The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > Other Discussions > Open Mic

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:06 AM
fazool's Avatar
fazool fazool is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 14,838
Default On guitars and tools and one way to live: a philosopohical rambling

A silly simple project leads to a philosophical moment on one's approach to life.

I had a stool for my workbench but it was too tall. I bought another with a nicer seat but it was too short. They all seemed to come in just two heights: 24" or 29".

So last night I disassembled both stools, kept the better seat, cut-down the taller legs and assembled my own custom 26.5" stool.

And I wondered "These were just $20 stools from Walmart. Was it really worth all that time and effort? Why not just live with it as-is?"

Of course having such a thing mass produced they have to have some standardization - so they chose two general heights and those probably suit most people, epsecially if they aren't picky.

When I was done with my little customization project, I still had nothing but a cheap $20 stool but it fit me perfectly and felt great. And I realized that, for me, the time and effort was totally worth it. And without doing that I would have to "settle" for something that was less than perfect, for me, regardless of the price.

And that got me thinking about guitars. I am super happy with my guitars, largely because I set them up just right for me. Even just restringing them - I feel I do a better job myself - at least better for the way *I* want them.

And then I thought about an engineer that worked for me who told me he never changes the brakes on his own car because "they are a safety item and he wants it done right." To which I responded "I wanmt my done right too, which is exactly why I do them myself".

Stools......guitars......brakes......whatever it is.....

I don't expect everyone to be gifted at doing their own work or even mechanically inclined.

And I'm not judging how other people value time and their own lives - that's a very personal thing.

But for me, I the off-the-shelf solution often doessn't "fit". I'll set up my own guitars. I'll assemble my own computer, resize my stool, install my brakes. Life just seems "easier" this way.

Of course this is my bias and bigotry. I'm not being mean I'm just sharing my morning-coffee philosophy.

Modifying, customizing, adjusting stuff just seems "normal" to me. I can't imagine going through life letting other people build my world.

The off the shelf solutions are such a sacrifice and it's so easy to make something just perfect for you.

If anything, I'd encourage everyone to change their own strings, set up their own guitar and don't always settle for those mass produced solutions.
__________________
Fazool "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter"
Taylor GC7 | Taylor GA3-12 | Taylor SB2-S |Taylor SB1-X |Ibanez AC-240
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:19 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,035
Default

...love your take Fazool....I too am a tireless modifier...and I am an ace handyman...however...when it comes to motor vehicles I defer to the experts....a motor head I am not...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:23 AM
Mr. Jelly's Avatar
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
Posts: 4,118
Default

Morning Faz. I'm going to play the skeptic because I'm a skeptic. Not that I disagree with you because I don't. I'm just expanding the conversation.

This works when you have more time than money. The learning curve can make some projects more expensive and accomplished at a lesser quality. It also works when your world is within arms length. While managing numbers of people 24/7 the job of getting things done is managing the people not physically handling the end product.
__________________
Life blooms when existence is it's own reward.

Santa Cruz 1929 00
Waterloo WL-S Deluxe with K & K mini
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:31 AM
Lkristians Lkristians is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mostly Palm Beach, FL; sometimes CT, USA
Posts: 818
Default

What kind of coffee do you drink?
LarryK.
__________________
Early member #180
"Like shoveling smoke with a pitchfork in the wind."
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:40 AM
fazool's Avatar
fazool fazool is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 14,838
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly View Post
...
This works when you have more time than money. The learning curve can make some projects more expensive and accomplished at a lesser quality. ...
I agree to an extent. Of course a $20 stool isn't a big investment. I could have had one custom made for $200 probably and it would be WAY better than what I concocted. but I couldn't find one anywhere and if I did custom order it would have taken too long.

But, I do agree - it's a balance of free-time, money (and waiting time).
__________________
Fazool "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter"
Taylor GC7 | Taylor GA3-12 | Taylor SB2-S |Taylor SB1-X |Ibanez AC-240
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:41 AM
fazool's Avatar
fazool fazool is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 14,838
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lkristians View Post
What kind of coffee do you drink?
LarryK.
Tim Horton's....and a LOT of it!
__________________
Fazool "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter"
Taylor GC7 | Taylor GA3-12 | Taylor SB2-S |Taylor SB1-X |Ibanez AC-240
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:41 AM
dwalton dwalton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Up North
Posts: 1,016
Default

I’m experienced with tools, pretty good at wrenching and mechanical stuff, and I have a knack for figuring things out and fixing them pretty well.

