More and more of you guitar builders out there are asking for permission to use my designs, which is encouraging. More and more completed builds are also starting to surface on YouTube, on forums, and even as commercially available guitars. And most of you handle the intellectual property side of things well.
As I’m sure you are aware, my designs are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. This means that you have to state that you are using the design with permission from me, provide a link to my website and include my e-mail address. You also have to make your own enhancements/modifications available under the same license, so your website/YouTube video description/forum post should clearly state that others may use your modified design.
Regarding what you write, there is admittedly some confusion, since I changed the name of the legal entity that the business is operating under from “Strandberg Guitarworks” to “Strandberg Guitars AB” when I converted it into a limited company in 2012. Facebook will not let me change the name of the page for example.
But here are a few facts: .strandberg* is a registered trademark owned by me Strandberg Guitars AB. You should never use this except when referring to the guitars that are in fact built featuring this brand. When you are referring to them, you should always use it though.
Other trademarks owned by Strandberg Guitars AB are EndurNeck, GrooveNeck and EGS. If you ever feel the need to refer to these names, you must also state that they are trademarks belonging to Strandberg Guitars AB. EndurNeck is patent pending so is subject to a separate license agreement and is not licensed under Creative Commons.
Thanks in advance for respecting these rules and for contributing to the ergonomic guitar community!
You can now purchase a license and download an information kit for the EndurNeck(tm). Go to http://guitarworks.thestrandbergs.com/products/endurnecktm-information-kit/ for more information.
2012 was the year when .strandberg*(tm) guitars really became a force to be reckoned with. With serial production of select models now coming up to speed, and more and more players getting their hands on one, the excellent reputation and momentum keeps growing. Here is a look back at 2012:
The year started with the finalization of the bass tuner.
The first set of tuners were brought to NAMM and delivered to Alex Watson of Watson Guitars for a trial installation.
The next development to be brought to and featured at NAMM was the patent pending EndurNeck(tm):
Later on in the summer, we received a preliminary result of the review of the patent, with a favorable outcome! To meet the formal criteria for approval, it needed to be translated into Swedish, so we are now expecting to hear back soon regarding the final review.
The NAMM Show 2012 itself was amazing – the photos are on Facebook. So many amazing people and players came by the booth, like Allan Holdsworth, Fredrik Thordendahl, Tosin Abasi, Evan Brewer and Ned Steinberger. It was also in a breakfast meeting at NAMM with Strictly 7 Guitars that the first discussions about serial production started.
Only a couple of days after returning from NAMM to Sweden, Periphery opened for Dream Theater in Stockholm and we initiated the swap between #15 and #23 with Misha. #23 premiered with Misha at Wembley a few weeks later!
Discussions with Al Mu’min regarding the Varberg started and we met up a few times during the spring.
Frankfurt MusikMesse was another highlight during the spring. As always, lots of great people stopped by!
The first collaboration with True Temperament was completed.
Strandberg Guitarworks, which was a sole proprietorship, was reformed into a limited company called Strandberg Guitars AB.
In May already, serial production was a reality! Over the course of several intensive days in May, CNC programs were transferred and staff were trained. Two subsequent visits over the early summer ensured that things were running smoothly.
The trademark was registered and got approval in August.
Tosin took delivery of his third .strandberg*
We got the first feature in Guitar World Magazine!
And the Varberg was officially launched.
In October, the first batch of 10 guitars shipped. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and the forums at sevenstring.org and YouTube are overflowing with positive comments.
We had some serious dinner guests!
And hung out with other cool people at the Uppsala International Guitar Festival.
Misha Mansoor toured several times over the year with his .strandberg*, as did Tosin Abasi and Chris Letchford. Al Mu’min took delivery of the Varberg and was touring extensively with this as his sole instrument during December.
The Varberg tremolo prototype left for California to spend some quality time with Paul Masvidal.
This was just a brief recap of what was going on, it has been an incredibly exciting year! Tons of thanks go out to all customers and fans, and to the entire Strictly 7 Guitars team who have made serial production possible. At the time of writing, we are in deep preparations for NAMM 2013 which is in just a few weeks. Make sure to meet us there if you can.
