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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #521 · (Edited)
Once upon a time there was a Golden dragon, who wanted to become KING of all Dragons.



Sure, his golden metallic hide was all glowy & showy, but it just wasn't scary enough to intimidate any of them other dragons.

Driven by his ambitions, he flew far away, over the Mountains of Torment, to ask the Almost Invisible Red Warlock for help. With little gold, and even less power,
he had only the promise of a future favour in return for the warlock's evil assistance.



Well, that crusty old wizard waved his Wicked Wand of Thornsbane-Paine and cast a deep, dark spell. Clouds of black swirled over the mountain, lightning, fire, rain and hail!
As it all cleared, the dragon was revealed, standing magnificently on a boulder, now a terrifying blood red!



"ROOOAAAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!" sayeth the dragon... (shooting flames for probably about three miles)...
"The time has come for... "

...to be continued
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #522 ·
We will revisit the Dragon Royale in time...

Unfortunately a lot of my day today was taken up by trying to get in to see a doctor of any kind. There's a lot of boasting about our Canuckian health care system, but sometimes it plain sucks for the little stuff, at least it sure does in the rather remote area I live in. Access is TERRIBLE. I've got some strange eye infection I've been dealing with for a couple weeks, the over the counter stuff is not even scratching it... so I got finally talked myself in to get see an eye sawbones this afternoon. This after a number of tries to get into an appointment with a doctor or NP. I didn't want to sit in emerg for half a day. Anyway, once in, he ascertained it's nothing more than some dry pores in my eye, and tweaked eyeball nerves... whatever that means, so, I gotta use some eye lube for a bit to clear it allup. But I'll tellyou, my right eye has looked thoroughly stoned for about 20 days now, and in the past few days it's been getting worse and more uncomfortable. Still working fine though, as far as i can tell... despite my rhuemy red eye, the mirror still tells me I am an infinitely handsome specimen of a man. LOL

We will leave those watching this epic Dragon Royale tale in suspense for a time, while I show some progress pics of the Honeydripper strap.

After one application of very diluted yellow dye, it took away the pinky hues of natural vegtan.



I want to keep certain parts of the strap a very light yellow... so to do that, we add a resist coat on parts that will keep the current colour, with a paintbrush... Actually, two coats on some parts, and a single on others. I want a lot of variation in the honeycombs.



Tedious work, but very important. The customer wants a lot of those yellowy/amber hues, and there are a ton of them in the guitar that is the destiny for this strap... I mean, LOOK at this thing!



A second dye cycle this afternoon with an aim to get close to most of the amber of this, some more resist coats later tonight. Tomorrow we will try to do a burst on the strap, the edges, and a very thin burst at that.

Happy Friday my brothers!
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #523 ·
Dragon Royal's next step on hold because of risk of "contamination" on the honeydripper. Those not in the know, will understand later on.

Anyway, honeydripper is taking a lot of my attention right now... this is after the fourth dye step... I am using highly diluted yellow dye right now, and light applications... gradually changing the colour of the dye, between applications to darker red/orangy hues and working from the outside in...



I'm trying to achieve a gradual sort of burst, added a bit of red and saddle tan, and in the last two steps even some diluted black to the remaining 1/4 cup, from the original 3/4 cup or so diluted dye I had first mixed with the alcohol carrier.

Here it is after about seven dye stages, and only have about 1/8 a cup left. I might have erred on the side of a slightly rosy red on some sections here, but at this point not much I can do about it. Going to see it through, see what happens.



Still want to get the very edges a bit darker almost black, but I have to stop and think about it, let this work set in and dry. Gotta keep in mind once I oil it to replenish all the natural oils that the alcohol is eatin' away, everything will darken down. Also, I will be antiquing this to bring the honeycombs out out more, which will also change all the shades again, then the final finish will also intensify the colours a fair bit too.

It's kind of a guessing game at this point, spin the wheel, see where the pointer lands. I will have to do some hand touch ups with a brush to get some black on the bee bodies. Plus some decorative cuts just before antiquing will also help bring additional definition and details out.
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #524 ·
I've been quite a busy bee this weekend. True story, I found myself high a ladder last night about 14 feet up, using one of those "Death Bombs" on rather large wasp nest... ( I do a little apartment "Schneidering" on the side so I can continue my strapmaking career LOL!). Anyway I was dressed in coveralls, a balaclava, safety goggles, boots, gloves and all this gear tucked in, as per the youtube video I watched. I looked (and felt) fooking ridiculous. And really, all that gear was super-redundant. The video I watched was made by a pest control business, and I'm pretty sure now he was just trying to terrify homeowners into not DIYing this operation and to call him. What. Ever.

