Panels are shipping in 200lb cardboard boxes. Panels are either vacuum sealed or shrink wrapped,
then packed in bubble wrap or other padding. Some kits with long trim pieces may be packaged into tubes or larger cardboard boxes.
There is no profit margin in shipping the panels. The rates posted are based on actual
costs. Domestic orders will be shipped either
USPS or FedEx and prices are in line with typical expectations.
Now, despite being rather affordable to ship items to the
US, shipping from the US to international locations is stupidly expensive. The cheapest rates to ship panels to Europe
from the US via the standard carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL start around
$125. Price it out. It’s insane.
16” x 8” x 4”, 2-3lbs. It will
make you cry.
As such, International
orders will typically be shipped via USPS First Class Parcel service. This is the
cheapest means, but it is a no frills method.
The tracking information is horrible…and often fabricated based on
average ship times…having nothing to do with the actual location of your
package. There is no insurance. If the item is lost, it’s gone. (To date, that has never happened. But if it does, don’t worry, I’ll handle it.) Worst of all, USPS doesn’t handle the final
delivery in your country…rather they use contracts with other Parcel
services. The worst of all is in the UK:
Parcelforce. They will hold your package ransom for a crazy service fee in
excess of £10. Despite, all of this, your final total ‘landed’
cost is still much less than that of the other private carriers mentioned above. I wish there was a better way!
In most cases yes. I often take
on custom projects for customers including custom designed panels, cases, synth
‘chops’, and synth restorations.
Sometimes one might have drawn up their own design for a custom project
that needs wood panels or a case. Others
might need help to execute a synth rebuild or conversion project. Either way, use the contact form to let me
know what you want to do. Most of the
time I can work it out at a fair price. Often however, there is a waiting period and tight schedule for getting to these projects.
Most of the time, yes. But this
involves having the original panels, or entire synth on my bench. My production process starts with measurements
of the original panels, then 3d cad modelling.
Next the 3d CAD model is converted to a milling plan using CAM software. Once the CAM is complete, a prototype will be
cut on the CNC machine in an inexpensive wood like pine. These protoype panels are then fitted to the
synth, or compared to the originals, (then burned in the firepit!) Often, adjustments are required to the 3D cad
model, and the process is repeated. Simple designs might require only one pass
through this process. Designs with
complicated curves, multi-sided machining, etc. may require multiple iterations
to get perfect.
When a simple copy of an existing panel is being made…most of the time I
only need the panels. However, when
design changes are required, it is imperative to have the synth on the hand for
test fitting. The design changes
included things like making wood sides to replace original panels that were plastic,
or replacing wood panels with an improved mounting technique.
Most likely, yes. I can work with
most exotics. The trick is always
availability. I have to not only find a
source for the wood…but get it in the width required for a particular
panel. Some designs require very large
widths. Also, there’s certain species that I refuse to work with because the
dust is either quite hazardous or just plain nasty.
That said, I have very good regional lumber supplier who sources high
quality domestic species from around the southern US. And, I use a regional importer for exotics
who can get most woods that are legally available on the open market. So, please let me know what you’re looking
for and I’ll try to work it out.
Unforunately, no. Those are almost always registered trademarks that are owned by some company or individual. Intent or not, it implies that the manufacturer was involved in making the panels. That's really not fair to to anyone. And its a good way to get slapped with a cease and desist order.
A fairly simple setup is used for the studio product photos; Canon 7d
MkII, Canon 70-200 lens, and three flashes.
For the high key (white) photos I use one flash in a soft box mounted left or right and slightly above the product, one aimed behind the product to wash out the background, and one on-camera
dialed back as a catch-light. The products rest on a curved piece of white matte board. Minor
retouching is done in Lightroom to remove dust specs on the background, or to
push the background to pure white.
For the low key (black) photos I use the same soft box setup, a second flash on the opposite side dialed way back to create an opposing fill, and one on-camera flash dialed back as a catch light. The products rest on a glossy piece of black di-bond material, with a black background behind on a far wall. Minor retouching is done in Lightroom to remove dust specs on the table and to push the background to full black.
All are subject to availability, but some species I can typically get
and don’t mind working with: Afromosia, Black Limba, Goncalo Alves, Iroko, Katalox,
Paduak, Peruvian Walnut, Shedua, Tiete Rosewood, and Wenge.
Lacquer looks great, and it’s easy to apply. However, polyurethane is superior in many
ways. It’s more durable, and provides
more protection against mechanical wear and UV.
Wonder why the preferred finish for heavy use items like dinner tables
and floors is poly? You never see lacquered
So why do people use lacquer on guitars?
The selling point of lacquer is this: each layer you apply melts into
the previous layer. If a mistake is made
during one layer, say a smudge, a drip, etc., you can fix this mistake by
sanding or mechanically removing the problem…then just apply another coat of
lacquer. All previous problems are
melted away into the new layer. It’s a
production line’s dream…because anything failing a quality check is just sent
back to be finished again.
With poly…there’s no fixing anything.
Every coat, every stage has to be perfect. Any mistakes in the first coat will be
present in all of the remaining coats.
The only fix is to sand back to the bare wood and start over. Not very appealing to a production line. But, for a custom shop, it’s not that
hard. Applying poly is rather
straightforward if you follow the rules.
And once you get a method worked out, it’s pretty reliable.