2023 First Half Recap

Posted on July 4, 2023 by Scott French

The May and June Update ended up being so big that there wasn't much room left, but being that we're half way through 2023 I wanted to reflect a bit on the year so far. Just a little background, at the very start of 2022 I made the decision to really focus on getting back into luthiery. I had been playing with it since around 2018, but a lot of competing ideas meant there wasn't much forward progress. Starting in 2022 I made it a priority to really zero in on my most important goals and focus on those. That meant making some changes with my day job and family life in the hopes that it would allow me to focus a little more on guitars. The decision to start in again took me down a few paths as I had a lot to process around what I really wanted to do. One of those paths ended with me rebuilding the website that you're reading right now. That process led me to consider and document the parts of luthiery that are the most important to me. That in turn really guided my hand in the direction of the new SF3 I have been working on (very sparsely) for almost a year now. There are other paths still being worked down that I haven't yet shared, but hopefully as things progress I will have more to show in the future.

So cut to the end of last year when I did a final tally of where I spent all my free time (time away from my day job) in 2022 and I was really surprised (and eventually very depressed) to find that I had only spent about 10% of that free time working in the shop. A lot happened in my personal life last year so much of that time was to be expected, but what I ultimately had to take from this realization is that I wasn't staying very focused on the things that I had hoped I would coming into 2022. This was a hard pill to swallow as it did feel like I was making good progress throughout year, but at the rate I was going it would take a very long time to finish anything.

So after taking a few days to process those frustrated and disappointed feelings, I came into 2023 committed to being even more focused on following through and achieving my goals of finishing and documenting new work. Six months later and I am very proud of my progress. For the first half of the year more than 50% of my time away from work has been spent in the shop, which is a huge upgrade. I've had trouble keeping up with website updates, but I have been posting regular progress on my Instagram profile. I do try to post more regularly there, but I try to add more context and information here on the website.

Looking back over the last six months of website updates you'll see much of this year has been focused on going deeper with my knowledge of CAD/CAM and learning the 3D aspect of both modeling and machining. This is all in service of being able to eventually produce much more consistent instruments, as well as including features that exist outside my skill level as a wood worker. My ultimate goal is to produce quality instruments that are an expression of myself, my ideas, and my strengths. The more I lean into the things I love, the things I am good at, and the things I enjoy doing, the more I believe these instruments will be a true expression of "me". So far I think this has been a success. I'm really looking forward to seeing this new instrument come to life, and also looking forward to starting in on the next few. I have so many ideas that I am working deep in the backlog. I'm excited to catch up and start working on ideas I've had in the last five years!

To wrap things up I just wanted to say thanks for checking out my work and website. I love hearing from people out there who are interested in weird guitars so please reach out if you have anything fun to add. Also for all the builders out there interested in taking the CNC plunge I just want to shout out the combo of Shapeoko and Fusion 360. I never really thought this would be an attainable thing for me, but this combo is pretty darn affordable for learning the ins and outs of the CNC router and CAD/CAM.

One last thing, on a lark I setup a new domain pointing to this site: https://very.fancy.guitars (ha!)

Thanks for reading this journal entry! Feel free to reach out via email or join the discussion on Instagram.