Anyway, I sprayed that nest a new one, I did. Wasps were falling out it like rain, and I kept on a-sprayin' 'til that bomb gave right out. The tenant below can now use her deck once again. And no Killer Bees, Murder Hornets or Dementor Wasps even had a chance at getting close to me. Not all heroes wear capes. Great year for the wasps up here it seems, just finding a store left with any of those spray bombs remaining was a bigger challenge than taking on the nest.

Plus I was recently stung by a bee picking wild raspberries (my fault, not his), and i think maybe my psyche was primed for revenge. Gotta say, the adrenalin rush was quite a buzz.

Speaking getting a buzz on, yesterday here's what went down in the Well-Hung StrapLab.

I finally completed what I thought was the ideal colour burst combo and called it quits on all the dye rubbing and mixing etc. This photo held vertical under a light more to show texture than colour... but it looks pretty darn hivey, if I do say so myself. Kind of a creepy/scary texture, particularly for those with Melissophobic tendencies.
I think this is going to look great under stage lighting. The customer for this is a working pro, wants it for his first gig coming back out of Covid at the end of August.



I applied a bit more of the darker colours carefully around the nectar-dripping rose, just so it makes the "art" jump off the strap a bit more.
Again, this colour isn't really accurate either... flourescent lighting...



After I finally got that dye job right, (at least to my eye... taking into account some of next steps would boost the colour saturation) I oiled the pieces up with neatsfoot oil, twice. Let that soak in real good, avoiding the edges.

After a time letting it sit, I got at the bits that needed to be blacky/black, on the bees, and the extreme strap edges, with more dye painting in black. After that sat for a bit, got at burnishing the edges to a beautiful slick shine. Couldn't help but notice how it was blending almost perfectly with my t-shirt!

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content


Last thing I did late last night was apply some a light resist coat to everything before the antiquing process as I want to keep this colour pretty safe. This morning I grabbed up the swivel knife and added some additional cuts to give the bees legs, antennae, and vein lines on the wings, rose leaves etc. These cuts will grab up the dark antique when I apply it, and stay dark when I wipe most of it off. The paste will sit in the edges of all the hex shapes and really pop those as well... at least that's what I'm HOPING LOL!



Showing this extreme close up reveals some tooling errors that you really can't see with the naked eye, as this bee is about an inch across. But it's fun to look at nonetheless.
So, waiting for the last resist coat to dry hard, then I will move forward later this afternoon.
 

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Mad Strappier
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709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #526 ·
Meticulous!
You obviously have a LOT more patience than me to indulge in such detail...
Well, I am by far not the most talented leatherworker around... some of the work I get inspired by is simply magical, but I'm improving with every job!

Few more pics of "Honeydripper" as you read this it is now on the wing to it's new hive in smoky BC
Punching the all-important Well-Hung emblem



Figured I'd carry the orange/black theme on the guitar a bit with high contrast black stitching



Punchin' dem ladder holez





A few coats of leather finish/protectant, then a final application of mink oil



And... done!





Now we can get at the Dragon Project, I had to pause that one because of risk of contamination with this one. I'm gradually learning from my past mistakes!
even my wife would be amazed!
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #529 ·
"... RETRIBUTION!!!!! ROAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!"

We now continue to the tale of the Dragon Royale, who suddenly found himself under a spell of the Nearly Invisible Red Warlock, allowing him to exact revenge upon his enemies, and command rule over all dragonkind.

"Not so fast!" warned the Nearly Invisible Wizard, "if you go now, you will surely die a painful death at the fangs, claws and flame of your enemies."



The warlock explained, while he may appear red and suddenly rather intimidating and confident, colour alone would not be enough to gain combat advantage.

"Stand Still, I shall cast another spell upon thee, to help guarantee your victory" hollered the warlock... waving his arms wide, " SCINTILLIS VIRTUTIS FIT RUBRA ARRRRRMISSSSSS!!!!"

