The Z-gun makes news!
Today a technician and Z-gun (pat.pend.) owner sent me a link to a write-up in the Frankfurt Musik Messe news. The Z-Gun was previously featured in Jazz Times magazine and now it's on the Messe site. I feel like a father who's child just made the team! I feel great pride when something I created grows, is praised, or just works well as it was intended to.
The Z-Gun resulted from many years of trial and a lot of error. I used to heat and roll sticks of shellac to make them round to fit in a hot glue gun. Trying to find a glue gun that would accept such a stick was impossible. The shellac would either not heat up enough or ooze out the tip. I finally came to the conclusion that a heated canister would be the only way to accurately and safely dispense shellac when repairing woodwinds. It worked like a charm and I knew I had a winner right away. My padding time was seriously decreased. We started testing in our repair shop and sent a prototype to Jeff Peterson at HornImprovement and one to Steve Goodson for comments.
Once tested, I worked to have the new shellac gun produced. That was tough job. When it all come together we exhibited the Z-Gun at the 2006 NAPBIRT convention where it met both amazement and disbelief. For hundreds of years, technicians have heated shellac over a flame. I was sure that I would sell thousands of these the first month. We got the Z-gun on the site and, in the first three weeks.. we sold 2!
Technicians are fickle and rightfully so. They seem to like thinking things over. They worry about change when they perceive their current situation as working. Eventually we attended more shows and displayed the Z-Gun. Today it is one of our best selling items. I'm happy to say that today there are hundreds of woodwind repair technicians using the Z-Gun. I get Emails almost every day from Technicians who tell me it's a great time saver.
Check out the writeup here:
Article in German
Article in English