In addition to Tom Anderson, Pat Wilkins also started out at Schecter. He showed up latter during my tenure, I remember him the least, I'm going to guess 1979 at the earliest. How did Pat get his job at Schecter?
One day , Pat just walks up to a small group of employees gathered in the parking lot on break, said he knew about guitars, and that he'd like to work at Schecter. I sent him to talk someone in the wood shop, and didn't think anything more of it. I noticed soon afterwords that he was working for us. He was another Tom Anderson type, really into guitar building.
The picture below shows him working on a neck. It's turned on it's side and that black flat box I think is what was used for fret markers. I think this is pat installing fret markers. You can see stacks of necks behind Pat's head, and some heads of necks below his left elbow.
A fairly large percentage of the workers at Schecter back then were undocumented, actually two families, a group of two brothers and another set of siblings (two sisters and a brother, Hector). and a great guy Manuel Vazquez. They were all from El Salvador. Then there were a handful of younger males, not sure where they were from. They were great employees, treated exactly like the white valley boys that were the balance of the employees.
This is Hector edge sanding a brass pick guard blank:
I forget this guys name, but he was second to Larry Ludowitz in the wood shop when it came to bodies. This guy was there a long time, he probably touched most of the bodies between 1978 and I think 1983. Notice the hardwoods stacked up in the background!
Larry Ludowitz was a high energy character, a lot of fun to be around. He was super serious about his job, which was really running the large table router. That machine was the real starting point for bodies and necks. the heart of the wood shop. Larry owned that machine, he didn't like anybody else using it.
The entire Schecter factory had one air compressor, with lines run to each individual shop. The machine shop used air almost constantly for radial hand sanders. The machine shop would use pneumatic hand buffers, for some jobs, but not as often as the wood shop. At times there was conflict, if both shops fired up enough tools, the compressor couldn't keep up. Larry would simply come in and tell me to stop any hand buffers, or he would beat me bad. Usually I could stop.
At times we'd have to run to Gene or Hershal and settle the argument, "what's more important, the batch of p-base bodies, or the batch of knobs". Wood could go right out the door, metal had to go elsewhere for plating before it could go out the door. I always lost the arguments.
Larry delivering a batch of bodies to the warehouse, he took a lot of pride in those bodies.
Sometime in early 1979 Dan Armstrong started hanging around the shop, he had a design for a hum bucker pickup. Him, Dave Schecter Shel Horlick, and I think Tom Anderson worked on prototypes. They did so in my electronics shop after hours or during the day if there was space to work. I was expected to manage the production of these things so I got my hands wet during development.
Dan Armstrong testing the pickup
On the right is Lupe (Hector's sister) working on assembly. You can see a two aluminum trays to Lupe's left, they hold the coils to be inserted into the mold you see on her right.