We have tons to look forward to during 2013, and we look forward to working with you all! The current challenge is increasing the build pace of the made-to-measure full custom guitars. Plans are in place and you will soon hear more…
Burl and spalted wood is very brittle and full of imperfections. Normally, I cut grooves into my tops along with the bend, then steam the top simply over boiling water for 15 minutes, before clamping into shape and let cool and dry.
But initial trials with scrap wood of spalted walnut snapped and broke, whatever I tried. I studied the tips I could locate and ended up soaking the wood in water overnight as in the image above. I did not cut any grooves into the wood since this would weaken the wood further.
A nervous wait ensued. I then steamed the pre-soaked top (which was literally soaked all the way through) as usual and it turned out that the top became very easy to bend. I clamped it, and heard no snap!
Tomorrow, we’ll see how the burl behaves…
Having implemented my guitars in serial production over in Ohio (see previous post) I finally had a picture of how things were done in larger scale. Two things stuck out, both driven by vacuum, and I brought materials back home with me. Now that I have them running, I don’t know how I could do without them for so long. But it took some experimenting…
I find that the biggest challenge in running a CNC is figuring out the ordering of the steps, from a construction perspective and from a tool change minimization perspective (my small hobby CNC needs to have tools changed manually). The next challenge is figuring out how to fasten the workpiece so that any screw holes will be milled away in a subsequent step, or hidden by another part. When I first got it, I broke several bits and ruined several workpieces by running into them and causing all kinds of mayhem. All in all, pretty tricky. Now, the second challenge is much easier to overcome, but having said that, I have revisit the first for every single operation…
First, here is the end result:
The front of #20 is being routed for cavities and the bridges, held to the table by vacuum.
And here is how I started. First, I milled the original table flat. Previously, I had a fixture on it, which was in itself milled flat.
The so called “spoilboards” I had seen in Ohio were made from chipboard, so that is where I started. I screwed one into the table:
And cut channels,
And put some sealing tape in the outer channel
It looked great! But it sucked… Literally. The porous chipboard would suck air through the material itself and the capacity of my vacuum pump was far from up to the task of keeping up.
So, start again from square 1, this time in PVC:
Using roughly the same program, but with much shallower channels:
I could then use a spoilboard made from chipboard, just like in Ohio, as long as it has only one hole in it:
But I made two better fixtures in PVC for more complex work. One of them, you can see in the top of the post, and the other is here:
But I quickly got into trouble. When I flipped the body of #21 (seen above) over, it refused to be held to the table tightly enough! #20 (Macassar Ebony) was fine, but #21 (Black Limba) was not… Turned out that the Limba is just too porous for my vacuum pump to keep up with the job. So, I taped the edges to prevent air from being sucked through, and now it actually worked.
I will post pictures of the vacuum bag in action in a future post. It works like a charm! Shortens glue set times and give 100% uniform pressure.
We’re happy to announce renewed availability of hardware! Expect delivery to be by 1 September or before. Tremolos and bass bridges are still sold out. To order fixed bridges, go to the purchase page.
Production of stock models is under way! The current operation of full custom builds will remain as-is, but as most of you know, the wait list is quite long. Here comes your chance to snap up a 100% .strandberg* guitar without the wait!
The first model out is based on Tosin Abasi’s #17:
These will be offered directly to those of you already on the wait list, and to select dealers globally, at a reasonable price point. If you are interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The current plan includes two variations each of 6-, 7-, and 8-string models, all bolt-on.
Last week was spent in Ohio, with Jim Lewis, president and CEO of Strictly 7 Guitars (S7G), as the host. I met with their staff and immensely competent network of suppliers throughout the week and spent day and night doing knowledge transfer to the people who will be building 100% genuine .strandberg* guitars going forward.
