Gone and done it! Blackwater Custom content

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by mcd, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. RickSchneider

    RickSchneider SS.org Regular

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    I would love for such an idea to be recommended to him - though i can't help but feel if handled slightly incorrectly it would come of as some sort of bash against him. Here's hoping he does buckle down and get on top of all this work though - me only putting a deposit down 2 months ago means i'm veerrrry far from completion!
     
  2. Watty

    Watty Naturally Cynical

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    Well, he just got back to me this morning, said he's got my body blank and top roughed out and that I'd have more substantial pics soon.
     
  3. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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    so you're probably going to get both yours before I get my first done? And i think I was 9 days after your first deposit or so
     
  4. Erockomania

    Erockomania Studio Geek

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    That would really annoy me as well.
     
  5. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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    well final set up is tonight.

    so shipping early 2014?
     
  6. Aghasura

    Aghasura SS.org Regular

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    I understand feeling some bitterness, but sounds like your guitar is about to ship. I hope you enjoy it man. I just got mine and I'm super happy with it.
     
  7. Watty

    Watty Naturally Cynical

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    That would suck, but I wouldn't count on that at all. Re-read his email and I think it almost sounds like he's saying that he's got two square pieces of wood sitting around when it was supposed to have been almost done by now. And when did you put down the deposit?

    Well, good to hear it man, hopefully it ships this week and arrives soon thereafter. Regardless of any qualms you might have had about the process, the guitar should make up for it. There are a few things about mine I might change, but all in all, it's a solid instrument.
     
  8. TK-Instruments

    TK-Instruments SS.org Regular

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    Hey guys, Todd Keehn of TK Instruments here:
    I figured I should chime in here, being that a large part of Black Water's recent "slowed pace" was probably indirectly caused by me...
    Way back in January of 2012 I got together with Aaron to start a project with him in order to get TK Instruments a bit more automated.
    Mainly because for the past 30 years of my career with TK Instruments, I have been building mostly by hand with very few templates.

    Other then the templates I built for slotting my fingerboards; I was basically drafting/cutting/milling all my body, bridge and pickup work, ONE instrument at a time by hand (no cad or cnc's involved), using basically hand drafting tools and a hand operated mill machine.

    Well as you might imagine; a few years ago I came to the conclusion that I needed a huge change, because it was just killing me in every way imaginable.
    So I came up with a plan to either purchase a pin-router and have several templates made on either a CNC or Laser.
    Or
    I would probably quit building instruments all together.
    I was seriously that burned out....

    So, this is where Aaron (Black Water Guitar Co) comes in:
    I had already worked with Aaron on a few other small projects, so I knew that his talents in CAD and CNC was absolutely amazing.
    I mean, the man built his own CNC!...That says a thing or two about Aaron right?
    So, needless to say; Aaron was the guy I wanted to go to for all my CAD and CNC needs.

    So, very long story shortened (well sort of):
    What started out as just being a few "simple body/pickup templates" turned into the equivalent of Aaron and I designing a guitar factory!

    Basically, he and I have come up with a really cool modular template system that will allow me to build 12 different instruments from 3 different models of body/neck/fret cutting templates.
    All this; and I should be able to build any of these instruments within 1/3rd the time it took me to do previously.
    Yet I will still be able to maintain the TK Instruments "One-Off-Custom-Hand-Made" philosophy of building.

    It's an absolutely brilliantly simple system, that unfortunately is also unbelievably complicated and time consuming to complete.

    What complicated things even worse was, while this "TK/Blackwater project" was already deep into action, Black Water Guitar Co suddenly exploded in popularity.
    Basically, everyone (like me) discovered the amazing talents this "new kid on the block" actually has...

    So, when you add all the hundreds of unforeseen hours of issues it has taken to get my templates/jigs absolutely 100% perfect; along with the explosion of Black Water's popularity, it's obvious what's happening:
    My project with Aaron is pretty much bottle-necking Black Water Guitar Co.

    Now, Aaron could have (and maybe should have) told me to get lost, but he's very loyal when he commits to a project.
    {-Even if he under-quotes a project, and it hurts his own name in the process-}
    Yet, Aaron knows that my entire business is on the line with this project and that I (and my customers) will be severely hurt if he parts ways with me.
    Aaron has made a commitment to my company and he's been pretty good about sticking with it.
    That says a lot about who he is as a person and a builder.

