Andy DePaule was always super efficient at taking care of orders. I've had a bit more of a problem since Andy's two sons took over the U.S. portion of the operation, but they are forthright and honest, possibly just a bit more disorganized. Give Buddy Lee a call directly and ask about your order if you have any doubt.
I used to get custom logos from them in small batches and the work was always top-notch and the pearl was of substantial thickness so there was no problem inlaying on radiused boards.
O.K., sports fans, here's the scoop. I just got my DePaul order delivered today. Like all of you, I placed my order a few weeks ago and then..... nothing. I sent emails; no response. So I ended up calling. I spoke with Sam DePaul who informed that sadly, his brother, Buddy, just passed away. Buddy was the mainstay of the business so obviously, things had come to a screeching halt. Sam is doing his level best to get things back on track. He was fabulous when I spoke with him and cleverly worked out a font-problem I had with the letters I had ordered. Here is the number I have for Sam: (541) 514 3375. Tell him Dick sent you.
Buddy was always helpful and pleasant to deal with, although most of my stuff was done through Andy before he made the big move.
I just had e-mail correspondence with him on August 24th about part of a back order that never showed up. He said he was in Viet Nam on business and would attend to it when he returned to the States. I'll give Sam a call in the near future, but I'm sure he has bigger things to deal with at this time.
I've made a conscious effort to move away from the use of shell, but I did recently order a few individual pearl inlays for the "Traditional 11 open back" BHO forum build topic. Their stuff is top-notch; shown below is a simple cut white pearl inlay that's being used in the "Traditional 11 open back banjo" build.
Buddy DePaul would sell me the best pau abalone diamonds without slots, he would sort through there.
Also I got some letters I ordered about 6 months later, he had them cut, did not charge me extra and followed through like a businessman would. Andy DePaule is still working on things. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to install great quality product on my hand-made instruments.
Thanks, guys, for the kind words. I really do appreciate it. Yes, as Ken said, I'm still making a few banjos a year but mostly, now, for old friends. When I retired a few years ago from 48 years in regional government (don't ask), I decided I wanted to try turning bowls. Who knew that a 40 pound log spinning at 850 rpm could do that much damage!! After picking myself up from the floor more times than I want to admit, I finally began to get the hang of it. In retrospect, I wish, now, that it was something I had started when I was younger. I still love the banjos and treasure all the good friends I have made over the years on the BHO.
Andy DePaule contacted my customer and asked if he would like to have a new inlay of a buck with antlers, would he like to try it? We thought that was fantastic customer service from all the way overseas. interesting family.