S7G will do the final assembly and oversee the process. In case you haven’t checked them out lately, you should. Although an S7G instrument is radically different from a .strandberg*, we share many philosophies, and on a personal level I have just hit it off with Jim and everyone else on staff. This company is going places for sure, and by leveraging our strengths and pooling our resources, we (including you, the customer) are in for a win-win-win situation.
Here is a short pictorial of my week, including some of the amazingly skilled people I met throughout.
On a lighter note, Akron just happens to have some of the best hamburgers on the planet. Here with Allan Marcus and Nick Cetrone of S7G.
Rob Saurer will take care of some of the wood selection and gluing operations.
One of the gluing rigs
Vacuum bags are an efficient way of laminating tops
There are only two machines like this in existence, the other one is owned by Gibson…
Here, a laser driven by the CAD program is used as a guide to line up the template, or spoilboard as it is called.
The first operation is prepared. Vacuum is used to hold the workpieces, and the black lines in the picture show the tape that holds the vacuum.
Here, the first trial piece is cut, and the back is being prepared.
And lastly, the top and cavity cover are cut from the same piece.
After gluing the top, it is brought back for routing of the final profile, pickups, neck pocket, etc.
The body is then flipped over and the back is cut
You know it’s got to be good when the scrap pieces look like this…. For trial purposes, we took a cherry top that Rob had found on another job. The body is poplar, which is not necessarily the prettiest wood, but it is a good tonewood and the grain on these particular pieces form a “wave” when looked at from the rear for a cool effect. You may spot a tiny glitch in the programming, which was subsequently corrected.
Dean is talking Jim through some of the intricacies of neck profile programming.
A happy Jim is showing Wayne the finished product after a successful neck run (on the first attempt!). We now owe Dean a steak dinner.
The neck jig after successfully running the first neck.
Dean ran the machines and did all the programming supported by yours truly over the course of three days.
Rick does engraving and inlay work
Joel does binding, painting and some other work
So your future guitar is in good hands! As said above, these are stock models with set specifications. We are aiming for a short turnaround time on orders. Custom work will be served by the wait list as before, although efficiencies in purchasing, material preparation and gluing will help increase the pace of the custom builds as well.
Strandberg Guitarworks Is Dead – Long Live Strandberg Guitars AB
To keep up with demand and the ever growing wait list, and to be able to make the kinds of commitments needed to grow the business, Strandberg Guitarworks, which was a sole proprietorship, has been incorporated into a limited company with the name Strandberg Guitars AB.
Strandberg Guitarworks was chosen as one of eight companies to take part in a business incubator program at Uppsala Innovation Center during the spring of 2012. While taking part in this program has taken considerable time away from actually building guitars, it has put the business in a place where it has a well supported plan to grow and to continue delivering fantastic guitars. Obviously, this is a very exciting development and you will have a lot to look forward to!
This website will continue to exist and be updated with new designs, ideas, pictures and drawings – still under Creative Commons licensing, and remain the location for hardware sales. The strandbergguitars.com website will remain as-is – dedicated to the guitar part of the business.
Things are moving quickly here at Strandberg Guitarworks. As a result, Facebook and the new website strandbergguitars.com have received more attention than this site, and to avoid duplication, here are a few pointers to pertinent recent posts. Click on the images to view pictures at the strandbergguitars.com website.
The waiting list is undergoing a cleanup and consolidation in preparation for publishing at the strandbergguitars.com web site. Each person on the wait list has been asked to respond to a questionnaire that includes asking for permission to do so, and other questions more related to planning. The initial message was sent out on March 26, and since then, three reminders have been sent out. One was duplicated from the thestrandbergs.com e-mail account, just in case strandbergguitars.com happened to end up in junk mail. In addition, messages have been posted on Facebook and sevenstring.org forums. Those of you that I could find on Facebook have been reminded through a Facebook message. Only three people have responded that they wish to drop off so far, which is good news in terms of the interest.
Nevertheless, eleven responses are still missing. Regrettably, if you are one of these eleven and you do not respond by tomorrow, your spot is lost.
For the rest of you – the wait list will be published in a few days along with some other updates.