HNHD (new house) and potential side business/hustle.

Midgetje94

Friend of Leo's
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Jun 22, 2021
Posts
2,300
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29
Location
Texas
After 4 years together. We finally decided to get a house. We move in the 1st. (We are renting for now) but 3bed 2bath. Nice yard with 2 sheds. One shed is a small yard equipment one. But the other has electricity and plenty of space.

I’ve built and repainted and such other guitars. I’m in north Texas with a lot of bar bands. Want to try my hand in building for profit. (Start with parts casters, then try to team with a local wood shop to make bodies. Maybe buy a few at a time. And just see what happens) I’ve made/painted guitars that sell pretty quick. My main tele is a build that’s gotten a lot of looks and compliments. My idea is to make a tele for a guy here (he’s mentioned wanting a purple sparkle tele) try to make him one (either sell for cost or gift it) try to get my name out. And see where that path takes me.

Trying to design a logo now. Pictures are the shed, a MiM Strat I painted, a yellow build I painted and aged, and the sunburst is my go to build that had been featured several times here.
 

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nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
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Feb 3, 2017
Posts
18,338
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70
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
After 4 years together. We finally decided to get a house. We move in the 1st. (We are renting for now) but 3bed 2bath. Nice yard with 2 sheds. One shed is a small yard equipment one. But the other has electricity and plenty of space.

I’ve built and repainted and such other guitars. I’m in north Texas with a lot of bar bands. Want to try my hand in building for profit. (Start with parts casters, then try to team with a local wood shop to make bodies. Maybe buy a few at a time. And just see what happens) I’ve made/painted guitars that sell pretty quick. My main tele is a build that’s gotten a lot of looks and compliments. My idea is to make a tele for a guy here (he’s mentioned wanting a purple sparkle tele) try to make him one (either sell for cost or gift it) try to get my name out. And see where that path takes me.

Trying to design a logo now. Pictures are the shed, a MiM Strat I painted, a yellow build I painted and aged, and the sunburst is my go to build that had been featured several times here.
Best of luck......my main guitar tech is a guy who worked out of a converted garage, then expanded into a nice (bigger) backyard shed. It's a TOUGH field to be successful in.
I think if you want to be well known, you may have to do set ups and repairs, and get good word-of-mouth.
Where are you in Texas? Lots of us here in the general DFW area......maybe we can help support you. ;)
 

Preacher

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Posts
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Location
Big D
I agree with @nojazzhere word of mouth will spread quickly if you are worth your salt as a luthier or repairman among the guitar community.

I started building guitars back in the early 2000's because I am too cheap to go and buy a high dollar guitar, so I built them myself.
I do quite a bit of guitar repair for friends of mine, on my own time and at whatever rate I decide to charge.

My suggestions:
Shoot straight and don't give anything away - My grandfather used to say, "don't do anything for free that you are good at."

Do great work - go beyond the call. I had a guy one time bring in a guitar that after I did the set up I noticed that the switch did not function correctly when I gave it a good playing after. I called the guy and asked about it and he said that the switch had been wonky since he owned it. I checked the connections and there was a bad solder joint (pups had been upgraded) so I reflowed that joint and the switch worked again. That guy could not quit talking about that fix to other people.

Do what you say when you say you will do it - I had a build working for a friend of mine. He supplied some parts but the bulk of the build was pro-bono. Anyway we started in November and I told him it usually took me a year so no hurry. He comes to me at the beginning of February and tells me that his band got invited to play at SXSW and if I could get the new guitar finished he would be glad to play it. I busted my butt to get that guitar ready and it almost killed me to do it but I told him I would do my best and I did. He had never forgot it.

Good luck and let us know where you are setting up!
 

nojazzhere

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Posts
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Age
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Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
I agree with @nojazzhere word of mouth will spread quickly if you are worth your salt as a luthier or repairman among the guitar community.

I started building guitars back in the early 2000's because I am too cheap to go and buy a high dollar guitar, so I built them myself.
I do quite a bit of guitar repair for friends of mine, on my own time and at whatever rate I decide to charge.

