Paying to Have Guitar Work Done (that you could certainly handle yourself)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by blowtorch, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. Informal

    Informal Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    757
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Location:
    SoCal
    I have done a few refrets on 1-$200 Fender licensed necks, and I was pretty happy with my work, It still doesn't give me the confidence to go to town on a 3-$4000 guitar.
     
  2. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,975
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I am pretty decent at the standard jobs and can / have done a few of the harder ones, but I cannot do them nearly as well as my tech. I just paid him to install a new nut on my Hollowbody, and the work is just impeccable, plus he found a couple of other near-microscopic things to tweak and now I'm just in love with playing the thing. Better than I could do, for sure.
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  3. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    81
    Posts:
    1,139
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Location:
    Mandurah. West Australia
    With an engineering background and watching Randy Shartiger Videos and Jerry Rosa videos on You Tube I find it easy to set up guitars now and have done a few for friends. I haven't tried a re-fret yet but I have done fret dressing and crowning/polishing on quite a few friends guitars and they're more than happy with the results. We don't have a guitar tech or a luthier in Mandurah and Perth would be the nearest place to find those guys and that's 100K's away so I'm not really taking away anyones living.. S
     
    brashboy likes this.
  4. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    27,005
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    I have absolutely zero qualms about helping my sons financially or otherwise. DIRECTLY.
     
    P Thought likes this.
  5. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,093
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    The tech stuff is a big part of my hobby, so never! :D
     
  6. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,818
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    Changed strings on my beat up old ES-330 yesterday. Seriously thought about taking into my buddy at the Music Shop!
    I hate working on guitars but don't mind working on amps.
     
  7. drumtime

    drumtime Tele-Meister

    Age:
    68
    Posts:
    283
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Location:
    the mountains of Virginia
    I always thought I would like to work on my guitars. Bought a very nice Douglas from Rondo to practice on, and got it to where it was, and still is, my favorite player.

    The main thing I learned, though, is that it's easy work to do, until it isn't. There's actually a lot to learn. You really need to do a lot of them, and put in the learning time, to be able to do troubleshooting if things don't seem to be working out. And that starts to eat into playing time, and I'm getting old.

    I can spend $30 - 50 and get a far better job while helping a local guy make a little walking around money. And play one of my other guitars while he's doing the job.
     
  8. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,352
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Georgia/Minnesota
    I farmed out a neck reset on a vintage Favilla acoustic (no truss rod). The bridge had been shaved already and the saddle was pencil lead thin. I told the tech a dozen times, I like low action, I need more neck angle so there’s plenty of saddle to do adjustments.

    Did he???? Hell no. I’ve done a few neck resets, I guess I could have done this one but it slows me down finishing up my new guitars.

    It’s a cool old guitar, all mahogany,... damn I wish he would have listened to me.
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  9. Stubee

    Stubee Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    9,854
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan
    I do simple stuff. On Fenders that’s changing pickups etc, intonation & string height, relief. They very rarely need much else but if I’ve got one getting fret divots causing problems then in she goes to a shop. I’ve smoothed fret ends and played with nuts a bit but don’t have all the tools for fret dressing & nut slots.

    On acoustics I lower/shim and build saddles, minor nut tweaks, do relief but that’s about it. They again rarely need more. My old J-45 with near zero saddle and a fretboard planed to <1/8” thickness (and 20” radius!) finally went to a noted guy who works on these old guitars. He gently convinced me to get all the crap fixed vs my inclination to just reset the neck, so he did the latter + new fretboard, appropriate frets, dots. When I first got it back it seemed a bit dull and I was concerned it’d changed for the worse, but after a couple weeks playing she woke up and now sounds ridiculously good & plays almost effortlessly. No way I coulda have ever done that. Hard to believe I waited so long! 7F1E6214-16C2-4C3F-AF22-C2E8247FD31B.jpeg
     
  10. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    14,291
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Up North
    It's all about Time.
    99%of the time, I'm not in a hurry and can do it as time allows.
    If I am slammed with things to do o, faced with something I can't do, I take it to th' Shop.
     
  11. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    27,005
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    John thanks for that. Sincerely. As much as I so often don't believe either of those things, it's nice to hear someone say them. Even someone I've never actually met.

    You are always so just generally positive, and encouraging to folks. You build others up, and negativity just isn't in your perspective or vocabulary. You articulate joy for life, and encourage that for others.

    I know I speak not only for myself when I say your presence here is much appreciated
     
    studio1087 and pondcaster like this.
  12. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    143
    Joined:
    May 12, 2019
    Location:
    United States
    I have all my pickup swap work done by Third Coast here in Chicago. I can solder. I can also do basic carpentry and plumbing - but I'm hiring a professional for all of the above. In other words, just because I can do it myself doesn't mean I am going to like the results if I do it myself. I simply don't get the practice to stay good at certain skills, and I see no problem with being the customer for someone else's living.
     
  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    41,101
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Location:
    Bakersfield
    On a couple of occasions, I have suffered through having some extensive work done on guitars that took as long as eight months to complete. I am just not that patient anymore. You're supposed to grow more patient with age, that seems illogical to me, because if the project is lengthy you may very well not be there upon its completion. Long ago I decided to invest in enough tools to do any of the work I feel I want to, such as changing pickups, cutting proper nut depth for the strings, shaping acoustic guitar saddles etc. If it needs more than I can do, I'll probably just get another guitar.
     
  14. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    27,005
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    I once took an amp to a guy to fix, a guy who makes his living doing this stuff, locally here. And time went on and on, and I'd not heard back. A few years actually passed. I was embarrassed for the guy, and didn't say anything. It was a super cheap amp and not a big deal, and I'd just written it off. One day I get a call and he sheepishly lets me know he found it behind a bunch of stuff and it's fixed up and ready to go and "of course there's no charge".
     
  15. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    41,101
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Location:
    Bakersfield
    That's a pretty cool story with a happy ending.
     
  16. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,216
    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    portland, or
    I could mow my lawn, clean my gutters, change the oil in my car ...
    I'd rather pay somebody else to do it if I have the money ... My time is worth a lot ... If i save 75 bucks and put in 3 hrs labor, I've sold my time for $25 an hour ...
     
  17. craigs63

    craigs63 Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    594
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Location:
    Naperville, IL
    Brining a guitar to the shop is also a good way to sneak in some shopping...
     
  18. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,854
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, Va
    I don't have the eyesight, expertise, temperament to do a lot of tech stuff. I have no problem paying people that do. I don't expect my mechanic or guitar builder to lay their own brick either. We all have our own strengths
     
  19. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,460
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Re-frets and finishes. I can do and have done my fill of both. There is not enough money in the world to make finishing a guitar worth the effort. Especially acoustics where the finish has to be absolute flawless perfection. I recently cleared out my disaster area of a garage and found my boxes of tools I had made years ago. Molds and forms, templates and router jigs and a killer fret slotting fixture I designed and machined on a CNC. I was proud of that one.

    I want to spend my precious remaining time on this earth making music.

    My #1 is going to need a re-fret soon. I will NOT be doing that one.
     
    jannodude likes this.
  20. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    2,820
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    London
    String changes and setups, short of work on the nut, I do myself. Fret and nut work, the guitar goes to the shop.

    This morning, a colleague came to me saying he went to a guitar shop in Ripley, Surrey (birthplace of Eric Clapton) "because his son needed the strings changed on his guitar". He wanted to know how much I thought should be a fair price for that job...

    Beyond my answer, which I'm pretty sure most of you can imagine, I asked him how much he paid. £30 was the answer :eek::eek::eek:

    It's really true that there's a sucker born every minute.
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.