David Oddy – Epiphone Riviera

David Oddy

I had no training and purely took this up as a hobby. I have played Guitars (badly) for most of my life and building them for me was a natural progression especially in retirement when I now have the time.

These builds, if nothing else, helped me learn about the Art of a Luthier, a voyage of discovery. I learned a lot from my mistakes which may well not be the way to go about this but certainly gave me confidence especially as, when I run into problems, - which I still do - hopefully I have the experience to know how to solve them.

EVOLUTION

From starting to build and finish Kits several years ago whilst living in France to building my own bodies this journey has been exciting to say the least.

On returning to the UK I did not bring any of my tools with me as not knowing where we would live I did not know if I would have the space for a workshop.

The House we purchased had a small Garage which I have made my Workshop and over the last couple of years got together my "tools" again. I did not purchase all new items as my budget would not allow this and have obtained many hand tools second hand via eBay. I will say at this point that anyone starting out on this adventure should consider old tools such as Chisels, Gouges, Planes, Saws etc. as there is a lot of excellent used equipment out there especially with cutting tools and in my opinion some of the "old" tools are far better than some of the new stuff available.

Make learning how to sharpen tools your first task.

I now have some electrical equipment which, if you are serious, you should consider like: Pillar Drill, Bandsaw, Chop Saw, Bench Saw, Drills etc. and various Power tools such as Planers, Sanders, Jigsaws etc and again see what is offered on the used market.

I do need to update some of the equipment though and there are certain items I still need like Spraying Equipment, New Bandsaw and Pillar Drill - but I can and do manage without these.

Note: Spraying Equipment now in place.

Finishing has proved to be a bit of a problem especially over the Winter months as here in Wales it does tend to rain a lot and get very cold. However this got me into staining and oil finishing especially with Tru Oil and this I can do in the House safely and is very enjoyable. It takes quite some time but keeps me occupied over Winter.
My preference is now Stain and Oil and Crimsons products are probably the best for this.

Furthering my Luthier career I decided to open some Facebook Groups dedicated to the Art as well as Home Recording and again over time I have built up a brilliant and loyal membership with over 110,000 Members all dedicated as well. My main Groups have attracted some first class sponsors.

Some time ago I started to watch the many videos that Ben Crowe of Crimson Guitars had posted and this is when I really got into my hobby. I became aware of my shortfalls and watched eagerly all the brilliant advise that Ben gave.

For me the Crimson Guitar videos and the excellent products they sell are a must for anyone interested in this wonderful hobby.

I will never achieve my goals always being a hobbyist as there is always something to learn, but the journey is exciting to say the least.
 
UPDATE

I have now updated some of my equipment and purchased a CNC machine that will cut bodies to my design. I still make the initial designs by hand and once satisfied convert into files for the CNC.

This, I will admit, is causing me some problems as creating the design and the files in the CNC software is confusing to say the least and I still spend most on my time "hands on" rather that using the CNC. Good if you are in business I suppose but not for me.

For my Sins I also started to collect Guitars as and when I could afford it and now have quite a collection which I enjoy adding to as and when – and the good Wife lets me!


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