Re: Christopher Woods?
I noticed he doesn't sell finished guitars anymore. That's a good thing. Anyway.....
I ordered a body from him in January of '05 and was told about 8 weeks. So, I received the body in September (8 Months later) and the finish was worse than child like. Absolutely terrible. I sent it back, and he told me he'd send it up the block to GMW (a VERY reputable place), and that it would take them 4 weeks or so. I was cool with that, and I got the Guitar back at the end of March/beginning of April (obviously not 4 weeks....see a pattern here yet?). This finish was nicer than the original on the front, but comically bad on the back. There were at least a dozen places where tape had been applied to the finish before it was hard, and those tape 'stains' were now all over the back of the guitar! I still find it impossible to believe you wouldn't see that before packing it up. Of course, it hadn't been done by GMW, it had been farmed out to someone else who also didn't know how to apply a professional finish. Seriously, my $25 Chinese Les Paul copy I bought for my 4 year old son has a far superior finish. I returned the guitar to Chris in April and said enough was enough, would he refund my money. He said he would, and did after a week or so. That part actually went well. However, he had also put a thin laminate on the face of the headstock so it would match the body, so he said he'd remove that and send me back my neck. On the last Friday in April he emailed me "I'll send it on Monday, and email you a tracking number". And that's been that. He no longer returns my emails, he hasn't sent me my neck, and my beautiful 7620 that I was hoping to improve a bit has been apart and out of service for over a year and a half.
Would I suggest You send him your money, or pieces of a cherished instrument? Uh...No. I would not. I have kept pretty quiet about this over the last many months (in my own opinion, anyway) because I didn't want my status as a senior member here to really affect other members of the forum. I know Ibanez custom parts is a big part of his business, and Jemsite is a great place to pick up that business. But he knows who I am, and still can't be bothered to return my neck or answer my emails.
I wouldn't do business with him, and I would very strongly suggest anyone looking for custom parts look elsewhere as well. I've seen his ads on the 'Bay as well, and they often show a neck or body in the pictures and the descriptions says something like "you can chose the wood", which clearly implies the neck/body may not have been built yet, and the pics are of one done previously. I'd watch that as well.