My suggestions:
Shoot straight and don't give anything away - My grandfather used to say, "don't do anything for free that you are good at."

Do great work - go beyond the call. I had a guy one time bring in a guitar that after I did the set up I noticed that the switch did not function correctly when I gave it a good playing after. I called the guy and asked about it and he said that the switch had been wonky since he owned it. I checked the connections and there was a bad solder joint (pups had been upgraded) so I reflowed that joint and the switch worked again. That guy could not quit talking about that fix to other people.

Do what you say when you say you will do it - I had a build working for a friend of mine. He supplied some parts but the bulk of the build was pro-bono. Anyway we started in November and I told him it usually took me a year so no hurry. He comes to me at the beginning of February and tells me that his band got invited to play at SXSW and if I could get the new guitar finished he would be glad to play it. I busted my butt to get that guitar ready and it almost killed me to do it but I told him I would do my best and I did. He had never forgot it.

Good luck and let us know where you are setting up!
100% ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
And, I would add, the reverse can be true. Do shoddy work, especially when starting out, and your reputation will never recover.
My experience, when I was a neon glassblower, was that it almost never worked out doing free work, just to build a "reputation". Charge fair and competitive prices, and most people will understand and appreciate it. If you're good enough, your reputation will follow. Cutthroat rates will eventually cut your own throat.
Again......good luck. ;)
 

Peegoo

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Posts
13,330
Location
Beast of Bourbon
There really is no money to be made building guitars one at a time unless your name commands high prices. If you really enjoy the process, however, there's value in that, so don't let my advice stop you :)

There is, however, lots of money to be made doing maintenance, repairs, and modifications. There's also a much lower startup cost (tools, etc.).
 

Midgetje94

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Posts
2,300
Age
29
Location
Texas
Best of luck......my main guitar tech is a guy who worked out of a converted garage, then expanded into a nice (bigger) backyard shed. It's a TOUGH field to be successful in.
I think if you want to be well known, you may have to do set ups and repairs, and get good word-of-mouth.
Where are you in Texas? Lots of us here in the general DFW area......maybe we can help support you. ;)

I actually grew up in Wylie lol. (Especially Plano for those not super familiar) but I’m up in Sherman now. About a hour north of DFW.

And I don’t think I’d make it huge. Mainly a hobby I have. Trying to make a profit just to feed the next build kinda thing. A self funding hobby of sorts. Lol. Build because I enjoy it. Once I finish one. Find it a forever home. Use said money to start a new one. But in theory if I work with local artist to cater a build to what they want. It allows them to get a guitar they want. And may grow from there.

And I thought about setting up shop as a general repair(setup, restring, ect.) but my area. There’s really just 1 shop in general. And he does that. And we are good buddies. I’d hate to step on his toes. But he doesn’t really do builds or refinish.

Locally we have 1 amp builder, 1 guitar shop, and a set of brothers who do funky pedal stuff. So the building and refinish section is kinda untouched. And won’t be stepping on local toes
 
Last edited:

Midgetje94

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 22, 2021
Posts
2,300
Age
29
Location
Texas
I agree with @nojazzhere word of mouth will spread quickly if you are worth your salt as a luthier or repairman among the guitar community.

I started building guitars back in the early 2000's because I am too cheap to go and buy a high dollar guitar, so I built them myself.
I do quite a bit of guitar repair for friends of mine, on my own time and at whatever rate I decide to charge.

My suggestions:
Shoot straight and don't give anything away - My grandfather used to say, "don't do anything for free that you are good at."

Do great work - go beyond the call. I had a guy one time bring in a guitar that after I did the set up I noticed that the switch did not function correctly when I gave it a good playing after. I called the guy and asked about it and he said that the switch had been wonky since he owned it. I checked the connections and there was a bad solder joint (pups had been upgraded) so I reflowed that joint and the switch worked again. That guy could not quit talking about that fix to other people.

Do what you say when you say you will do it - I had a build working for a friend of mine. He supplied some parts but the bulk of the build was pro-bono. Anyway we started in November and I told him it usually took me a year so no hurry. He comes to me at the beginning of February and tells me that his band got invited to play at SXSW and if I could get the new guitar finished he would be glad to play it. I busted my butt to get that guitar ready and it almost killed me to do it but I told him I would do my best and I did. He had never forgot it.

