We seldom go out to the homes to work on players beyond our normal
tunings. Most of what we do is in-the-shop restorations, and folks
send them to us from all over the USA, Canada and Mexico.
I also have noticed that there has been a deluge of restoration work
since last fall. I am afraid to turn down jobs because I barely made
it through the last (Geo. Bush Sr.) depression. I have more work than
I can get done now, however; I have two trainees presently, with
another talking about moving to join us.
I think I will be able to get it all done once they are up to speed,
but I also wonder down the line whether this deluge will continue once
I have three assistants who can do most of what I do. However, I have
been in business for over thirty years doing what I do and I am still
standing while others around me keep quitting, retiring, or dying.
I have no plans for doing any of those things for the next fifty years,
Oddly enough, my new assistants seem to take to this work very fast
and the one coming has as well (he visited here before for a summer).
I am used to having to go through things four or fives times before
they get it, but I have had some that could never get it after nine or
ten repetitions of the lesson. These guys right now pick up the job
with one or two times of going over it.
Speed is also important to a business. If you can't bush a set of keys
in a couple of hours you "jus' ain't gettin' it."
Some just take to the work and others do not. Also, it is very
expensive to train assistants, considering the extra time it takes to
teach each and every job.
D.L. Bullock St. Louis