Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 51 to 62 of 62

Thread: Luthier Secrets

  1. #51

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    Since John mentioned being interviewed by me, I'm sorry to let you know there aren't any secrets. I am very grateful to have had a reason to contact about 50 builders and pick their brains and to become friends with a few and good acquaintances with others. All of those guys & gals were willing to talk about anything that I asked and most mentioned things I wouldn't have thought to ask. I asked things I wanted to know and hoped that readers would find it interesting. Most of the "secrets" were really nothing more than their way of doing things, many I have tried, some work for me, others didn't. That is the secret, use the plans, books videos, Youtube and the other materials available, talk to builders & repair people, then get in and try it, you find out what works for you & what doesn't. Every time you build an instrument you'll find some new, better or different way to do something. The only real secret is experience, the measurements are out there for everyone.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Joe Mendel For This Useful Post:


  3. #52

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    I think Joe M. nailed it. They are not so much "secrets" as they are things and ideas that other builders have tried. I've been told some pretty dark "trade secrets" that didn't really work that well for me. I think the trick is to try as many ideas as you can, or care to try. The "secret", if there really is one, is the combination of ideas, techniques, dimensions, etc. that make up the mosaic of what becomes your own work. I don't think any of us want to make an instrument that is exactly like someone else's. What's the point of that!

    Having said that, I'll bet most of us are aware that we truly are living in the "Golden Age of Luthiery". Information exchange is so easy these days. Couple that with the willingness of so many great builders that are eager to share their knowledge, and you'll see that there has probably never been a better (or easier) time to hone this craft, trade, job, whatever you want to call it!

  4. #53
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, Southside
    Posts
    3,008

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    The information exchange is amazing. The amount of material available online is amazing. A worker still has to have a grasp of tools and techniques, a certain sensitivity, and the commitment to meld what's learned into a working method. It's perhaps that personal working method that represents a real secret that cannot be easily passed on. Perhaps that working method is what looks like magic. A vision of where one is going leads to all these little things being done along the way, then everything comes together. Quickly.

    I don't seem to have any secrets to share, and I'm happy all those workers have shared their secrets with me!
    Stephen Perry
    www.giannaviolins.com - Primarily violin family
    mandovoodoo.com - Acoustic blueprinting
    South Side Chicagoland

  5. #54
    Registered User Keith Newell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Canby Oregon
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    Here is the deal, they are not secrets. They are facts that when explained most don't listen and they really have to experience it for themselves. You can pound it in post after post but nobody listens really. They have to hit that piece of brass with a regular drill bit and lean into it because it's so soft and see what happens verses using a drill bit for brass etc. Bend that extra figured wood and see what pops, carve in that direction with a gouge that looks easier and then....
    Keith

  6. #55
    Slow your roll. greg_tsam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,989
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    You can teach 10 people the same basic steps and, as they master the technique, their personality and particular abilities will manifest and show in the final product (whatever that might be) and result in 10 different styles.
    Breedlove Quartz FF with K&K Twin - Weber Big Horn - Fender FM62SCE
    Wall Hangers - 1970's Stella A and 60's Kay Kraft

    Whether you slow your roll or mash on it, enjoy the ride.

  7. #56
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    0.8 mpc from NGC224, upstairs
    Posts
    9,925

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    Much of a craftsman's skill is stored in what is called procedural memory. Procedural memory is built by practise and repetition and can be very fast and reliable, but it's not good at explaining - thus, its content is so secret that the craftsman himself can't tell it.

    That's what I call safe and worth sticking with.

    Industrial mass production has created a demand for explained procedures (aka recipes) that can be transferred between persons and - most important - machines. There are frantic and pathetic attempts at keeping those secret (how did you do your own Coke again?), but after a certain time all of them stop being secret and start being Chinese.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  8. #57
    Mandolicious fishtownmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    664

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    I had numerous secrets method of doing things. Or at least I thought I did. I then starting associating with a some other builders and after visiting their shops and seeing some of their methods I learned they some how figured out about my top secret methods and stole them.

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to fishtownmike For This Useful Post:


  10. #58
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, Southside
    Posts
    3,008

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    Often the materials are "secret" and the specific tools, too. Not that it's on purpose. I always look at what is close at hand in shops and what has to be gotten by getting up and looking in a drawer. The stuff close at hand is what's getting used all the time!
    Stephen Perry
    www.giannaviolins.com - Primarily violin family
    mandovoodoo.com - Acoustic blueprinting
    South Side Chicagoland

  11. #59
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,255
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Perry View Post
    Often the materials are "secret" and the specific tools, too. Not that it's on purpose. I always look at what is close at hand in shops and what has to be gotten by getting up and looking in a drawer. The stuff close at hand is what's getting used all the time!
    Ergonomics! I'm reorganizing (some might say "organizing") right now. I'm trying to put things close to hand that I use all the time, and put things that I use less often further away, nearly out of reach, or in boxes and drawers. The hardest part, though, is getting rid of anything that I haven't used in a year or more. Because I know, sure as shootin', that as soon as I throw it away, I'm going to need it, no matter how obscure it is. Like that gramill I threw away a few years ago because I'd never used it ... oops.
    belbein

    The bad news is that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The good news is that what kills us makes it no longer our problem

  12. #60
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, Southside
    Posts
    3,008

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    I have boxes of little used tools. I dont' throw stuff out unless it's broken. I will give things away sometimes.
    The best ergonomic thing I've done is move into an 8 x 13 shop - everything that fits is close at hand!
    Stephen Perry
    www.giannaviolins.com - Primarily violin family
    mandovoodoo.com - Acoustic blueprinting
    South Side Chicagoland

  13. #61
    Registered User Keith Newell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Canby Oregon
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    Bertram makes a good point. At work we have many CNC machines made overseas. When there is a problem they send a repair person that is from the manufacturers country and has only been here in the US for weeks or a couple months. When they need to work on something they HAVE to have the procedure manual! I mean if they don't have it they can't touch it. It could be the simplest thing like ...those 4 bolts that look like its holding the side on...remove them and if the procedure does not say it, it won't happen.
    I am just as guilty though, Youtube is great for how too kind of things and I probably have save thousands of dollars on car repairs looking stuff up.

  14. #62
    working for the mando.... Bluetickhound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Peachtree City, Ga (aka, the bubble)
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: Luthier Secrets

    Normally I'm not one to bump threads from the groove yard of forgotten hits but this one is worthy... I was looking for info on the MAG-ic probe and stumbled onto this...
    "A creative man is driven by the the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others."

    Rayburn Mandolins
    https://m.facebook.com/rayburnmandol...urce=typeahead

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •