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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2009
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My tech usually will drop whatever hes doing and work on my horn immediately. Im a 40 minute drive away so thats appreciated. Otherwise unless hes swamped I can get it back in a few days hes great. Known him 30 years K
 

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Great storefront setup, it's my dream to actually have a storefront brick-n-mortar shop someday....
It is good as you can really seperate work and home which is what I struggled with many years ago when I operated my business from home.

However, associated costs with having a shop front is actually fairly high

Steve
 

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Tenor, alto, Bb Clarinet, Flute
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I would hate to be in this job, working full time or more, with a huge backlog! That would be frequently letting customers down with no intention to do so. I suspect it is likely with some of the most capable techs.
I love what i do, but you nailed it. There are times I have no less than 700 odd instruments in for repair, albeit school break example used, nothing worse than saying to a customer, I am trying my hardest to get it done for you.

Only yesterday i told two guitar customers cannot touch your guitars until next march and they said thats fine, a bassoon restoration came in told them next february, an oboe restoration came in told them next march and that was just yesterday being used as an example. These four examples are now sitting in the storage shelves waiting to be started with the other hundred or so

Today is saturday, my day off, but I am painting two guitars today and a trumpet, its just never ending.

Not enough people in this trade and i want to start working in a retired capacity soon.

Steve
It sounds like a great opportunity for young people who are good with their hands. Most would prefer to tap a keyboard all day than to get their hands dirty. (Now that was a grumpy old guy thing to say)
 

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It sounds like a great opportunity for young people who are good with their hands. Most would prefer to tap a keyboard all day than to get their hands dirty. (Now that was a grumpy old guy thing to say)
Perhaps, but I'm 23 so what if I say it?
I do know some people my age who are serious musicians or other artists, a good number who hike or climb or something like that, and a few who do woodworking or some other craft. I wouldn't say it's a particularly small minority who have some kind of hobby, but they are definitely outnumbered by people who spend most of their free time watching Youtube videos, streaming shows, playing video games, and scrolling through Reddit all day.
I don't think it's new though - before keyboards it was TV, and before that I'm sure it was something else. Also, based on my relatives and friends who are older than me, it seems like a lot of people don't really pick up a hobby until their early- to mid-30s.

All of that said, I don't think lack of motivation is the reason that virtually no young people are going into the field. Repairing wind instruments in particular has an extremely high initial cost and a long wait time for any real returns, and my ten-year age bracket (born 1990-2000) is financially the worst-off in 90 years.
I've invested something like $800 in tools just to work on saxophones, never mind other winds, and saved a few hundred along the way by making or modifying some of my tools myself, and still I can't say I'm more than an amateur. I'm still learning to solder, I have extremely limited dent hardware, and I have no bench motor or lathe so I can't fabricate anything but the most basic of parts.
Most people my age don't have $800 on hand to begin with.
 

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Perhaps, but I'm my ten-year age bracket (born 1990-2000) is financially the worst-off in 90 years.
Sorry got to dis-agree, almost comical that statement

My kids are far better financially off than i was at their age, when I was their age, I was far better off financially than my parents had been and so forth.
 

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Perhaps, but I'm my ten-year age bracket (born 1990-2000) is financially the worst-off in 90 years.
Sorry got to dis-agree, almost comical that statement

My kids are far better financially off than i was at their age, when I was their age, I was far better off financially than my parents had been and so forth.
You might want to do a little research beyond your own yard before you laugh to hard.
 

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Never more than two weeks and if I need something right away, they will do next-day service. I've had service while I wait too. I'm in often enough they recognize me. I'd say average is a week. Oh, rebuilds are included in the two week NTE.
 

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You might want to do a little research beyond your own yard before you laugh to hard.
One can truly only go by their own experiences, researching other peoples experiences just leads to opinions and embelishments to justify said opinions.

Steve
 

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Right, world's flat too.
This response is not to Ibeomega comments but follow up more directly to minnesota

As per my previous comment to your response, leads to opinions and embelishments to justify said opinions, at school i was taught as part of the curriculum the world is round, they even showed photos from satellites showing said round fact, where as todays generation is the worst off in 90 years is a persons personal opinion derived from their experience which clearly differs from mine.

At 12 yrs old i walked two kms to catch a school bus to school which was a 40 minute trip one way, now there are at least 5 schools that exist on that same trip, i would come home and hop on a tractor and slash paddocks for my parents until dinner time, at 15, I left home and took on a job to support myself with food and a shared accomodation and put myself through yr 11 and 12 at school. At 17 i worked in a bank during the day and security guard work at night and earned a grand total of $215 a week, interest rates were 17%, i could not afford a car, at 23 i was married with one kid supporting my unemployed wife and working at an abbatoirs, it was called single income living (no government handouts) and I had it easy compared to my parents and their parents

but yeh you tell me how much harder or worse off current generation has it over my generation and every other generation for last 90 years, let me guess your complaining how hard it is whilst sipping over a store bought cappucino with your iphone/android.