A cloud of red sparks jetted from the wizard's hands, adding a light dust coat of glitter to the dragon's newly red scaly armour





"This scarlet bling shall add a new element of bravery to your fight, one that will surely help vanquish thine enemies!"

" ROAAARRRRRRRR" once again sayeth the mighty Dragon Royale, meaning in dragon rap: "Magic Man, you have performed your spellcasting well," is there anything else you can add to ensure my tyranny of over all dragons, as inferior they may be?

"Why Yesssss!!!" hissed the wizard, summoning yet up another spell which coated the dragon with a magical coat of armor, which fell briefly like rain, dried hard and clear, yet allowed his armor to remain flexible with a shiny glow. "This shall protect you from claw and fang and fire, forevermooooorrrrrrrre!" bleated the wizard



This mystic armor also served to enhance the warlike red, and deepen the depth of the sparklies.



"Frickin' awesome, dude" spake the dragon, or in dragonspeak, more like: "RRROOOOOAAARRRR!!!!"
"It's time to GET IT ON!!!!"

But, just before the dragon could depart, the Nearly Invisible Red Warlock brought one more trick from under his sleeve, quickly casting another spell, immobilizing the dragon and binding him in place, stiff like a statue.



"Before I can allow you to meet your dark destiny Red Dragon, one final matter requires our discussion.
I cannot release you 'til, payment is complete."

 

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Mad Strappier
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709 Posts
Discussion Starter · #530 ·
Today in the StrapLab we are manufacturing felt washers! OH RAPTURE! OH JOY!!!



I looked far and wide for a supplier to make these for me, could never get anyone to come in at a respectable price point and get me exactly what I wanted. So, necessity becomes the Mother of Invention as they say.

What I need, and is only good enough for Well-Hung Pro-Pin users, is genuine animal fur felt washers and absolutely NOT some poly fall-apart crap you find with most storebought and stock installed strap buttons. You may have experienced where they can melt right into the finish of your guitar due to some plasticizers in the washer, the finish or whatever. Usually the bottom of the button will hide the damage, but stick with me like those buttons to your guitar, and agree this is in no way any sort of optimal situation.

Now what often is the case is where fellas (like me in the past) who refin a gat and just cannot wait long enough for the finish to cure. We get all in a hurry to do mockups, install the hardware and take photos to show it off, set it up etc. With a rushed finish line, even these washers will stick to that, so FOR GOSH SAKES BE PATIENT!!!!
I have done this to myself in the past. Also, word is, even some big name G brand users have recently caught washers sticking to new guitar nitro, because, claims go, they've been shipping before finishes are fully cured. Another take on it is perhaps they're adding plasticizers to the nitro to minimize checking and cracking, which will also extend cure time. Who can say what the exact situation is? Trade secrets. Anyway, could be a combination of sticky cheap poly washers, and/or sticky finishes, and how fast the Earth is tilting on it's axis.

All things considered, leaning towards natural materials is far superior, in my opinion. NO plastic. These last longer, don't compress quite so much/so easily and are not so dang thin to disintegrate if you use 'em more than twice.

I source my felt by purchasing quality cowboy hats at thrift shops, cut 'em into pieces, then punch 'em out. I can get a lot of washers of out one lid. Stetson, Biltmore, Resistol, Akubra etc. Says right on the label, genuine fur felt, rabbit, beaver or whatever. I bang 'em out with 7/16" hole punch, then another 1/16" inch hole "roughly" in the center. Bang, bang, bang, bang. OMG it's pretty tedious work, but I only have to do it maybe four times a year. Today I had me some Black Sabbath on, Heaven and Hell, and seemed to help it all go a bit faster, made about 150 or so. Didn't count exactly. Figured I'd take pics. Somebody else must be interested in this right? OMG LOL!

Here are some brand new sest of Well-Hung Jumbo Oversize strap buttons sporting my fresh-made fur felt ring washers. I call 'em Pro-Pins and these three pairs are Alabama bound tomorrow morning. If customers don't specify, I'll normally send one pair with white, one with buff, and a set with black. I also entertain requests for super OG leather washers if someone wants 'em.



These jumbo strap buttons of my own design are milled from solid aluminum, and nickel finished. They have roughly twice the hold-back surface area of regular stock buttons, and a nice smooth bell that slips a strap on easier without cutting and grabbing. They work quite easily with every storebought strap I have tried. The button is also deeper, and will accommodates your precious beer gaskets AND a good strap end easily. These are also a great solution if you are tired of doing the old toothpick and gluethery process, or maybe you have some straps that are a getting a bit worn, seem a bit iffy on a regular button.

