One of the main reasons we haven’t been nearly as nomadic as we had expected to be is because of my husband’s decision to start building guitars in Chattanooga. They have a really cool business development center that makes it a lot easier to start a new business and make it successful.
My husband had wanted to build guitars for a long time–he invented a machine to make it possible to build replicas about 16 years ago, in fact. He periodically would order parts, but the machine didn’t become a reality until a couple of years ago. Then, when we moved to Chattanooga, he had set guitar building aside.
At least until he discovered the business development center directly across the street. Suddenly, switching gears from buying and selling collectable vintage electric guitars to building reproductions of them became a reality.
He’s an impressive guy. He knows everything there is to know about the guitars he’s dealt in for more than 20 years now. He’s among the best at recognizing original finishes and has been consulted for his opinion from near and far. Now, he’s turned that knowledge into a way to create beautiful replicas that are aged to look like a genuine vintage guitar, which allows people to enjoy the look and feel of playing an extremely valuable instrument for far less money.
He’s also added some touches that make his guitars more playable than some of the originals. Essentially, he creates instruments you can play that make you feel like you’re playing an instrument that should be in a museum.
But he doesn’t just know vintage guitars. He knows how to build them. And he doesn’t just know how to build them, he knows how to create machines to help make them really accurate.
I’m always amazed when I watch him designing something like the complex machines he has invented, designed, and built. He gets as excited as I get when I’m talking about f/stops and the exposure triangle. His eyes light up and his voice gets more intense. He exudes the energy that only comes with creativity.
I am going to go back and get some macro shots of the carefully aged parts on the guitars if I have to time to shoot again before this set ships. Even the screws have been aged to look like an actual vintage instrument’s.
When Pat first hatched the idea of Coop Guitars (www.coopguitars.com), he was looking for a space for a workshop that would allow him to build in an efficient manner (rather than in our garage where he spent half his time moving things around to make space). He went to look at a friend’s vacant chicken coop to see if it could be converted into a workshop That was when he decided the name of his guitars would be Coop Guitars. He ended up not setting up shop in that chicken coop, but the name stuck. Someday, maybe we’ll have some chickens in the workshop.