Steve
 

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Right, world's flat too.
This response is not to Ibeomega comments but follow up more directly to minnesota

As per my previous comment to your response, leads to opinions and embelishments to justify said opinions, at school i was taught as part of the curriculum the world is round, they even showed photos from satellites showing said round fact, where as todays generation is the worst off in 90 years is a persons personal opinion derived from their experience which clearly differs from mine.

At 12 yrs old i walked two kms to catch a school bus to school which was a 40 minute trip one way, now there are at least 5 schools that exist on that same trip, i would come home and hop on a tractor and slash paddocks for my parents until dinner time, at 15, I left home and took on a job to support myself with food and a shared accomodation and put myself through yr 11 and 12 at school. At 17 i worked in a bank during the day and security guard work at night and earned a grand total of $215 a week, interest rates were 17%, i could not afford a car, at 23 i was married with one kid supporting my unemployed wife and working at an abbatoirs, it was called single income living (no government handouts) and I had it easy compared to my parents and their parents

but yeh you tell me how much harder or worse off current generation has it over my generation and every other generation for last 90 years, let me guess your complaining how hard it is whilst sipping over a store bought cappucino with your iphone/android.

Steve
Your personal experience, while admirable is the equivalent of suggesting that because you're standing in sunlight the world is sunny. I'm suggesting that you look at a slightly bigger picture. If you don't want to, that's fine. But don't mock the young person that described why his generation might be struggling.

Merry Christmas
 

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The PM feature of this site is really great.

I don't think a month or two is a lot of time for an amateur or occasional gig player to wait for other than a quick fix or adjustment. And not having a backup instrument? Is there really a working professional who would place him or herself in that position?
 

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In the NL if anyone would need to wait 1 or 2 months for their horns to be returned to them people would simply march off to another shop.

The Nederlands is country with 17 million people and a relative small area, with one of the highest density in Europe for musical instruments and where if you drive 350Km you cross it all.
 

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Considering OE as almost standard practice here, regular cafe outings, dining out, takeaways, night clubs with "shots", and extremely low mortgage interest rates, and being paid reasonably well for surprisingly little skill, I tend to agree with Simso.
However in any society there is always a tail end that struggles enormously, right through time.

45 years ago I put my savings (from non-indulgence) and 1 1/2 jobs, into buying 2 small, undeveloped, rural properties as an investment towards buying a house some day.
I eventually managed to buy the house (and live like a pauper) by selling only one of them.
For much the same money a friend spent the cost of one of those properties ($4800) on a significant overseas trip.
I am now selling that remaining property for $500,000, still undeveloped. So what did that overseas trip cost in today's terms?
 

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I just closed for a two week break over christmas, here is a snap photo from our alarm system of some of the waiting workload to be done,

No less than 200 instruments sitting there waiting to be repaired.
No less than 13 repads and or overhauls sitting there waiting to be started

Some of us just have crazy workloads and we are constantly turning work away
You seem to be a charity. Your expertise and expensive plant, and low charges for them seem to attract too much work.
Perhaps it's time to charge what your expertise and plant would be worth in pretty much any other field.
Same income; less work. More time for life and hobby. Or is dealing with work overload your form of hobby? :)
 

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Perhaps it's time to charge what your expertise and plant would be worth in pretty much any other field.
We actually did that earlier this year, it has not stemmed the flow of instruments, a large shortage in my location of people with basic hand skills is apparent.

We had a business open next door, tv repair shop, remember them being on every corner in every suburb, well they just up and folded and disappeared over the years, this one opened up 6 months ago and now its a booming business.

Plenty of work in my locality for anyone of any skill and any age

Steve
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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We actually did that earlier this year, it has not stemmed the flow of instruments, a large shortage in my location of people with basic hand skills is apparent....plenty of work in my locality for anyone of any skill and any age

Steve
I think that might be pretty universal. The only hand skills a younger generation needs is tapping keyboards. I think it is only a slight over-generalisation.
But they also need perfectionism, mechanical analysis, determination, patience, efficiency, and a whole heap more for this job - and be prepared for some very serious equipment investment if they want a career of it.
They also, unfortunately, need to curb altruism.

If they have all that then they would probably be well advised to go into some other field of engineering - likely tapping on a keyboard!
 

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You seem to be a charity. Your expertise and expensive plant, and low charges for them seem to attract too much work.
Perhaps it's time to charge what your expertise and plant would be worth in pretty much any other field.
Same income; less work. More time for life and hobby. Or is dealing with work overload your form of hobby? :)
The saying I heard once in a NAPBIRT clinic is "if you are getting more work than you can handle, you need to raise your prices".
 
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