This post was edited by dostoevskydr at 2016-2-16 17:37|
It might be a surprising fact for you but inRussia there are still a few factories producing guitars. During Soviet times,Russian people had to buy mostly all locally made products, so guitarmanufacturers were blooming. Then, Russia opened its markets to foreignmerchandise and many ex-Soviet factories went bankrupt. Many think that Russianguitar makers went bankrupt too and aren't producing anything now,Chinese stuff is cheaper and often better made. However this is nottrue, and this is one example of an old Soviet guitar maker that is stillmaking acoustic guitars. Thanks to Russian photo blogger Andrei who went thereand took photos we can see what the Russian guitar maker looks likefrom inside.
This factory has been working since 1974. Atfirst it was Soviet state property, now it's a private venture.
There is a factory outlet on its groundsselling all of their products at half the price of them in musicinstruments stores. In total, this factory makes over twenty different guitarmodels.
Some of the guitar decks are hand painted. Theyparticipate in state supported artisan crafts program so they have to handpaint old school motifs and designs, and not just use any they like.On one hand it's great - it stays conservative and belongs to Russiantradition from other handmade guitars with such artwork, often evoking jokestargeted at such guitar owners.
And here are the factories workshops. Not muchhas changed since Soviet times.
Each guitar is made from different types ofwood: spruce, birch, beech.
Here a man is cutting pieces of plywoodwhich will become the upper and lower decks of a future guitar.
And here is a curve pattern for one of theguitars. It probably remains unchanged from Soviet times, too.
This lady sorts out good pieces of plywood frombad. The ones having knots, swirls or cracks are not accepted.
A few sheets of wood are pressed and gluedtogether to make guitar necks.
The workshop where pieces are being assembledinto guitars.
Here a lady is creating those curvedguitar shells - the side parts of the guitar.
These presses are used to glue the guitarstogether.
A worker makes holes in the guitar bodies toinsert the guitar necks.
Then all joints are concealed.
And the guitars are set aside to dry out.
Then they are polished.
The next workshop. This stand alonebuilding is where the guitars are being varnished. Andrei couldn't get in therebecause the factory people told him it is a highly flammable place and it evenhas a high risk of explosion, so he only took a photo from outside.
Then after varnishing, the guitars are driedin these driers that look like garages.
And then the guitars go to the final workshopwhere all the finishing operations and assembly is done.
Here are newly varnished and dried guitarbodies.
And newly varnished guitar necks.
Strings are not tightened by hand - aspecial machine is used to do this.
Here is the master who tunes up the guitars.His name is Maxim. He emigrated to Russia from Ukraine last year when the warbegan there. He is from Donetsk. He was a musician back there but now he worksin this factory. He earns 12,000 roubles each month, which equals to less than$200.
Some Russian celebrities have ordered theirpersonal custom built guitars from here.
The guitars are ready, they only need to bepacked in cardboard boxes.
This is Andrei, the author of this story andphotos. Thanks Andrei for sharing it with the world!
This factory also makes wicker chairs. Duringthe 1990s when guitar making couldn't sustain the factory they started thisbusiness and as they say it's pretty much blooming now.
Here are some samples of their wickerfurniture.
Thanks again to Andrei for the photos!