Good luck and let us know where you are setting up!

Well the idea of giving the first away is a guy I’m closer too here. Plays in 2 bands here. A lot of solid gigs. Just to help spread my name to other artists
 

Preacher

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Posts
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Location
Big D
Well the idea of giving the first away is a guy I’m closer too here. Plays in 2 bands here. A lot of solid gigs. Just to help spread my name to other artists

Not a bad idea if he is a friend of yours. When I first started building I had a friend who was a really good guitar player. All of my builds went through his hands first. I could usually tell if he liked a guitar or not in the first five minutes.

A bad guitar went like this.
He picked up guitar and tuned it by ear checking intonation points along the neck. The he strummed a few chords. Then he would play a couple of licks. If the guitar was a dud he would hand it back to me and tell me that the action was too high, too low or the intonation was off. That the neck was too skinny, too fat or the edges need rolled. He would kind of pick it apart before he even plugged it into an amp. I remember the first time he handed a guitar back to me before plugging it into an amp. I said, "you don't even know what it sounds like." He looked at me and said, "but I know how it plays." I will never forget that.

A good guitar went like this.
He did all he did with a bad guitar but after a few licks it got plugged into an amp. Then he played some tunes through the amp, adjusting tone and volume along the way. He played so many different styles of music through that one guitar for about 30 minutes and then he would hand the guitar back to me and tell me what he liked and what kind of bothered him. On one guitar he did not like the muddy neck pickup but the rest was a winner. I went back and evaluated the neck pup, decided to make a change and then took it back to him. Which brings me to the next step.

An exceptional guitar went like this.
He did all the things he did with the bad and good guitars except he would not hand it back to me. He would just forget about me and keep playing. Then after a while he would look at me and say, "you still here? Come back in a week and I will have it broken in for you."

And that was that, I would leave the guitar with him for a week and then come back and many times he would offer to buy it. Some of the guitars I already had buyers for, others he would buy. I had one strat through in particular that he would not give back. Even though it was for another guy he would not let me have it back. He just told me I needed to make another for the other guy as he was keeping that one. It was the most expensive guitar I ever sold. I told him I needed the $$ for the cost of the other guitar on top of the price of the guitar he was keeping. He grabbed his check book, wrote me a check and sent me on my way.

I know it sounds like I have built a hundred guitars, but I think I am up around 20-30 over the last twenty years. Sadly I moved away a decade ago and sure miss the guy who would test out my guitars.
 

JL_LI

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Joined
May 20, 2017
Posts
8,851
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72
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Long Island, NY
100% ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
And, I would add, the reverse can be true. Do shoddy work, especially when starting out, and your reputation will never recover.
My experience, when I was a neon glassblower, was that it almost never worked out doing free work, just to build a "reputation". Charge fair and competitive prices, and most people will understand and appreciate it. If you're good enough, your reputation will follow. Cutthroat rates will eventually cut your own throat.
Again......good luck. ;)
One small bit of business advice. Return phone calls and answer emails. Do this even if you're fully booked. Nothing says a**hole more than ignoring inquiries. And that's a reputation that's hard to rise above. Good luck with your move and new business. 😃
 

Telekarster

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Gold Supporter
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Aug 14, 2019
Posts
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Earth
I somehow missed this thread. FWIW my shop is no bigger than yours man, and I've done work in that shop that frankly surprises me! It's really pretty amazing what you can get used to. I still want a nice pole barn or something bigger than what I have, but I've become so accustomed to my little shop that something bigger might be too much. Some really good advice here, and I agree with all of what I've read. Best of luck to you man! Looking forward to some of your build threads! ;)
 

KeithDavies 100

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 19, 2021
Posts
460
Age
60
Location
Cambridge, UK
I must be getting old and sentimental. Everyone else has focused on the guitar business, and I get that, and good luck. But also, all the very best with the new house and the new stage of your lives together. That's actually the bit that touched me! Maybe I need more sleep or something...!:)
 




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