A week out the shop
9 Mar 2020
The good news - my workbench finally shipped! Unfortunately it did so on Friday, so last week I didn’t get into a workshop at all, instead knuckling down with software work in anticipation that the back half of this month will be getting set up in the new space, and finding out all the tools that I’m used to having around but don’t have.
It was interesting to note that I had to get a couple of add-ons for the workbench from another vendor, as no one vendor had everything I wanted, and they all shipped at roughly the same time: I imagine there was a Sjoberg’s boat that landed full of stuff to restock a lot of starved hardware stores.
Not to say this delay has been impacting my mental state, but this is the kind of detail I’ve started spotting when playing games on my Xbox:
Those are clearly sturdy well-built workbenches - they have bench dogs set up and everything! Hello? Perhaps I need to get back into the workshop soon…
One thing I did do as I think about this guitar show at the end of the month was update the website. What I meant to do was make some flyers, which I failed to do, but a prelude to that was going through all my pictures from the last few builds that are hidden in my phone’s photo collection (which is embarrasingly large as I also use the phone’s camera as a note taking device of sorts)., and having got the photos I added a couple of the more recent builds to the website.
I also got in touch with the suppliers I use that hand build some of the components I use, to ask if they were happy with me cross promoting them at my stand and on my website. One of the nice things I think about my guitars, which seems to resonate with clients, is that although I say don’t build the pickups myself, I can tell you the person who did, so there’s still a traceable link to the builder as much as possible.
I don’t believe that I can reasonably build every part myself, as much as that’s a tempting rabbit hole to go down: I’d rather concentrate on a subset that I can master, and work with other talented people to fill the gaps that go to make the entire instrument. In any endeavour it’s important to define some boundaries so you can focus better. So, for example, although the pickups are a huge part of an electric guitar’s character, I don’t make them myself as I know that’s a whole other skill set and set of experiences required; but what I do is instead work with Matthew at House of Tone Pickups, who makes the pickups I use and I trust to nail it when I explain to him my client’s music tastes/styles.
So the website is updated, but now I have some pictures I really need to get flyers done in the next couple of days to allow for printing and postage times.
In unexciting but important things, I had to deal with the old Mac Mini that I have that runs my backup software dying, and organising to get that replaced. Whilst I do the majority of my build by hand, there’s lots of digital assets associated with guitar building: my CAD models where I do the initial design, the artwork that goes on the headstock, my code I use for generating fretboard layouts, the 3D print files I’ve used for controls, etc.
If my laptop is lost or stolen, or its disk fails (I’ve had this happen a couple of times in the past, so I know this is a real posibility), then I’d be heavily impacted without a backup to restore from. So, my plea of you dear reader is to make sure you know where your backups are, be it to an external disk, a cloud service, or something else: just makes sure you have a backup of your important data!