Why Your Guitar isn't Ready

 
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Here's some reasons why a guitar repair is not ready.
1. A guy is coming by with the part. Try back Tuesday.
2. The guy just called from Riker's Island...got any bail money?
3. There's no tuning pegs on Rosh Hashanah.
4. The oracle says its an inauspicious time to fix any guitar.
5. The parts guy was going to come by with the part, but got born again.
6. Try back on Tuesday.
Well thanks to Rick at Slo-Hand Guitars for these talking points, but in reality there are reasons why a guitar repair is not ready.
 
First, the repair itself dictates a time-line. A simple repair equals simple time. For example, a string change, or a minor setup, or a minor adjustment and presuming the guitar is in good condition and no other problems are discovered, which happens many times.
Categories such as electrical problems requires determinations. Also, neck or fret problems can be an issue to determine cause. Simply, these type of things are time consuming.
Sometimes installation of new electronics (e.g., pickups, re-wiring and etc) turns out to be more complicated for several reasons such as the guitar's construction that makes an electrical job time consuming.
Restorations are the most time consuming, that is, repairing wood damages or doing cosmetic work (i.e., re-coloring, etc.). Here, weather conditions apply. Not so much for wood repairs, but definitely for the cosmetic work whether simple touch up or major coloring or refinishing.
On some repairs, the job is not jumped into. That is, the job is accepted, but is set aside for aforethought. This means we will think about it, re-evaluate the job, the fix, or consult with top luthiers in State or out of State as we have a net-work. Sometimes we talk with the master luthier at the factory to discuss an issue or fix for an instrument constructed by the factory and on and on. Simply stated, time delays work in favor of the correct repair and on behalf of an owner.
I would be remiss to not mention that quantity is an issue. That is, the amount of repairs pending given the job at issue.
 
Many shops have a slew of helpers, apprentices, or associates. Here, this is a shop environment that co-mingles constructing guitars, repairing guitars, and may limit what services are offered. One thing in common is that no shop guarantees speedy repairs. Some shops (even in Florida) takes weeks, months, or even years as is reported by instrument owners.
 
At Guitar Hospital we are a two (2) person environment split into wood & electrical repairs. Nothing is farmed out or out-sourced as done in other environments. However, on certain issues (e.g., warranty) we recommend that an instrument is sent to the original factory as the best remedy on behalf of an owner.
 
As a warranty service center for Gibson, Taylor, or other brands it is a responsibility to determine whether a local fix or factory fix is the option in the best interest of the instrument owner. Naturally, commencing a factory process can take months before a fix is effected. Thus, another time consuming issue.
In sum, time-lines for repairs are a challenge. A challenge for the instrument owner, the repair-ist, or a luthier, and an instrument owner who wants repairs done ASAP or not understanding why it takes so long.
 
Given guitar logistics, working with wood, metal, and electrical issues presents a challenge for repairs to stringed instruments. Simply, it is artisan work and best performed when considering all of the aforementioned by a seasoned technician as opposed to over the counter tech's who are limited in apprenticeship, net-working, and most importantly by a technician who experienced 99 wrong repair method(s) to achieve 1 correct repair method.
Finally, somtimes things can go wrong in a repair whether electrical or cosmetic that requires a do-over. Thus, another time consuming part of the equation despite the rule of thumb for a seasoned technician: We hate to repair our own repair.

The end result of a good repair is work that satisfies an owner, the technician, and does not need to be done again minus any post repair tweaking or adjustment given what repair work occurred. Thus, the rule in repairs is that patience is a virture and should be an acceptable standard for the parties i.e., the owner and the technician.