Nov. 5, 2015

It’s been a very busy couple of months for myself and my family.  Making the move from CA to OR was a big operation.  Then I had to find a space for my new shop, move in and set up.  I had forgotten the pain involved with setting up a new business.  There’s just so much to do.  The city, the county, inspections, forms, fees, restrictions, etc.  The list just went on and on, and there are still several things that I have yet to get done (like getting to the DMV for new plates, registration, drivers license...wonder why I’m putting that one off).  I called my credit card company four times over the past week, each call taking around 20 minutes.  I had to update my address, make some changes, and I really wanted to get a new card, changing the company name from “Butch’s Guitar” (which was never right from the first time I setup the card), to “Boswell Guitars”.  This proved to be a very difficult task for the folks at Citi.  Twice I requested the new card, went through the list of questions and explanations, and was finally told that the new card would be over-nighted at no charge.  How nice of them.  I waited, and no card.  So, I called again a few days ago, went through the whole thing for the third time, at the end of which they told me to expect my new card within 24 hours, new business name and all, at no charge to me.  Great.  To my amazement, I get the card last night, and at the bottom...  “Butch’s Guitar”.  I guess it’s just destined to stay that way, on the card anyway.  That’s how it’s been for the last several weeks though.  But, as of today, I feel I can finally say that Boswell Guitars is up and running, and it’s time to get back to work.

    I wanted to say thank you to the several customers that have Boswell Guitars currently in the queue.  You have been very patient and supportive through the move and business setup.  And to the Boswell customers waiting for their build slots to come up in the queue next, thank you as well!  It won’t be long before your guitars are getting started on.  I ordered all the materials for box assembly this week (some bracing rough stock, mahogany blocks, kerfing, and lots of other things I have run out of), and I hope to see it all arrive by the end of the week.  I’m basically picking up where I left off on No’s 0022, 0024, 0026, and 0027.  The tops and backs are all joined and thickness sanded to final dimension, as are the sides.  Now it’s time to start bracing everything up, side bending, and getting these boxes assembled!

    My new shop is dialed in, and I just couldn’t be happier with it.  It’s approximately double the size of my last workspace, with the addition of a new belt/disk sander, band saw, spindle sander, thickness sander, and dust collection unit.  This will all help with production time, and more importantly, keep my body from falling apart!  It’s been a long time coming, and I resisted as long as I could.  For the longest time, I thought that doing everything completely with hand tools was the best way.  I felt that using any kind of power tools was somehow cheating.  I wanted to build my guitars the same way the craftsmen did at Martin in the 1930’s.  As time has gone on though, I have realized several things.  First, what’s the difference between cutting something with a hand saw versus cutting the same shape with a band saw?  Well, the time it takes can be a huge difference, and a lot of wear and tear on my body.  The end result on the part is the same.  Again, what’s the difference between thickness sanding a top, back, or sides with a machine versus using a hand plane (this makes my body hurt just thinking about it)?  Similar analogy, with the same conclusion.  All of the power tools I have now complete a task where the end result and product are the same as if I had done it with hand tools, only my body is saved hours of punishment, and I can go on building for years to come (hopefully).  Another realization is the accuracy I can get with these machines versus hand work.  I save material, which saves both time and money.  Still, I don’t plan on ever graduating into using any type of CNC machine.  That’s where I believe the distinction between hand built and machine built begin to part ways.  

    I’m very happy and excited to be at the point I am at today.  It’s a new beginning.  Everything is ready to use.  Everything is setup.  The new shop looks great, and I can’t wait to get building again.  Guess I’ll get started.