PHOTO: Tom Pilant (shop foreman) and Bart Townsend await the verdict as Rick Toone stares down the mysteries of a Floyd Rose: Why does this guitar have a headstock?
PHOTOS: Reverse engineering and listening intently (above). Bart, Tom, and Rick dive in on details to three decimal places. T-Squared Manufacturing, Waco, Texas. Photos Masi.
The first thing I noticed on arrival is Texas seems to view itself as an independent soverign nation. The rest of the US just geography that happens to share a border. Evidence of this is displayed in the form of massive Texas flags usually flown with at least equal prominance to Old Glory.
Texas is so big geographically, and so strong in cultural self-identity that Ford, Chevy, and GMC all make special edition Texas pickup trucks.
So what's an innocent lil' ol' luthier like me doing in a place like...Texas?
PHOTOS: CNCs. Photos Bart Townsend.
Somehow, while completing his MBA, managing Townsend Machine, graduating his youngest child from high school, and developing TOONE & TOWNSEND guitar components, Bart Townsend and his wife Deb followed through on their dream to establish a dedicated aerospace CNC facility. It just happens to be 1,600 miles away. Waco, Texas.
Bart completely renovated an existing building, installing premium infrastructure including: climate control, electricity, and lighting. It's a bright, clean, open working environment, and a workforce attitude to match. Plus some CNCs to make chips with...
The Makino's are state of the art equipment. The two vertical PS65 and PS95 mills were only introduced into this country a year ago. The Makino a51 is rigid horizontal mill and made for production with extreme precision. The Mori Seiki NL2500 lathe enables accuracy and precision with a lot of functionality all in one machine. The sub spindle and live tooling allow easy orientation machining.
— Bart Townsend
TOONE & TOWNSEND guitar components are now being machined side-by-side with components from another of Bart's clients: SPACEX. Post-NASA space age?
The importantance of my Texas travels include ensuring continuity as guitar machining relocates with Bart to his new facility and crew. I am learning tremendous lessons in project management as well as reliable sourcing. New skills. Exciting self-empowerment on this journey toward fulfilling my lutherie vision. Thank you — my amazing clients — for traveling with me on this quest.
PHOTOS: Big Sky Country. Sunshine and abundant grassland prarie mixed with industrial infrastructure. T-Squared Manufacturing, Waco, Texas. Photos Masi.