This got me mad!

If you have a string instrument of any kind that needs fixing, a mistake you made in building a new instrument that you need to "disappear," or a question about the ethics of altering an older instrument, ask here. Please note that it will be much easier for us to help you decide on the best repair method if you post some pictures of the problem.
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Max Debelleix
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:00 am
Location: France

This got me mad!

Post by Max Debelleix »

Hello everybody.



Loooooooooooonnnnnnnggggggg time no see. Hello to the old geezars. And to the newbs too! :mrgreen:

I came back down sniffing here for another issue. But when i saw the title of this section. Which i had somewhat forgotten. That made me think of this

https://youtu.be/7NEjZcdz87Q

How dares he call himself a luthier, he's nothing but a piece of soggy basswood.

I got completely bonkers seeing this.

Hope ye're all well.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Hello Max, from one of the old geezers!
I'm surprised you took exception to his lutherie work. There were a few things I might have done differently, but he seemed to get it back together in reasonably good fashion, and to the level of the average 60 year old factory production guitar.

Chuck Tweedy
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Chuck Tweedy »

Hey Max - 'nuther geezer here! Glad to see you.
Have you heard anything from Dave Higham?
Likes to drink Rosewood Juice

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Jim McConkey
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Jim McConkey »

Welcome back, Max!
MIMForum Staff - Way North of Baltimore

Max Debelleix
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:00 am
Location: France

Re: This got me mad!

Post by Max Debelleix »

Hey guys. Cool to see you're still here.

Clay, i'm sorry, but that's a bodger's job. Raising the fingerboard, with crap wood, to accomodate for the new top. :roll:

Chuck, sorry, that name doesn't even ring a bell to me. But zillion liters of beer have down my guts since the original mimf.

Hello Jim! Your names guys, i haven't forgotten! :mrgreen:

Max Debelleix
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Max Debelleix »

:mrgreen: Another one which made me go "duh"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fixMWe-O5u4 At 3 minutes onwards. You want to sell a 50 thousand dollars guitar with strings attached to the bridge that way? Not even trimmed?

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Ryan Mazzocco
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

Dang, you're tough. Please don't watch any of my videos. (seriously)

I encounter "bad repairs" all the time. I really try hard to not criticize. I don't know what experience, resources, tools, etc, that the guy before me had. I know I've made some poor decisions in some repairs I've attempted in the past. The memories of some of the things I've done still haunt me knowing that some of this "hack job repair" might get traced back to me and damage the reputation I'm trying to build. But I've also learned a TON from those mistakes. I still make mistakes and learn from them every day. I also learn from other people's mistakes. I understand you may have been away a while, but what I have seen in the luthier community is that we are a very sharing, generous group helping each other to better ourselves and our craft rather than tearing down.
I've talked with this guy before. He's a really nice guy with a good heart; runs a program to help get instruments in kids' hands. I'd suggest, rather than publicly pointing out his perceived deficiencies with playground shaming methods, you reach out to him personally and politely express your concerns with his techniques with a view to help him better his craft.

Max Debelleix
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Max Debelleix »

Ryan, i have done it. Left a comment on his video. And this is no playground shaming methods.

I tell you straight. With a modern instrument, factory built mainstream thing, he can do whatever he wants. With a 50+ years old Brazilian rosewood back and side set, from a renowned maker like gibson. Even if classical guitars isn't the "mainstream" for Gibson. You don't touch it if you're not skilled. What drove me mad too, calling himself a "luthier" c'mon. I don't even think i would dare calling myself that. And i have been to school to learn that trade. To me, he should have done some research before doing the job. Check what scale length he needed. Plane the top the thickness it should be. Angle the underneath of the fingerboard, to accomodate for the neck angle. That is how it should be done.

And all these comments, are here to help the real wanabees to comprehend what is needed in order to do a good repair job. Criticism of one wrongdoer, pointing out his mistakes, in order to help several others, willing to do à proper repair, or rebuild job.

You might like the guy, and think he did good. I don't. And i think he really deserves a big slap on the head, for presenting on the internet, a bodger's job, trying to make it pass as good workmanship. This is not. And does us all harm. I don't work in this field anymore. But, i have had customers in the past, trying to explain to me how to do the job. Imagine someone coming to you for a repair, and telling you after, that you should have done it the Brian's way, because he is a "luthier"

Get my point?

Max Debelleix
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Max Debelleix »

As for the other video.

Nope, you don't expect to sell a 35000 dollars guitar, with the strings dangling on the back of the bridge.

