without the luthier’s interaction with one instrument during it’s entire construction, the factory model relies on a bit of luck to produce a truly great instrument.

The factory model also restricts the options one has in terms of scale-length, body-depth, bracing patterns, and number of frets clear of the body because each option would require a whole new set of tooling to make the process quick and accurately repeatable.

I believe the individual luthier should stay flexible and embrace all the variety afforded him and draw on each of the characteristics those options provide in order to find that combination that works for each instrument. While I do use a mold for my side assemblies, it merely defines the shape of the perimeter of the instrument. It doesn’t dictate bracing patterns, scale length or even body