Some fellas just like the heavy duty look, I think they are quite beautiful. One guy called them "bulletproof." Several luthiers like these for new custom builds, as do a few working big name guitar techs.

The screw I send with come with is a manly screw, the best kind, and a genuine fur felt washer, made by hand by ME! The shaft is tight! tight! tight! No wibble/wobble like other buttons, which will always 100% result in a loosening button/screw.

Adopting a set of Well-Hung Pro-Pins oversize strap buttons will most likely steer you clear of all kind of frustration, and wean you off mechanical strap gadgets forever due to many reasons you've seen discussed before. Plus, every time I see attempted guitar pr0n with clunky straplock mechanisms on, I die a little inside.

Oh, and here's a "plywood" bass (you know I'm only joking buddy) sporting a 1969 strap, recently sent in...



And, since you are here for the pr0n, how about this great bound tele matchup?



Pretty darn slick.
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #531 ·
So this guy in Florida whom I affectionately refer to as Johnny Z, asked me a while back if I do impressions. I though, "Hell Yeah", I've always done a pretty good Spicoli, and not too shabby Beavis & Butthead (but not both at the same time).

Welp, turns out I heard him wrong. He wanted "Impressionistic." Like Vinnie Van Go the kooky Dutch Master guy. Oh.

The Starry Night is an oil on canvas by the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. Painted in June 1889, it depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealized village. It has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1941, acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. It is regarded as among Van Gogh’s finest works, and is one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture.

I told him I'd think on it, and finally after putting some thought into it, I said give it a Gogh



Problem is, trying to fit the “Sterrennacht” on a guitar strap ain't easy... I mean the shape is ALL WRONG!
Lets fix that by picking apart this masterwork (THE HORROR!!!!), and carefully putting it back together.



Once we get that figured, I can trace the "just of it" onto some clear acetate



Then, transfer to a strappy-shaped piece of vegtan, oh about 57 inches long and 3 inches wide



Now we can commence cutting... but have to remember to try hold back on hacking off any body parts for now...
The swivel knife is perfect for such a chaotic and highly textured piece, so many lines and texture... really, it's plainly obvious that this Starry night picture was probably painted in like five minutes or something, at least twice the time it takes to make a Mexican velvet painting of Elvis



Then we get to beveling, and some detail work, shading etc...



Now to dye some base coat colours, before we attack it with a paintbrush in an attempt to replicate the bold and unique style. I mean how hard can it be to replicate the work of a dude who went completely batshat crazy? It's not like he was any kind of important genius master painter or anything. But the best part is, I looked on the web, and while it's impossible to place a value on such a famous and treasured work of art, others by Van Gogh have sold for more than 80 million dollars at auction. As arguably Van Gogh’s most famous work of art, it is safe to estimate the value of Starry Night at well over 100 million dollars.

So I figure this strap would be worth maybe like 1% of that? I'd be happy! LOL!!!!



I think we managed to capture some of the movement of the Grand Toilet of The Cosmos here, all swirly-whirly (and twirly).



And that's where it ends for the day... full "Bologna Casserole" recipe available upon request
Molson Time! Happy Friday the 13th my bros
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #533 ·
Update.... Got a couple hours in on Starry this afternoon. New dye stages of darker green, darker blue, and some black.



after i got the edges all nicely rounded/trimmed, I decided i needed to go even darker with some bits. The original



The original is quite dark in the background, I mean, it's a nighttime scene, right? Then the light bits of the stars etc, painted on top become the hi-contrast stars of the show so to speak. Whatever that dude was on to see what he was seeing, well I'll take two, please. One each for me and a friend.

I'm no painter, never had one lesson, but I'm trying to get into this crazy dude'[s head... apparently he painted this work as the view outside his asylum window. That's pretty effed up, right? It's said he added the village though. Just staring at this and trying to get a flow for what he was doing/feeling is a seriously a little bit unsettling.



Normally I'd oil the whole thing at this point, but I plan to do some painting on top of the to get stars and wind and stuff, and I don't think oil will do the paint stickability any favours, so I'm holding off on that for now.



