How long it does take to manufacture guitar?

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

  1. Muinarc

    Muinarc Tele-Meister

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    I've seen a whole bunch of factory tour videos and it seems the average start to finish is like 3 days to 2 weeks depending on scale: from Fender (huge), to Rickenbacker (large), and type of guitar (bolt on necks, solid bodies, hollow, set necks, etc).
     
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  2. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    Production line assembly process, using pre-made parts.

    It's going to be a big number.
     
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  3. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    Even this a few days for multiple guitars is short
     
  4. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    It's going to come down to finish curing time for the actual wood to out the door process. Nitro takes time to cure but modern systems that are UV cured can take minutes from spray to fully cured.

    In any case those workers really have to work. Here's a quote and picture from CBS Fender.
    (courtesy James Shine)

    "Step one of Fender neck making. Perimeter cutting planks. Looks like a lot of necks? At peak CBS production, each fret installer had a 300 necks per day quota. What you see in this shot would have been roughly his workload for the week."
    47581622_271600143509457_7204165800164806614_n.jpg
     
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  5. RoCkstAr256

    RoCkstAr256 Friend of Leo's

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    This is cool and also a lot of guitars. Lots of work too
     
  6. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    Whether there are 350 guitars a day, 1 guitar a day, 12,000 guitar a day coming out of a factory that does not mean that is how long it took to make one. That's just how many are "finalized" per day. Think of it this way... a hospital might deliver 50 baby's in a day, that doesn't mean they took a day to make!

    Most of the time with a guitar is in the finishing details... sanding, painting, clear coat, polish, etc... etc.. Some of those cannot be rushed. That doesn't even consider the "wood piles" of planks that have been drying in separate warehouses for decades!
     
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  7. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I toured the Corona plant a couple of years ago. It was an interesting blend of technology and handwork. The guide told us that they built 1,200 to 1,500 finished guitars per week. They were doing a “lean” manufacturing sort of thing and balanced parts inventories between Corona and Encenada Mexico.
    If you find yourself in SoCal it’s a must see.
     
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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Cars have 25,000 parts in an average well designed one (poorly designed ones will have more parts). They come off the assembly line at a pace of one vehicle per minute, seven days a week 24 hours a day. More often it's two shifts five days a week with some overtime as necessary. Every supplier ships in parts to match that rate as needed. It's quite a ballet of material.

    Ben Crowe does a few "build a guitar in X hours", this one is 12 hours. He has a 9 and 6 hour run. I first stumbled on his channel when he was working out of the shed behind his house building a guitar in 24 hours (I think it was), not including waiting for finish to dry. Some factories use UV-cure finish that dries in less than a minute.


    If you search long enough on youtube, you can find guitar factory videos showing ganged CNCs cutting a dozen bodies at the same time and they may have several of those machines off camera.

    At the end however, it does not matter how many guitars you can build in a day, the problem always gets to How many guitars can you Sell? If you can't sell 1,200 guitars in a day you have a big problem paying for capital machinery and employee wages. There is way more capacity to build in the guitar business than there are sales.

    .
     
  9. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    About 40 man hours per guitar...
     
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  10. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^ People often ask me how long it takes me to build a guitar. I never know quite how to answer since the production may be spread over a couple of weeks up to 6 months.
    I really would estimate about 40 hours of actual hands-on also.
     
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  11. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    Excluding applying the finish , 40 man hours is in the ballpark for an acoustic guitar .
     
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