, to the work stable for pro musicians, to beautiful vintage Martins and Gibsons owned by collectors. Regardless of the guitar, we can almost always make a vast improvement in playability that is immediately appreciated by the customer. Seeing their reaction is pretty good for the ego. For that reason alone, I won't do music store work any more -- I want to be there when the client picks up the instrument and gives it a test run. Besides, pro musicians rarely go to music store for their work, and who wants to split the fee with a store?

A Canada-specific hint -- go to the Long and McQuade website and look over their published repair rates. You'll find it of interest -- there may be others, but so far it's the only Canadian repair pricing I've found on line for comparison.

I've tried various kinds of advertising, as I've set up my shop on THREE continents over the past 11 years. A web site certainly is a big help, thanks to Google, but some guy named "Steve" gave me the idea to use Kijiji -- gotta thank you mate, 'cause it's been my single biggest source of new clients since I've been back "home" in Canada.



These users thanked the author Tim Mullin for the post (total 2): JSDenvir (Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:54 pm) • Hesh (Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:45 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Koa
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Tim Mullin wrote:
A Canada-specific hint -- go to the Long and McQuade website and look over their published repair rates. You'll find it of interest -- there may be others, but so far it's the only Canadian repair pricing I've found on line for comparison.

You can’t trust me to get anything right. I see 12fret has their repair pricing posted as well. Don’t know why I missed it earlier.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:50 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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L&M prices seem pretty reasonable...


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