By chance and happenstance I met a master luthier today. While wandering around Carmel with Roberta we went into a small antique store to check things out. Inside there was a mandolin and Roberta commented on it. Turns out it was the proprietors instrument for when it was slow in the shop. This led him and I to discuss different music, what bands were coming to town, etc.

I mentioned I was a fiddler and a luthier hack. He then mentioned a friend of his was  a luthier in Pacific Grove. What? I haven’t heard of any! Well, it turns out that Dave Enderby has no advertisement at all. None. The door to the shop has a red letter E and a sign that says “by appt only” with a phone number that doesn’t even work. Behind that door is a master luthier and his tools. He mainly works on Guitars but does other work also. He’s rehairing my old violin bow for me.

Anyhow, Dave gave me the tour of his shop and we ended up shooting the breeze for over an hour. I know I’m going to screw this up because I’m not a guitar guy, but, he pointed out a 1920 Martin guitar hanging on the wall needing restoring. His comment, “The right person hasn’t come in yet for that, when they do I’ll fix it up.”  Same comment was made for the 1940’s Les Paul(?) hanging next to it.

Dave is also the first person I’ve met that tap tone checks all the pieces of his instruments to insure they match tonally before putting them together  This is an old style of making sure the pieces will work together, and is an art in itself to learn. It was pretty interesting to watch him pick up pieces of instrument and tap it, say, ya, that’s about a full tone under the front so it should work pretty good together.

Oh ya, turns out my “Ole Bull” fiddle and bow I picked up for $100 off of Ebay a long time ago, well the bow is made from Pernambuco wood and a pretty decent quality one also. The only info I have on the Ole Bull fiddle was the repair tag from 1912 and no information on the bow. So I’m not sure if the bow is that old or not, but a good chance it is. So, Dave is going to rehair it, clean up the varnish, and rewrap it for me. Another $100, but it should be a real nice playing bow when it’s done. Definitely worth more than the $200 I’ll have into it and the fiddle. The fiddle turned out to be pretty junky, so, even taking that into account I’m ahead just from the bow.

Advertisements