This past year has been one of the most hectic, and most stressful years of my life.  I know I'm always saying how busy I am, but this has been different.  Totally new level.  Moving the family up from CA to OR, moving the shop from CA to OR, setting up the new shop in Sisters, OR, then realizing it was a mistake, finding a place in Bend, OR, remodeling the space, and moving the shop from Sisters to Bend.  All while having to try and settle in with the family into our new town, oh, and having a new baby right in the middle of it all.  It's been totally nuts.  Finally though, I can say it feels like everything is heading in the right direction.  It's been a tough, and expensive road, but now we're finally on the right track.  We've been in our new house for a year now.  Our son is starting 1st grade, and our daughter kindergarten, both in about another week.  The new shop is fantastic, and repair work is starting to flow in again, slowly, but surely.  People are starting to hear about me, and see my work.  I can't tell you how difficult it is having to develop an entirely new clientele all over again.  I had it pretty good in CA, and it was never very hard to get more work than I needed.  Having to educate a new community, and convince them that I'm good at what I do is not only difficult, but it's a little tough on the ego too!  For anyone that hasn't seen it yet, here are a couple of nice shots of the new shop...

I didn't have very much time to recover from all that work, and had to get right back to it once the new space was up and running.  I thought long and hard about how I wanted to lay out all the tools, benches, and fixtures though, and it payed off.  I got right back to work, and the space is really efficient.  It's by far, my favorite shop I've worked in.  I've done several Martin restorations, lots of setups, pickup installations, fret jobs, neck re-shaping, bridge re-glues, crack repairs, etc...  The usual stuff.  I've been glad to get back to some repair work, and I'll be featuring a Martin restoration project soon in my 'repairs' section of the site.  Aside from the repair work, I've been building as well.  I don't build very many electric guitars anymore, but now and then, I'll knock one or two out.  I love working on, and of course playing electric guitars, but I'm just more geared up for acoustic building these days.  These two electric builds were super fun though.  Both were built entirely from scratch, and from incredible materials.  One is a Tele with a once piece solid, old growth mahogany body, torrefied 5-A flame maple neck, brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and electronics very similar to the "Wolf" wiring schematic that was used in J. Garcia's guitars.  This guitar is a custom build for an eagerly awaiting customer.  However, the other electric is available.  It's a solid, one piece, old growth redwood body, torrefied 5-A flame maple neck, Brazilian fingerboard and peghead overlay and underlay, Lollar gold foil pickups, and a Mastery bridge.  It's been a long road for this guitar to get to this point.  It started nearly 30 years ago when a little shop was starting out in San Luis Obispo, CA.  Peter Morin took over ownership of Blue Note Music in the 80's, and when he did, he needed a good sign to hang out in the front of the shop.  So, he had a custom sign made and hand painted with the Blue Note logo on it.  That redwood sign hung out in front of that shop for a long time, and was still hanging there when I started working there in the early 90's.  When Peter sold the store many years later, he gave me the sign.  I lugged that sign around with me from location to location, from CA to Sisters, OR, from Sisters to Bend.  Finally, I realized what I was going to do with it.  The body of the guitar pictured below is cut out from the sign that hung over the first guitar shop I worked in.  How's that for some history?!  The grain of this redwood is unbelievably tight, and absolutely perfectly quarter sawn.  That sign hung outside with just a coat of paint on it for nearly 30 years, and now it's taken on a new life.  This guitar and it's design come straight out of my mind...no jigs, no templates or forms.  It was really fun to get to be this creative on a project.  Here's a photo gallery of it just before I moved it into the finishing stage.  It should be done in another two weeks, and I'll be posting pics of it when completed.  Check it out...

I know, this is a long one.  But, it's been a while, and there's lots to get through.  Hang with me a little longer.  Aside from the moving, the repairs, and the electrics, I'm also building a few acoustic guitars too!  They're just getting going, so I won't get too in depth about them, and they're all spoken for.  One isn't even a guitar as a matter of fact.  It's a Tenor Uke.  My first.  Incredible old growth, high flame Koa back/sides, a sinker cedar top, and german spruce bracing. My own bracing pattern that I'm very excited about getting going on.  Here's a quick shot of the Uke so far...

And finally, the two acoustics.  Both are 000 models.  The first has Cocobolo rosewood back/sides, a very old North American Engelmann spruce top, German spruce bracing (my own double X pattern), and Brazilian rosewood peg head overlay, bridge, fingerboard, and binding.  The second is similar in size, but very different in it's intentions.  Hawaiian Koa back/sides, a sinker cedar top, German bracing (again, my own double X pattern), and African and Macassar (striped) ebony peg head overlay, bridge, fingerboard, and binding.  I know, a lot to take in.  Here's a couple pics of the Koa and cedar model...

So, that's it, for now.  Thanks for hanging with me on this one.  It had been a while since I last logged an entry.  I'll try and post more often.  Keep an eye on the Repairs section for cool new stuff coming soon!  

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