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Old 08-28-2019, 08:39 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: wyoming
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Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
I am hearing different things about whether james olson voices individually his guitars or not but if he doesnt and given how "industrialised" are his processes, his may ironically be far more of a factory operation than froggy bottom...
Hi g

He still thicknesses and voices tops individually, customizes necks to the customer's needs and every part of building is definitely hands on. Everything which benefits from individualized work is still done just as individually to his guitars.

One example - after the braces are cut and shaped and the guitar tops thicknessed (for several guitars), he can glue braces into multiple guitars at once using vacuum decks instead of using a go-bar-deck. That does not mean he's reduced the assembly to 'parts-from-a-bin'. Every one of his tops is still individually cut and thicknessed before the braces are added. This speeds up a part of the assembly process that all guitars require (gluing in braces). All other efficient parts of his assembly process are similarly done on individually formed parts before assembling them.

He tends to herd a group of guitars to completion because he can work on multiple guitars with this process simultaneously. He doesn't arbitrarily feed pieces of wood through machines preset to uniform measurements.

I've been to the shop and chatted with him at length and had him explain the process to me. He does CNC necks because after years of shaping necks by hand his shoulder gave out and he was out of work for a couple years needing shoulder surgery. That was costly given he's self-employed and had no income for those years.

His instruments are not industrially built nor mass produced. There are sound reasons it takes months to build his guitars, and why they command the prices they do.


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