Generally the best policy if you have a query is to get in touch and ask me in person, but I will try to cover some more common questions here.
Can I visit your workshop?
I absolutely welcome visitors and the kettle is normally on, but as my workshop is on private land with residences I do ask that it be by appointment only. Also if I am particularly busy please don’t be offended if I give you a fairly strict time slot.
Can I try an Alex Potter instrument before committing to buy?
I try to have examples of most of my instruments available, but as I make to order there are times when I simply don’t have an example of a given instrument in stock. Sometimes I may be able to show you videos or recordings made with a particular instrument, even if I don’t have a stock example.
How long does it take to make a guitar?
A complex guitar can take in excess of 100 hours of work, spread over several months. Turn around times can depend on how much work I have on at a given time and on the instrument ordered, but I normally aim for between 3 and 6 months from the start of construction.
How do I place an order?
The best bet is to get in contact and talk to me about it. It can take a couple of conversations to fully decide on all the particulars of an instrument as there are quite a number of important variables to consider. Once we’ve settled on a design and a plan I will advise you of a timescale and take a deposit to cover material costs.
Can I pay by card?
My new workshop doesn’t have internet access and mobile internet signal is limited, so it is currently difficult to accept card payments. I hope to rectify this shortly, but in the mean time I can accept cash, cheques and bank transfer payments.
Can you make it left handed?
Other than needing to stick post-it notes around the workshop to remind myself not to attach the soundboard to the wrong side I am completely happy to make left handed anythings at no additional cost. That includes the ceterone, by the way, to my knowledge there has never been a leftie ceterone. Go on. You know you want one.
Can you offer vegetarian alternatives to bone for the nut and saddle?
Of course. I use bone for these parts as it offers a good balance between function, sound and environmental sustainability, but I can completely understand that you might not want animal products to be used on your instrument. There are a number of alternatives I can offer, from recycled synthetic materials to hand made wooden parts. They each have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s worth having a chat about the options available. As part of my ongoing attempts to locally source materials I am trying to get a reliable supply of cast (naturally shed) deer antler as an alternative source of bone, but availability is still a little limited.
On a similar subject, a lot of the varnishes that I use contain shellac but I am happy to offer 100% plant based oil finishes as an alternative and all the glues that I use are completely synthetic.