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
Posts: 18
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
Posts: 1475
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

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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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:25 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

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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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:00 pm
Location: Way north of Baltimore, MD

Re: This got me mad!

Post by Jim McConkey »

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

Max Debelleix
Posts: 18
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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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:00 am
Location: France

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

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
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:00 am
Location: France

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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Location: Red Bluff California

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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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:51 am
Location: Denmark

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 ...

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