Reply by Tennessee

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Posted on What makes a master?

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2862 posts in 2481 days

#1 posted 05-31-2013 12:42 PM

I started using master woodworker on my website only after people started referring to me as such. I don’t really think that way, I make as many mistakes while alone in my shop as I did ten, fifteen years ago. and I do prefer to work alone so I can think more creatively.
But I think the big difference for me now is I don’t force anything. I’ll stop and just study something if I have a problem, sometimes even walking away. But also, I always want to get back down in the shop to just be there with the tools, wood, the environment.
If it takes time, you just have to realize your limitations, your abilities, and as they say, “There is always another way to get it done properly.”

One other thing, about a year ago a fellow luthier told me that Paul Reed Smith of PRS guitars once said you have to build 25 guitars or so before you know what you are doing and can call yourself a luthier. When he said that to me, I was somewhere in the 40’s, and #56 just went out the door two days ago. I’ve got a major repair on the bench, (cracked neck), a customer has entrusted to me, but still, I don’t know if I would truly call myself a luthier. Our local museum is after me to display my other wares, we’re haggling on pricing. Still, all said and done, save for the advertising on my website that is for show only, I’ll settle for “pretty good woodworker”.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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