    So please try to understand (and be sympathetic) that Aaron (or I ) had no idea our project would be so time consuming, nor did he expect his company to suddenly explode in popularity.

    On his own: Aaron -without- my project, probably could have kept up with all the new Black Water builds..
    {I'm telling you guys: this kid's a monster when it comes to working his ass off!}

    Lucky for me, I only took on a few builds this year, because I knew that I would be pulling a "Neue Regel" with TK Instruments, but this project is even having an effect on my orders this year as well.
    I too have customers that are waiting just like you guys, and I can't do anything until Aaron gets my templates done.
    I can't even go back to my "old build methods" because I've already started this years custom projects using what templates Aaron has already finished for me.

    You might say:
    "Well, if Aaron knew that he was getting so overwhelmed, then he shouldn't have taken on more builds" ...that may seem so, but the fact is neither he or I had any idea that my project would become so complicated within the midst of his sudden increase in orders.

    I mean, here's Just one example of an issue we recently discovered with some 8 string pickup templates:
    Did you know that Dimarzio/Duncan verses Bare Knuckle (neck & bridge) 8 string pickups have radically different pole piece spacings? Neither did we...Well just this lovely issue alone, required hours and hours of re-designing all the 8 string neck and pickup drawings and even re-cutting four sets of 8 string pickup templates. :ugh:
    All this was unforeseen...neither he nor I had any idea this would have turned into such a huge project. It was supposed to be a 1 month project but is at 7+ months and counting.

    Also; please keep in mind that Aaron has only one part time apprentice (Austin) to help him out with all this load.
    Yet, no one but me can help him with my project, and I'm located in Arizona while He's located in Texas, so there's that issue as well.

    I also want to say that Aaron did not ask me to say any of this;
    I'm saying it because one of my customers informed me that things were being said about Black Water that I feel I may have been an indirect cause to.
    I also know that he doesn't have to time to explain to everyone what's really been going on, nor do I think he will any way, because he wouldn't ever want to say "this is mostly Todd of TK Instrument's fault!"
    So, I took it upon myself to try and clear his name a bit, mainly because I'm feel guilty for my project turning into such a P.I.T.A.

    So please try to be patient with him, I can assure all of you he is working double time on yours and my projects.

    And finally, to all pending Black Water Customers:
    Please except my fullest apologies for the delay I indirectly caused to your awesome builds.
    I know that when you get your Black Water guitars you will all be very happy customers, and it will be well worth the wait.


    Sincerely,
    Todd Keehn
    TK Instruments
     
    USMC_OriginalSin likes this.
  9. Watty

    Watty Naturally Cynical

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    Was just going to tell mcd to check the dealers' section for your info....beat me to it.
     
  10. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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    @TK thanks for the (lengthy) explanation, honestly if Aaron would have paraphrased 30% of that to me I'd been lot less peeved about the situation. I get that he doesn't want to put you on blast, and thats pretty cool of him. However, it's sacrificed customer satisfaction on his end.

    @Watty I put mine in mid Sept 2012
     
  11. USMC_OriginalSin

    USMC_OriginalSin Semper Fidelis

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    Well, as another customer waiting on a guitar its nice to know whats taking so long. I'm less annoyed now in regard to that
     
  12. Watty

    Watty Naturally Cynical

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    Well damn, mine went in on the 10th.....
     
  13. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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    its almost funny now to me
     
  14. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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  15. Aghasura

    Aghasura SS.org Regular

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    dude, congrats on that guitar. Its a beaut!
     
  16. ShadowFactoryX

    ShadowFactoryX OMNIHILITY

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    glad things worked out for you man, looks stellar
     
  17. Prophetable

    Prophetable Prophet For Profit

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  18. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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    pale moon ebony....and one of the cooler ones i have seen
     
  19. Prophetable

    Prophetable Prophet For Profit

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    I was just thinking it'd go really well with the spalt maple top I'm eyeing. Thanks!

    Edit: Very cool guitar, by the way.
     
  20. mphsc

    mphsc http://pyramidguitarscompany.com/

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    front to back top to bottom, that's tight.
     

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