These are common questions asked by customers and should adequately answer most queries. If you have a question not covered here, please let me know by using the Quick Contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the products made from?
A: All items are hand-crafted using tinned copper wire and lead-free solder. Various gauges or ‘thicknesses’ of wire are utilised depending upon the item.
Q: How long do they take to manufacture?
A: Items take anywhere between 1 to 4 hours to manufacture. A standard BusyBody takes about 1 hour to complete whereas the Forth rail bridge model takes about 3½ – 4 hours. Some customised or larger items take considerably longer.
Q: How did you learn to hand-craft these items?
A: This is all self-taught. I used to work with tinned copper wire and solder in previous jobs in the electronics industry and found myself hand-crafting items during a moment of down time! I simply combine by abilities of precision soldering with my artistic and creative mind to produce unique and unusual items.
Q: How long have you been making these?
A: I began way back in 1997 and have been doing this ever since, although mostly as a hobby until demand turned it into an actual job!
Q: Can you make items not displayed on your website?
A: I can make virtually anything! If you don’t see an item or wish a variation on an existing item, simply ask.
Q: Are they all hand-crafted or do you use machines?
A: All are 100% hand-crafted. These products are handmade – not mass produced!
Q: What type of solder is used in the manufacture?
A: Lead-free solder is predominately used, however some areas require a solder with more flux, so I utilise a lead-based solder for some small areas.
Q: Do you post overseas?
A: Yes. All my products are dispatched all over the world. Regular orders are sent to the USA, Australia and all over Europe. First class post is used for all UK orders; orders to international addresses are posted using Airmail service for a speedy dispatch time.
Q: How are items sent out to customers?
A: All items are wrapped in bubble wrap packaging and placed in a sturdy cardboard box, often with additional packaging in order to ensure a safe journey to recipients.
Q: What happens if I receive an item which has been damaged?
A: You should contact me as soon as possible to report any item damaged in transit. Every effort will be made to resolve any issues. You will normally be refunded and a report will be filed with the appropriate postal delivery service.
Q: How long do items take to arrive?
A: Once an item has been dispatched, it should arrive at a UK address within 1-2 working days; this is the time specified by Royal Mail for their 1st class postal service. Airmail service to international addresses, the delivery aim is given as 5-7 working days, although in practice deliveries tend to take several days more than this. Obviously during busy times of the year and adverse weather conditions, delays with delivery services are inevitable and you should expect a slight delay. A check on the delivery company’s website will often reveal if they are experiencing delays.
Royal Mail: //www.royalmail.com/
US Postal Service: //www.usps.com/
Q: How long before an item is dispatched?
A: I normally aim to dispatch items within 1-2 days however at busy periods (Christmas etc) this may take a bit longer however you will be informed of any significant delay.Customised or special commissions may take a little longer, but an estimated completion date will be provided.
Q: I think my order may have been lost. What do I do now?
A: With any busy delivery service, delays and losses do occur from time to time. If your order has not been delivered within a reasonable time, the first thing to do is to check with your local delivery office (the place where your postman operates from) to see if your order is there following a failed delivery. Quite often postmen forget to leave you a card, or it may well have gone missing – it is worth checking. The next step would be to contact me and I will look into the matter ASAP.
Q: I have an idea for a BusyBody. What do I do?
A: Contact me with your idea and attach any photographs you have which will assist in design and manufacture of your item. I will be happy to provide you with a quotation.
Q: How do I send photographs for an item to be modeled on?
A: Photos should be good quality and clear and ideally taken from various angles. This is particularly helpful in the manufacture of motorbikes and cars. Photos can be sent as an attachment in a number of recognised formats, although if in doubt, make sure photos are JPEG format. Any problems receiving attachments, I will inform you ASAP.
Q: Can you personalise an item with a name?
A: Yes, this is a popular addition and is easily done. Obviously there will be a limit to the wording due to space constraints, so first names, nick names or initials are recommended. This addition will incur a small charge to cover the additional materials and time.
Q: Do you provide discounts for bulk buying?
A: Yes, depending upon the quantity. Please be aware that, as all products are 100% hand-crafted, producing a large quantity of the one item is still time consuming and any discounts will be minimal.
Q: Do you supply stock for shops?
A: Yes I can supply my products for shops. Please contact me to discuss your requirements. I can also supply a trade price upon request.
Q: What is the most popular product you do?
A: The range of BusyBodies is extremely popular; the top activities are musical (guitars, drums, brass instruments etc) and the cyclist range.
Q: Can you a male and female BusyBody?
A: All BusyBodies are ‘non gender specific’! On occasion, I have been asked to add wire ‘hair’ in order to produce a more convincing female figure. Again, this is easily added to any BusyBody.
Q: Are the products fragile?
A: All are quite robust given they contain numerous soldered joints, however like any delicate hand-crafted item, care should be taken when handling. Most items when dropped onto a hard surface generally suffer slight damage by way of bending of wires; sometimes these are easily bent back into position.
Q: I have one of your model aircraft which has been accidentally dropped and is bent out of shape. Can this be repaired?
A: Unfortunately it is not particularly cost effective to carry out such a repair; a band new replacement item is almost always less expensive.
Q: Are the BusyBodies suitable gifts for children?
A: Like most hand-crafted products, these are not toys, but ornaments. Children love BusyBodies, but they should not be played with, otherwise damage is sure to occur.
Q: What kind of work do you carry out?
A: I can perform virtually any job requiring precision soldering: from the manufacture of circuit boards to the making of audio leads. Just ask and I can give you an indication whether I would be able to assist.
Q: Can you do repairs to electronic equipment?
A: I have successfully repaired many sets of headphones by replacing the jack socket. The minimal cost of this repair is generally cheaper than purchasing a replacement pair of headphones, especially more expensive brands. Occasionally I am asked to repair or modify PCBs; sometimes this can be done successfully but some jobs are not cost effective. Again just ask and I will evaluate each job.
Q: Can you build me a circuit if I provide an electronic diagram?
A: yes; I have done this sort of work before.
Q: I have a large quantity of PCBs requiring the soldering of a header. Is this tedious job of interest to you?
A: No problem. Just contact me for a quotation.
Q: I have a faulty guitar amplifier. Are you able to look at it?
A: I have successfully carried out a great many repairs to audio equipment in the past, however nowadays repairs to this type of equipment aren’t always cost effective owing to their ‘disposable’ nature. Again, contact me if you require a rough cost.
Q: Do you have a workshop I could visit and bring my equipment to?
A: No. Although I have a workshop, this is not publicly accessible. I do accept any project via courier or postal service, however.