Since 2011, all Acoustic Remedy products have been handmade at Hickory Ridge Woodworking. Hickory Ridge Woodworking had its humble beginnings about 15 miles away from where the shop currently resides. As the Amish are starting out on their own, it is common to rent a small piece of land from a family member, erect a simple home and if necessary a work shop. Both the home and the workshop are not built on typical cement foundations, but rather propped up on large footings so that they are moveable. As such, the shop has moved twice since starting on Hickory Ridge but the name has stuck.
When we met our builder, Enos, he was a spry 25 year old with great ambitions. Fast forward about 5 years, the current shop location is situated on a sprawling acreage about ten miles from where he began. His family has grown to four healthy children and the roots have been firmly put down to stay in this location for some time.
On the property there is a large pole shed he labored over converting from a tobacco drying barn to an insulated space currently used to store wood for heating the shop, his horse drawn buggy, a horse stable, some lumber, and most importantly to build the products for Acoustic Remedy. The old farm house on the property is close to 100 years old and needed some rehabilitation and transition from an English house to an Amish house (i.e. removing all electrical, HVAC, etc.). Gigantic oak trees dot the landscape and several horses come to greet you from the pasture as you drive down the conifer lined driveway leading up to Hickory Ridge Woodworking.
At Hickory Ridge Woodworking, Acoustic Remedy's inventions come to life. You can generally find sawdust flying from dawn to dusk with projects in various states of completion. Of course most people know the Amish are renowned for fine woodworking, but Enos seems to have a leg up on his competition and makes him the perfect craftsman to build Acoustic Remedy's products. Like other Amish woodworkers, Enos has gotten many techniques passed down from his father and grandfather, but the family connection to the music industry seems like it was destiny we found him. Since his childhood Enos's father has been involved in producing the wood mounting blocks for String Swing. We use String Swing's hangers in our single and multi-instrument humidors. They can also be found in nearly every guitar shop worldwide. It was actually the owner of String Swing who connected us with Enos and as the saying goes "the rest is history".
During the first meeting with Enos we brought one of the earliest versions of the ClimaStand out on a cold January evening. As he lit the lantern and stoked the wood burning stove, we discussed some specifics and ideas of how to improve upon what we had brought him. The history of the ClimaStand is another topic on its own, but in short summary Acoustic Remedy had begun as an idea and after a few prototypes built in Ryan's garage, we ended up using a local cabinet shop to make our first production run. We still have some of the cases from the cabinet shop labeled as "Factory 2nds" because they just can't compare to current versions and they are a nice relic to look back on.
One interesting thing that most people don't realize is that Amish woodworkers do use powered tools but do so without electricity. How do they do it? A diesel engine turns a line shaft which runs into the shop under the floor. This line shaft turns a pulley, which turns the motor shaft of the table saw, planer, sander, or other piece of equipment. The entire shop can be powered with an ingenious combination of clutches, bearings, pulleys, and transfer shafts. At the end of the entire process, hand sanding each and every surface is the final touch that cannot be replaced by any piece of equipment. Silky smooth surfaces combined with amazing joinery and precise cuts make for a product line that lives up to the reputation of Amish made. All Acoustic Remedy products are hand crafted, in small batches and receive the attention to detail that only a true craftsman can provide.
As the business flourished, so did the relationship we've built with Enos. In a nutshell, it's like having a good friend you do business with. His wife bakes us apple and pumpkin pies around the holidays. We sit down for several homemade dinners with them every summer and it always includes homemade ice cream. In turn, we purchase some personal items such as toys and games from him to be used in our homes or given as gifts. We help him out by stopping by the local home improvement shop to grab a few items for him before we drive out or drop him off at his dad's workshop 30 miles away.
As we enter the next iteration of Acoustic Remedy and expand our product lines, we have embarked on another journey with Hickory Ridge Woodworking by our side. In short order, Enos's son will be joining him in the workshop to help put their fingerprints on the products we ship worldwide. He has a large map with pins on it in nearly every single state in the USA. It's always a thrill to see the look on Enos's face when we tell him something he made is bound for the far reaches of the United States or even worldwide.
Our customers deserve the best and that's what they get from Hickory Ridge Woodworking. We're closely approaching our 13th anniversary working with Enos and the small team at Hickory Ridge Woodworking and cannot wait to see what the next 20+ years have in store for us.