Stay in Tune vol#37
By Luthier Patrick Podpadec
It seems as though certain repairs come in multiples when they come into my shop. Someone will bring in a bass one day and then three more basses will walk through the door. I won’t have a mandolin for months and then two or three will come at once. Two weeks ago I was repairing broken necks. Last week it was refrets and this week all I’ve been getting is pickup installations and finish touchups. Sometimes that turns out to be a good thing for me because I will already have the necessary tools out on the bench or will have the procedure still fresh in my memory so that I may be able to perform it a little faster. Even though I have had a steady stream of instruments coming in and going out, it seems as though my shop is getting more and more crowded. It seems as though my shop is shrinking. Everywhere I look, I have something on a bench or some other project is taking up room over there or something is always getting in my way. This time of the year is always like that. My wife will bring out bags of stuff that she has bought for Christmas to hide so that my son won’t see it. (I hope he doesn’t read this article)and other stuff that she is getting ready for the holidays and next thing you know my work space looks like bomb went off in there.. I keep saying that I’m going to build another small building about 10x 20 to house some of my tools and new wood that I have been accumulating. I could use the space for cutting wood so that my shop could stay a little cleaner from all of the sawdust. Now that the weather is changing I’m not able to use the outdoors for a lot of my cutting.. It takes a lot of time to clean the shop after every time a use my router or cut some wood with my circular saw. I try to use a vacuum system when I can but sometimes it’s not feasible to do so.
Lately I have also found that my tools need to be either replaced or update. I just bought two of those new lithium battery operated screw guns and I want to tell you they are the cat’s a---! There small, light weight and the batteries last a very long time with a quick charge recovery system. Now I have to buy a new carbide band saw blade for resawing wide planks because my last one developed a crack in it and started to run very rough. I caught before it snapped on me but it’s pretty much gone now. They cost about 120.00. I have my eye on a new router (cost about 150.00,) maybe I can ask Santa to help me out with that one. I just bought a couple of new router bits for cutting inlays and other things. My old ones were getting a little worn and weren’t performing like I like them to. I have become really good friends with the people who work at the hardware store. They all know me by my first name now. I’m always going in there to buy something for some “jig” I’m making or some glue or epoxy that I need. It seems like I’m always buying shop supplies like masking tape, ( I prefer the blue tape cause it’s easy to take off after a couple of days) paper towels, lacquer thinner, guitar strings etc. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. I guess it’s just the cost of doing business, and I’m happy and appreciative of the work. It just never ends.
Well now that the weather is changing and the holidays are right around the corner it might be a good time for me to tell everyone about the great Christmas gift certificates that I put out every holiday season. For $50.00 you can buy your favorite musician a gift certificate for a major setup for any guitar or other stringed instrument. The work that is performed on this setup is valued at 75.00, including leveling frets and new strings, intonation adjustment, nut height adj. and a full cleaning. I also will be having some very affordable guitars for beginners for Christmas gifts for those young, new musicians. (Some for the older ones too). Guitar strings always make a good stocking stuffer, along with picks, tuners and guitar straps. I also have available gift certificates at $10.00, $25.00 and $100.00 increments for those of you who know that you’ll need some work done on your instrument in the future. I look forward to these colder months coming so that I can stay in my warm shop building and repairing musical instruments, it makes me feel a bit like an elf. (Without the little pointy ears)Well it is time for me to get back to work so please don’t eat too much turkey this Thanksgiving and have a wonderful holiday!
Patrick from Wood-n-Strings