Next up, we unwrap a couple of barley sandwiches, enjoy a gorgeous saturday night while it dries, maybe do a firepit or something, and do some thinking. Some various greys and browns and some dark dark blues are coming up next via paint brush, I think.
 
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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #535 ·
Some pretty awesome work.The honey bee strap is crazy..in a good way.lol
Thank you @Grainslayer I haven't heard back from the owner on the honeybee yet, normally guys let me know right away. He's in BC, so I'm sure he's got it.
Anyway, If he ain't happy, I'll do what I can to change it! But it was a pretty fine strap.
 
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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #536 ·
Continued....



100% genuine "Artist Brush Set" for $2 from the dollar store! So, first off, this probably makes me 100% legit as a real professional artiste! Secondly, basically bulletproof as well, how can I go wrong with such tools at my disposal? Should preface here I haven't ever really painted anything before, maybe a fence or two, some walls, a number of guitars. I did send a daughter to art school, that cost me a frickin; bundle... that's gotta count for something, right?



I decided to work on the village scene ends front and back first. These are not really the big stars of this show, but still important to the masterpiece - but a chance to find my legs a little bit with the whole painting thing. Looking pretty rough here, but a lotta dark moody colours. I know hardly anything about colour theory, or even proper brush strokes which are likely a pretty big deal, just wingadinglinging it. Sometimes the less know the better, right? I did watch more than a few "put a happy little bush right here" vids in my time.



AT this point I'm feeling like I'm getting a tiny bit of a feel for it... lotta blending, and "smooshing." I'm sure there's an actual art term for that move. By now, I can see where actual better quality brushes could probably make a difference for someone who actually knows what they are doing.



Colours are mostly muted, blues, greens, grays. Super drab nighttime colours. I do think I will have to add a bit more brighter blue on a second pass when I do the sky stuff, but waiting until then so I can pick up the exact colours I mix for that part of the scene



Particularly happy with this big 'ol cypress tree. I know it's rather dark and simple, but it pleases me how it's coming. In real life it's gone some nice undertones of rust, and green under the black. Next up, gonna deal with the blues, kind of what this whole piec of art was originally about, I'm thinking.

Here, I begin to wax philosophical about art in the big picture so to speak. Specifically how much of a big deal to be able to even halfassed re-create an original work like say a cover of some hit song v.s. coming up with an original piece that absolutely emotes genuine feeling, moves people and stands the test time. There's quite a difference between the two, I think.
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #537 ·
Finally completed the painting, the key to this was short strokes, but LOTS of them. I didn't get the blues quite as vivid as the screen, but I'm anything lit up on a computer screen is going to be a lot brighter and more colour saturated than what it looks like in real life.





I have no idea how I got the moon backasswards, but I guess that's just my own li'l spin on it. I plead... insanity!
Been clearcoating, burnishing and assembling this thing over the past couple days. The clearcoat did boost 'er up a bit the saturation levels. Really beautiful blue velvety lining on the inside, 3" wide, padded.

Took lots of pics, might as well show 'em .





Went back and forth between olive green thread, blue thread, or black. Played it safe with black which is almost never wrong.
It's a "busy" strap, maybe not one I'd make for myself, but but when a fella wants what he wants, who the Hell am i to question?









This cypress tree is still my favourite part. I think i was channeling ol Vinnie while this was happening. Or, maybe it was all that yellow paint I was eating. Van Gogh was famous for wanting to eat yellow paint, some say because he thought it would make him happy. Others say it was because he was trying to off himself... yellow paint (probably with tons of lead) in it, with a turpentine chaser was kind of his thing. Had some issues, he did.



I figure for a dude hasn't painted any pictures since grade school, I give myself a solid B+. Could have made it a bit more bluey overall in the village and sky. With all the chaos and paint strokes, so much going on, I wonder if all the texture tooling work underneath the paint was even worth it.

But if does make it feel fantastic, and helps it catch the light in different ways to add interest! Seems like it's going to hold up very well too, though I don't know if i'd make this my every day strap. More for special, I think. I already have an order for another like it. Yay. LOL! I feel like the next one will be even a little better.

Thanks for watching, hope you found it entertaining and learnifying, even if just a little bit
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #539 ·

It's been awhile!