And sometimes, I just don’t want to screw with things. ��
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:45 AM
Bikewer Bikewer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,269
Default

On the old Prairie Home Companion show, Garrison Keillor would do occasional bits about one of his Lake Woebegone characters...

That “old guy” who was just competent. When one of the neighbors couldn’t start their car or would get stuck in the snow, he’d sigh and come over and fix whatever was wrong.

I fall into that category at times. I’m a cyclist, and I see guys come in to the shop with their high-end roadster complaining that “it doesn’t shift right” or something similar. Or staring helplessly at a flat tire.
I’m a cop at a large university, and I don’t know how many times Ive had to walk students through such simple things as putting a spare tire on their car.

Some folks are mechanically inclined, and some are not....
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-30-2019, 08:56 AM
RP's Avatar
RP RP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 14,889
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
...Some folks are mechanically inclined, and some are not....
Of course that's true, but there are also those who growing up were taught a sort of helplessness and were never exposed to the notion of fixing something - it was always call the guy to fix this or that. So fixing something was always some black box mystery as opposed to taking the time to figure out how something worked and then why it wasn't working...

Last edited by RP; 12-30-2019 at 09:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-30-2019, 09:27 AM
thomasinaz thomasinaz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Maricopa County, AZ
Posts: 304
Default

I also prefer to set up or fix my own stuff, if I'm able. During my early adult life, unable to afford to pay a mechanic, I'd change my own oil, and if something was broke I'd try and figure it out and fix it myself. 40 years later I still change my own oil and do small repairs if I am able. Same with household maintenance and repairs. (Although I'll never tile another floor .) Along with the shortage of money, my dad was probably my main influence on this. He'd never have a repair person come out to the house if he could do it himself.

With guitars, back then I'd just play them as they came, not really knowing about setups and different string gauges. For the last couple of years the guitar hobby has taken a more serious turn and I tried using a couple of the local guitar techs for my setups or to change out a nut. They did a far worse job than I expected, and as a result I just don't trust the local talent with any guitars. With retirement and enough free time I'm doing my own guitar tech work, it makes me happy being able to do it myself, and getting good results. To me it's a usually enjoyable part of the hobby. Oil changes not so much....
__________________
Tom
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:08 AM
KevWind's Avatar
KevWind KevWind is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edge of Wilderness Wyoming
Posts: 12,357
Default

I much prefer to build my own house for many of the same reasons. BUT as Bikewer mentioned it is all relative to skill set and inclination
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...


KevWind at Soundcloud
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:14 AM
Lkristians Lkristians is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mostly Palm Beach, FL; sometimes CT, USA
Posts: 818
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
I much prefer to build my own house for many of the same reasons. BUT as Bikewer mentioned it is all relative to skill set and inclination

With my skills, if I had to build my own house, it would be a tent!
LarryK.
__________________
Early member #180
"Like shoveling smoke with a pitchfork in the wind."
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:17 AM
KevWind's Avatar
KevWind KevWind is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edge of Wilderness Wyoming
Posts: 12,357
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lkristians View Post
With my skills, if I had to build my own house, it would be a tent!
LarryK.
No doubt the construction industry salutes you
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...


KevWind at Soundcloud
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:30 AM
Lkristians Lkristians is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mostly Palm Beach, FL; sometimes CT, USA
Posts: 818
Default

Without a doubt!! lol
__________________
Early member #180
"Like shoveling smoke with a pitchfork in the wind."
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-30-2019, 10:42 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK/EU
Posts: 15,878
Default

I'd really like to learn ho to set up my guitars - nuts and saddle heights worry me.

Any guidelines?

Oh btw - regarding stools (and chair heights:

for the first 25 years of my marriage to "the current" Mrs Moustache we dined and entertained on a splendid teak table and chairs, which had served my parents well for a few decades.
Then , one day, my better half decided that we should dispose of all our old Teak wood furniture and buy new, modern oak stuff.

We chose a table and chairs and when in situ we quickly realised that both were noticeably higher. I am 5'6" and my wife is 2-3 inches smaller. We feel like children at this high table. Seems that the furniture industry has determined that Brits are all taller now.
__________________
Silly Moustache,
Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.

https://www.youtube.com/user/SillyMoustache/videos
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > Other Discussions > Open Mic

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=