How long it does take to manufacture guitar?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by RoCkstAr256, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    How long it does take to manufacture guitar? You known Like Fender Tele or a Strat? a Few months, year? Month ? Anybody can tell me how long Fender or other brand does it? Calling forum luthiers
     
  2. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    More like a day I would imagine, plus however long it takes for the paint to dry.
     
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  3. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I would think that is really hard to say, with assembly lines, there are SO many parts to consider, processes, their mfc. time.............assemble time.

    One would have to add all that up (ALL things required) to be truthful. Even with all the automation, I bet it would be quite a lot of time considering what it takes..........well not to the point of every screw or string..........obvious outsourced hardware things.
     
  4. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Found this......FWIW:

    1996 - Production of Fender guitars is estimated at 50,000 guitars a year. The company at this point is worth approximately $250 million. 1998 - A new state of the art 177,000 square foot facility is built in Corona, California. Built on a nineteen acre site, which at this time can manufacture 350 guitars per day.Aug 10, 2019.

    https://www.soundunlimited.co.uk/blogs/articles/fender_timeline


    Wow that's a pile of geetars ! Now I would think capable of 350 a day, markets are going to control that # is should think.
     
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  5. horseman308

    horseman308 Tele-Holic

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    If you add up the number of minutes any given piece of wood is in a machine or someone's hands, it may be anywhere from around 24 hours to several days worth of time, depending on how fancy and labor intensive a given design is (that's assuming you're talking about large-scale production where much of the major labor is now done by machines). For example, your average standard Telecaster is gonna be simpler and faster to make than a standard Les Paul. But in those big factories, they're making neck, bodies, pickups, etc. in large batches, so any given piece may sit in a rack for an unknown period of time before it is chosen.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
     
  6. sjtalon

    sjtalon Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Henry Ford's assembly line wasn't done to manufacture cars faster, but to make them AFFORDABLE, the lowest possible cost. So most anyone could buy one. Well, that worked out pretty good !

    Also it is said that you could have a car in any color you want.............as long as it was black.

    Why did he paint them all black ? That is the paint that dried the fastest.
     
  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    The top guitar factories in China produce, on average, 1600 guitars a day (based on an article that was in South China Morning Post). Wonder why they mostly produce Strat-oids? That's why. Got to keep those numbers up and switching tooling reduces output numbers.
     
  8. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can't speak for Fender but my Process Engineer buddy teaches "Industrial Arts" at the local high school. Tom made the rounds of local manufacturers as a consultant. They all wanted to hire him, more hours for less dough but Tom managed to maintain his independence. He's that good.

    As a consultant we might find him in one of a dozen factories any work day.

    Except... they loaded the factories on trucks, put 'em on boats and sent 'em somewhere else.

    That's literally what happened to a lot of paper mills.

    Anyway, Tom teaches high school students to run machinery and program CNC, now.

    He has the shop set up to make ukuleles. He has a couple lasers to cut out the two dimensional parts such as tops, backs and sides. The five axis is set up to carve the necks. Another laser does fret slots and an Ibanez Jem style vine of life inlay in the fingerboard.

    Tom can walk diagonally across the shop loading material and starting machines.

    He has every part necessary to build a ukulele on his return trip except for the tuners.

    I keep him in hardware from my "El Kabong!" signature line of parts guitars.

     
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  9. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of Leo's timings and costings of parts and labour from the early days are illustrated in The Blackguard Book.

    But not much like how the factories work today though.
     
  10. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    The Model T was originally offered in about a half-dozen paint colors, none of them black. During the height of production (about 10 yrs), black was it, as you said. In late production, colors were re-introduced. Of course, everybody remembers the quote.

    Model T Fords used approx. 100bd/ft of wood for each car. Ford sold 1,000,000 Model Ts in 1919 alone. Over 15,000,000 total. Any wonder why he went into the charcoal briquette business? (now Kingsford...was Ford Charcoal until 1951).
     
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  11. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I take about 3 months but that's because I do then by hand and have other things going. If I didn't have anything else going probably a month to get the finish where I want it.

    How long does a factory take? As fast as their machines can crank out a mass produced product that resembles guitar.

    Eric
     
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  12. Apache Snow

    Apache Snow Tele-Meister

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    Call Fender and ask what the through-put is on a Stratocaster.
     
  13. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I guess the final answer rests with the speed of the production schedule, and how long it takes for paint to dry.
     
  14. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I wonder about the quoted number of 350 Fender guitars in a day.

    I wonder does that mean 350 guitars were built start to finish or were 350 guitars completed that day.

    I think at the end of each work day there would be many components in various stages.

    Hard to know how long it takes
     
  15. arlum

    arlum Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    Painting and top coat will require time.
     
  16. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    A day? wow thats quick
     
  17. matmosphere

    matmosphere Tele-Holic

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    I’m sure they kiln dry the wood and whatnot. I’d bet the time of wood in the door to guitar out the door is quite a while.
     
  18. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    The way industrial production works is you must have 350 starts to achieve 350 finishes. You may actually be finishing guitars that were started days before and starting guitars that will be finished later. Still, if there isn't parity you get a gap in production.

    Trick is a combination of "serial" and "paralell" production. Relatively fast processes can happen one at a time while more labor intensive processes happen in parallel, multiple parts in process to feed an assembly point further down the line.

    Scalability is a matter of multiplying or dividing processes.

    Unless you have one Ron Kirn. Scalability makes for a very busy Ron.

    Industry has had at least a century to refine faster and faster finishing processes.

    Fender's original Dupont nitrocellulose lacquer finishes were engineered to be expedient automotive finishes.

    New fangled finishes are designed to go on quicker and thicker, ideally using more environmentally friendly chemistry. Water based...
     
  19. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    350 finished I would imagine, and 350 in all the other process stages too, so it just keeps ticking along with no stage having to wait.
     
  20. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    From my experience it takes between eight weeks and three years.
     
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