Your definition of build vs assemble?????

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by G.Rotten, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I make guitars... call it what you will...;)

    I fashion the bodies from reclaimed wood, use pre made necks and use whatever parts I need to make them playable...new or old...

    3 basic body shapes..Tele, Mustang and Pbass...

    and repair acoustics/electrics when people bring them around...

    someone's gotta do it...:rolleyes::D
     
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  2. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Meister

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    No, I wasn’t referring to Fender, but at least they cut their own bodies and necks. Even if it is CNC. I’m talking about a guy ordering bodies and necks, slapping fancy paint jobs on them and then selling them for $3K.

    jh
     
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  3. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Holic

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    Unless you are buying a guitar from a luthier who's made your guitar from start to finish, from scratch, or buying a Fender custom shop 'masterbuilt' then all production guitars are 'assembled' guitars, they are just parts made by different people, assembled by different people and then sold as being made by 'Fender' ... which is just a brand, not a guitar 'builder' ... What's the difference between Fender paying John the CNC operator to cut bodies out for them and me paying Jack to to CNC a body for me? ... is anyone who works in the Fender factory a guitar builder? ...... so many questions. :)
     
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  4. Jared macneill

    Jared macneill Tele-Meister

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    I had to do a **** Ton of work on my tele from sanding on wards but at the
    End of the day it’s still a tonebomb body and neck


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    John works for Fender in Fender's building using Fender's equipment, so Fender turned that body from a raw pc of wood into a usable part. Fender built the body.

    Jack used his shop & his his tools to turn a raw pc of wood into a usable part. Jack built the body.

    I buy a pre-made body & neck, I assemble a guitar.
     
  6. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    As said above, I don't get hung up on what someone calls their process. Assembling can certainly be called building, even creating, perhaps. Does it matter?

    People who create buildings are called "builders" but they didn't forge the steel, nor cut most of the wood, nor create any of the parts used to "build" the building.

    I'm neither a skilled wood worker, nor a luthier. But in a real sense, I do "create" my finished guitars.

    I create (assemble, build) my own Fender guitars, by assembling take-off Fender necks and bodies (most of which I have sourced from Stratosphere). I then complete the guitars by cherry-picking each and every separate component which makes up the guitars. So for myself, I call it assembling.

    In this way, I can pick and choose exactly the neck, fretboard material, fretboard radius, fret specs, body specs, body color. Then I order the specific bridge, control plate/pickguard, specific pickups, and electronics specifications that I prefer. I've done this well over a dozen times.

    In the end, I wind up with a Fender-branded guitar (I will admit, I do like Fender guitars) that meets my specific desires from tuning machines to bridge. A custom-created "Fender" guitar unlike ANY Fender guitar that I could find on the rack at any guitar store.

    And, the guitar has Fender-branded marketability, should I ever decide to part it out, or sell it as a completed guitar. (It turns out that I'm unable to let these creations go - I like them too much.)

    This works wonderfully for me! And I absolute love the results, which are so completely personalized, that my bond with the instruments is strong. Truth is, I never want to sell these personally assembled Fender guitars.

    I call this "assembling" a guitar - which is exactly what Fender factory workers do on the Fender assembly lines and, to a degree, many in the custom shop - they custom "assemble" instruments.

    I certainly don't "build" tuning machines, stamp neck plates, wind my own pickups, build potentiometers, cut necks, craft bodies, stamp control plates, nor make pick guards. These are components that I assemble.

    I leave the actual "building" from scratch (raw-wood) to machine operators, highly-skilled wood workers and luthier/craftsmen, as my skills are in areas other than fine wood-working and luthiery (is that a word?)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  7. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Finishing is a respectable skill in itself & one I'm envious of as I am terrible at finishing. I would get better results building a body & paying someone else to finish it.

    IMO "building" is the act of turning raw material into a useable part. Obviously, it's unrealistic to do that with every part of a guitar (hardware, electronics, etc..). A true "builder" would have to have multiple skill sets & evey manufacturing tool/machine known to man.

    So for me it comes down to the woodworking aspect of guitars.

    Obviously, anyone can draw the line anywhere they see fit, because ultimately it doesn't matter.
     
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  8. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    I also call that assembling & I pretty much do the exact same thing most of the time for the same reasons. A few times I have made a body from scratch & put a premade neck on it. In that circumstance I built a body & asembled a guitar.

    I would only say I built a guitar if I built the 2 main "build able" parts of a guitar (body & neck).

