CNC vs. all handmade

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by tms13pin, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Ron.

    Suffice it to say, whatever it is you're doing - just keep doing it. :)
     
  2. hansoloist

    hansoloist Supporting Member

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    After taking notice of how many people neglect to wash their hands upon exiting the restroom, I'll take a CNC guitar every time. Thanks, folks, I'm here all week!!!

    peace
    -jeff
     
  3. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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  4. DamianP

    DamianP Member

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    This should perhaps be a separate thread but I`m intrigued as to the economics of guitar building and the purchase of cnc machines.
    Addmitedly I`m no buisiness expert but I `m having difficulty working out how a small one or two man shop could fund such a machine to be used solely for guitar related use from the same.

    I realise that this relates to things such as individuals personal circumstances and have no desire to pry, but I can`t make the sums add up for overhead/ price as it relates to my corner of the world.

    My knowledge of US geography is limited. Do most small guitar builders operate in areas with low overhead costs?
     
  5. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    When you try to do the math, make sure that you've included these two factors in your formula--they play a pretty important role, from what I can tell:

    - Love

    - Insanity

    ;)
     
  6. eric102673

    eric102673 Member

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    Ain't that the ever loving truth! :D

    Go guys go!!!

    -e.
     
  7. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    The best description I've heard:
    Heck, even G&L has changed their tune and started using 'em.
     
  8. dirk nixon

    dirk nixon Member

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    +1

    These guys are my hero's!
     
  9. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

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    we'll consider this..... 2 employees at $70000 for the pair.....10 sick days a piece..plus 1 week vacation a piece. CNC $70000...works 7 days a week 365 days a year...and rarely makes a mistake.....and doesn't complain:D
     
  10. big mike

    big mike David Grissom Wannabee Gold Supporting Member

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    And Ron's in California. Low overhead??

    BWWWAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

    Try to rent an apartment here for less than 1500 a month.:eek:
     
  11. cswolfe

    cswolfe Guest

    No thanks, Big Mike. In those areas I don't care for the gangs that wear purple, so I won't fit in.

    Thanks, guys. Wonderful thread.
     
  12. Drunkagain

    Drunkagain Member

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    Really, really interesting thread. Thanks to the builders for the breakdown. I've never given much thought to whats done with the CNC and whats done by hand other than knowing it's more than I could ever do. Puts how much work these guys do into perspective. :dude
     
  13. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator ^/|\^ Co-Founder of TGP Staff Member

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    Personally I have always laughed at the "Handmade" concept.

    If you buy evolution (or not) we humans made these cool things called tools. And with these tools, we have done some really cool things.

    And folks have built guitars - and all their ancestor instruments - with tools.

    The CNC is just another tool. As sure as a hammer, saw, chisel or straight edge is a tool.

    So the whole debate stems from nothing but ignorance IMHO.

    And it is a credit to the folks that took time out from building real guitars to put thier thoughts up here; those posts probably took enormous amounts of time and effort to commit to our screens across the world.
     
  14. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    I'm still saving for one of Saul's models built solely with fingernails and teeth.
     
  15. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator ^/|\^ Co-Founder of TGP Staff Member

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    Again, tools. :D

    Handmade, in the strictest sense, means using nothing but your hands. I'll let you use your fingernails, but teeth? You may as well be using one of 'dem evil CNC machines. :D
     
  16. Saul Koll

    Saul Koll Member

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    That's funny! Wait, I gotta get the splinters out of my teeth....

    OK!

    This is an interesting thread. Great posts by all.

    I am all for the best tool for the job, or at least the best tools that I can afford. At this time I have not gone that route but it is not because I have anything against it. I am very interested and continue to research. I am sure that at least some of my operations will be done that way before too long. I look forward to the new possibilities.

    I am quite certain that Stradavarius and Amati would have used CNC had it been available to them.

    In the mean time, please pass the floss....


    cheers,

    Saul
     
  17. John Mayes

    John Mayes Member

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    I do all my bodies by hand, as with my hollow ones and chambered ones I will vary things slightly to take into account the different woods and what the customer wants in the end.

    My necks I have done by CNC to my specs. It is more accurate than what I can do by hand and if a custom neck profile is wanted then I have my guy leave it oversize and I can finish the carve by hand.

    CNC is awesome for some things and not worth it for others.
     
  18. Mark Ray

    Mark Ray The RockTrain Gold Supporting Member

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    This is great stuff!

    I've been through the PRS factory twice, and as others have already said the amount of real hands touching guitars is astounding. The machines just "cut out the canvas" as far as I'm concerned. The guitars take a ton of work to get completed.

    Having a guitar built by Ron, with update pics from time to time was a real eye opener. Let's not forget that he still does inlay for lots of other guitars, on top of building his guitars. I knew the wait ahead of time, and couldn't expect the guitar to be done quicker than that. You're looking at 2 or 3 people working on it compared to 100+ (PRS). I don't know the typical wait time for a Private Stock from PRS, but I'm guessing it's considerably longer than a production line guitar-much more along the lines of Ron, Joe, etc.

    Question for Ron: How did you get the neck blank for #29 to fit into the CNC?

    :D :D :D

    Mark
     
  19. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Mark, I think Ron had to make a bigger CNC for your guitar's neck! :p
     
  20. DamianP

    DamianP Member

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    If a rent of $1500/month is an indicator of high overhead costs then I`ll assume the answer to my original question is yes.

    Just trying to get a handle on the viability angle of guitar making.

    ,Damian.
     

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