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Ryan Mazzocco
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Ryan Mazzocco »

ok cool.

Bill Raymond
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Bill Raymond »

Well, I have to agree, Max that adding rosewood veneer to the neck because he neglected to consider the thickness of the top is a bad move, but once he got that far into it he didn't have much of a choice but to make up for that mistake somehow. It would have been better, perhaps, to adjust the underside of the fretboard to accommodate step he created between the neck and top, but what he did does work. His top bracing looks a bit odd, too; I seem to remember that the Richard Pick models were said to be "Hauser models", although after all these years I may be misremembering. Gibson classicals were never well thought of; I have a C-1 model and it isn't much of a classical guitar--Gibson style neck, but wider, very heavy bridge, tortoise celluloid binding. It was a graduation present from my grandparents, but I should have opted for the Martin nylon string guitar.

Ian Petersen
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Ian Petersen »

Max Debelleix wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:07 pm
How dares he call himself a luthier
I beg to differ ...

As far as I know anyone can call themselves a luthier if they feel so inclined. I believe Germany was the last place where the title required accredition, but I don't think it's longer a requirement even there. The guy builds guitars – ergo he's a luthier!

Aside from his slightly annoying presentation style I have no problem with this chap's techniques. The guitar in question was neither particularly rare, valuable or culturally significant. He's perfectly at liberty to do whatever he likes with it for his own amusement. Sure he's a bit rough and ready, but there's nothing wrong with that. Let's face it, many vintage Gibsons were equally rough and ready. It gets the job done. He obviously knows the limitations of his own skills and available tools and succeeds in getting a playable instrument out of a pile of kindling using some nice creative solutions. More power to him ... !

There are plenty of 'proper' luthiers on YouTube obsessing over every glue speck. I find it refreshing to see someone treat the craft with some honest enthusiasm and a little less po-faced reverence. Luthiery need not be rocket science or brain surgery ...

Bill Raymond
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Bill Raymond »

Yes, the end result is that he restored a mediocre guitar to playability. It's even possible that his addition of a couple layers of veneer to that neck may have made it better, if it was anything like the neck on my C-1. It may even sound better than it did out of the factory.

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Bryan Bear
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Bryan Bear »

In my humble opinion there are two ways of looking at this type of thing.

On one hand there is lots of bad advice to be found on youtube and social media. It is hard for someone new to this to know what is and what isn't good advise. Often what is acceptable or not, needs to be viewed in the context of the instrument you are starting with and the goals of the project. Getting a campfire guitar back in playable condition would not need as much scrutiny as restoring a 100 year old Martin parlor guitar. Sometimes that message gets lost.

Spreading bad advice is a downside of the media but there are upsides too. People are once again being brought into the mindset that they can make and repair stuff. Places like youtube are inspiring people to become hands on and create and/or fix things rather than see the world as disposable. These are good things. Sparking an interest in "luthiery" will lead some to look deeper and find the treasure trove of good advice out there.

That is why places like this are so important because they are community moderated. I know that I have large gaps in my knowledge and try to communicate that when I post here or answer questions. But I know that if I say something here that is suspect or there is better advice out there, someone will correct me or at least a conversation will start bringing multiple people's experience to bear. These are all good things. If you read through the very early discussions here (I don't know if they are still even available after the upgrades) you can see that this place has come a long way. When I found this place, there was already a lot of infrastructure of experience in place but I remember reading old discussions and there was plenty of conjecture in the early goings. People will build knowledge by sharing and viewing what has been shared.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Barry Daniels »

Those old discussions are still accessible in the library. I bet that few people here now have ever searched this virtual treasure trove.
MIMF Staff

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Bryan Bear
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Bryan Bear »

There is a lot of good stuff in there to be sure. I read so much of that library when I was getting into this. I had no experience at all, didn't know anyone locally and your tube wasn't really a thing. At first I didn't even understand most of what I read but I just kept reading and rereading discussions as I made the first few instruments. Slowly, it all started to come together as I started to figure out what the various terms and concepts meant. I should go back in and read more. I bet there are lots of little tidbits that I have missed or forgotten. It would also be neat to see who I got things that I do from.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: This got me mad!

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

So often what we hear from professional repair people when presented with a basket case such as that Gibson is that it isn't economically feasible to rebuild it. The cost of repairs would be more than the guitar is worth. They can make more doing fretwork and set ups in the same amount of time it would take to repair it properly. And they are right.

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