    Though Fender does assemble guitars, they do it using necks & bodys they built from raw material, so by my standards they "built" a guitar. Of course that's my opinion, not some kind of rule.
     
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  9. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, Fender has CNC programmers, body CNC/machine operators, neck CNC/machine operators, pickup winders, more machine operators (for metal plates, bridge parts, jacks, etc), sanders, finishers, and lines of people who are assemblers. I wouldn't say that any of them are actual "builders", though the Fender company is a builder.

    People in the custom shop are "assemblers" as well, though some in that department would likely have some wood working skills. My sense is that many guitars that come out of the custom shop were "spec'd/designed" by Custom Shop personnel, then assembled using components that were made on the shop floor, by the CNC machinery used to cut necks and bodies. And I would say that most of the finishes on those custom shop guitars were applied by the same finishers who finish all Fender guitars. I doubt that even the "Master Builders" personally cut the necks and bodies with their own hands - most likely they tell the machine operators on the factory floor what they would like to have made, then they assemble the guitars.

    A luthier who creates an entire guitar (except perhaps the tuning machines) from raw materials, using hand and hand-operated power tools, and finishes it as well... is an entirely different animal. I'd say that person is quite qualified to consider themselves a guitar builder or guitar maker.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  10. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

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    For me building means starting out with some pieces of wood and making some sawdust.... in other words, body and neck from scratch. I suppose for some it might mean winding your own pickups or making hardware from scratch. I try not to get too irked when people use the term to describe assembling parts. I guess you can say you built a house without milling all the 2x4s.....
     
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  11. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    When we were kids making custom model parts at home was inconceivable but now with 3D printers it is.

    So if 2 kids in today's world are holding finished models.

    Kid #1 went to the store, bought a premade kit available to anyone with $10 & glued it together.

    Kid #2 saved all their allowance for months or years to buy the 3D printer & computer, then learned how to use them, then drafted up each part exactly how they wanted them & printed them, then glued them together.

    Both models are awesome. Both are of equal quality & one certainly has a better quality to cost ratio.

    Should be there a way to describe the amount of effort put into each model or are both kids "model builders"?
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  12. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Meister

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    My point was missed as I was not talking about Fender at all.

    jh
     
  13. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't worry, your point wasn't missed with me. I just don't want to name names, but I am currently winking while tapping the tip of my nose.
     
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  14. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    Threads bob and weave, ebb and flow... it's all good. ;)
     
  15. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Holic

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    I always say 'put together' because that's exactly what I do.

    Even with amp kits, it's 'put together'. Although I do 'build' cabs. The amp is put together.

    I wouldn't insult the massive effort it takes to really build.
     
  16. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    Exactly!!!
     
  17. rolandson

    rolandson Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I happen to disagree. More or less. Not with the observation, but with the terminology.

    Full disclosure, my experience is that of an assembler. As much as I would like to take the process from start to finish, I haven't done so...yet. Perhaps I never will.

    I don't find much in the way of distinction by the use of the word "build" to describe assembling parts. It's merely semantics.

    However what I find thoroughly amusing is when one, who is merely assembling a collection of parts, being referred to as...

    A Luthier.

    Calling myself a luthier because I can cut a nut and crown frets is tantamount to dumping a box of cake mix and water into a cake pan and calling myself a "baker".

    I think the word for erroneous semantics on the part of an observer such as that, is "ignorance". Easily fixed.

    And when self described...

    "Liar" comes to mind.
     
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  18. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    I've 'assembled' a couple of guitars. I'm no luthier by a long way but I'd never criticise someone for using the term build. I wouldn't refer to myself as a guitar tech either but I recently set up a friends strat. Restring and adjustments, very simple but he was surprisingly impressed and very pleased.
    Don't underestimate what you do as we are in the minority here guys.
     
  19. shupe13

    shupe13 Tele-Holic

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    I've never made a guitar but I've put a few together.

    My father is a retired engineer that never once drove a train. My cousin on the other hand is an engineer that has never designed anything.

    Sent from my REVVLPLUS C3701A using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  20. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Afflicted

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    The actual definition of "build" is to construct something complex by joining parts & materials. So literally speaking anyone buying parts still could be building if they did some kind of hands on shaping of materials, but it seems odd to me that the term is used equally even though the level of effort is not equal.

    If you look up the definition of assembling it specifically says putting together premade parts.


    So, I can "build a fence" by ordering the lumber & cutting it to size but if I order pre-cut lumber I am assembling a fence.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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