Air Travel with a Clay Schaeffer travel guitar

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Air Travel with a Clay Schaeffer travel guitar

Postby Matthew Lau » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:16 pm

Hey MIMF,

I'm not sure if this is appropriate to post, since I didn't build it.
However, I wanted to give props to Clay Schaeffer for building me a special guitar.
I'd also like to document how it's like travelling with the guitar.

If the moderator doesn't mind, I'd like to post pictures and feedback on the guitar.
Matthew Lau
 
Posts: 439
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Air Travel with a Clay Schaeffer travel guitar

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:15 pm

Since I didn't hear anything from our moderators, I'll just start posting.

I first heard about Clay's travel guitar in 1995, at it (along with Kathy Matsushita's website and a 1935 Martin 000) are a large part of why I got into guitar building.
It was the coolest guitar ever, and the only travel guitar that I'd want to buy.
However, I'd never had the time to build one.

Over the years, I tried the Martin backpacker (too small, bad ergos), and bought (and sold) a Voyagaire-- the neck heel joint still stuck up leaving a fairly big package.

This past year, I asked Clay to build me one...which he did.
Attachments
IMG_20180725_193624.jpg
Here in my office, the guitar helps make it my happy place.

The guitar is designed for Silk n' Steel, and really comes alive with a light touch.

Also, that is an infill plane in a dental office.
Matthew Lau
 
Posts: 439
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Air Travel with a Clay Schaeffer travel guitar

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:23 pm

On folding, the body tucks *inside* the guitar.

What isn't shown is that the neck is secured at two (almost 3) points to avoid damaging the body.
The headstock snuggles into a padded groove in the neckblock.
The heel screws into a metal insert at the heel.

Additionally, there's little thoughtful touches:
- captive nut, so strings don't flop.
- string holder, so that strings don't flop when you remove the neck
- a sock as additional padding
- velvet coverings for all the loose bits (trussrod adjuster, hex, soundhole cover, etc.
- Clay made the nut and saddle of fossil ivory. Wow!
- The inlayed rosette is real shell, not laminate. Quite a few guitar lovers were quite taken by his work.

There's also big touches:
- The custom coffin case is ideal for travel. Tough, but understated. Great to sit on.
- The stabilizers in the neck joint to avoid going out of tune, and create a 3 point contact

Overall, you can shake the sucker and not have any issues.
Attachments
IMG_20181010_172253 folded.jpg
In transformed mode, the case is under maximum carry on size...and breezed through TSA.

I've had more trouble and dirty looks with a backpack, than with Clay's travel guitar!
Matthew Lau
 
Posts: 439
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Air Travel with a Clay Schaeffer travel guitar

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:29 pm

The nicest thing about having a guitar with you at an airport, is that you can relax a bit.

Everyone is busy playing on their phones, eating overpriced fast food, or frantically trying to ignore people.

Meantime, I have a great guitar...the world is swell!


edit- note how the shell catches the light just so.
I may have to copy Clay, and spend the extra time to use real shell on my future instruments.
Otherwise, I'd not have bothered.
Attachments
IMG_20181011_104548 oak .jpg
I found a nice view of the ocean in Oakland Airport. While I'm a pretty bad guitar player, it was a beautiful place to charge my phone and play guitar.
Matthew Lau
 
Posts: 439
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Air Travel with a Clay Schaeffer travel guitar

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:44 pm

The nicest thing about having a really cool Clay Schaeffer travel guitar, is that you make friends really fast.

People go-- "whoa, nice guitar!"
When they see the case-- "Is that a baby coffin?" "French horn case?"
Then, they see the transform state-- "That's way cool!" "I want one!" "My niece/son/me/etc could definitely use one!"

About 15 minutes after the last picture was taken, I met a new friend who was travelling to gig around LA.
She's a music/behavioral therapist part time, and a travelling singer/songwriter on the side.
Btw, she named her guitar Gilgamesh.

The next day, the head of LA peer review was sitting next to me in class.
His smile when he held that guitar was really something else...as was the response of pretty much every other dentist in the classroom.
Attachments
IMG_20181011_111304 gilgamesh.jpg
The $2 bill was a tip from a airline pilot passing us by. Good music, and possibly the most enjoyable airplane wait ever.
Matthew Lau
 
Posts: 439
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Air Travel with a Clay Schaeffer travel guitar

Postby Matthew Lau » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:47 pm

As for what I'd change--it's very minor:

1. I'm going to do some fretwork.
Stuff can get loose, also I'm a very picky dentist guy.
2. I don't see why the bridge is notched...makes it harder to use different strings to due stress points.
3. I'd change the handle from metal to something softer on the hands...maybe leather.

Aside from that, I honestly can't think of anything substantial to change in Clay's design.
Which for me is very, very high praise indeed!

Clay, get a real email address or website someday!
Pretty much any warmblooded guitarist that sees your design wants one.
Heck, Muriel Anderson asked me if I could build her one too!

I told her that I'd try...but it's very hard...and I'm not Clay Schaeffer.
Matthew Lau
 
Posts: 439
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am


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