Feeling Kind of Blue today, yesterday, probably tomorrow too. Took much of last week off to move our youngest son into residence at University to continue his Engineering program. His first year last year he worked from home remotely, due to Covid, which was pretty cool, saved us major costs, and he actually excelled, considering it's known as a tough program. The calculations sheets he showed us, man, like strange alien language LOL!

Anyway, he's the last of our brood to leave home and I swear, never thought I'd feel this... Empty Nest syndrome is so damn real. I found myself wandering 'round where the kids' rooms are, feeling melancholy... both my wife and seem sort of lost, purposeless? No real tears, as both our kids are fantastic, well-rounded, independent young adults. But we worried more for him than or older daughter.... a nervous young man, totally feeling like a fish out of water when we said goodbye. Turns out he's already found himself a chess group, been to a pub a couple of times, joined up with an indoor rock climbing club, hasn't even started his classes yet LOL!

Leading up to all this, actually thought we'd be celebrating the newfound "freedom." Instead I feel almost like I'm mourning a lost family pet, or something vaguely like that, but deeper still. Have to relearn how to cook portions, and take on all his chores LOL! Not much time here to wallow in self pity. Over the past week I've got some new custom orders on the books, a lot of work you will see here, tooling etc. So, at least I have some direction can focus the initiative required to take care of those jobs. I think I might attend a guitar show as a vendor, either Edmonton or Saskatoon in November, so that will give me something extra to build up towards.

Enough about me! It is nice to be back here in the shop, sorting things out, boxing up orders, all that.

Well-Hungarian in Wicomico County, MD sent back a photo of his 2008 Gibson Custom Shop 335 wearing a "Carpetbagger" 😍 What a gorgeous pull-together. Says Doug: "Absolutely beautiful strap, excellent quality." There's more to this story, but thank you Doug, and welcome to the clan!



Doug actually got his strap via Paul, whom I mixed orders up with. Paul in Oregon was supposed to get a Purple Paisley strap, got this one by mistake. It was Doug way over in Maryland who purchased sunflower and got paisley. Anyway, these two gentlemen were so fine to deal with... both promptly mailing each other the proper goods all across the USA , refusing compensation offered. Can't say enough about how kind and accommodating they both were.

Canada, USA, even abroad across both big ponds, seens indicative of the sort of customer generally I've served over the past decade. Just good people, respectful, honest, solid wingmen sort of dudes seem to populate the Well-Hung tribe, and I am so graced and pleased to be able to meet, know and serve you all.
 

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Mad Strappier
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Discussion Starter · #540 ·
Working on a custom order for a fella, actually it's a going to be a gift from his very caring mama...
I'll give you three tries to see if y'alls can guess his name



Also, just by looking at the pics... you can probably start to tell a few other things about this dude...



His mom specifically asked for triangles (for balance), and told me Ryan is a Libra, noted as an air sign. Apparently "Libras are known for the love of being around other people. Libras are incredibly cooperative and fair-minded, and are a sign that believes firmly in the power of social connection. Libras are some of the most interesting and clever people around, and they have a lot to offer."

But, apparently he's somewhat unbalanced. Or maybe that's just his guitar?



Well, I dunno about all that, but I just hope he digs it when it arrives, and his mom is a good payer LOL!
Other than guitarin', this dude also has another main interest... such as throwing cards with his posse



I've actually had this "Dead Man's Hand" idea sitting in my brain for a while, so I pitched it to her and she couldn't say no, noting her her son loves the whole skull thing, kind of an old rocker dude, so this is where it went... The old Ace of Spades stamp came in handy... doing the tiny letters and numbers etc. was tricky...
They are not perfect, but came out pretty darn good for a guy with eyes and hands as sure as mine.

Aside from the obvious Motorhead reference to Dead Man's Hand... well, it has varied through the years... Look at it as a two-pair poker hand of aces and eights. Some like to describe it with all black spades and clubs. But for this design I chose to use some diamonds, because the strap was requested in black and red...




According to wiki... this hand is named for two pairs, aces 'n eights, along with an unknown hole card. Legend has it Wild West folk hero, lawman and gunfighter, Wild Bill Hickok was holding such while getting himself murdered while sitting at a poker table. No source records the exact cards he held.

Read 'em and weep, Dead Man's Hand again.... here it's all dyed, painted and oiled... I'll be padding out, lining and clearcoating this over the next couple days. I thought the short but sweet "All In" felt right in this case LOL!

 
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