About the Builder
Building a guitar is an intoxicating mixture of engineering, art, carpentry, music, tradition, and science. It is also the most difficult endeavor I have ever been involved with. I strive to build the best possible instrument every time I enter the shop. When you combine these challenges with the history of luthierie and the potential lifespan of a musical instrument, the process can be magical.
I build handcrafted instruments. I build with a minimum of power tools, though they certainly have their place. I bend my sides on a hot pipe instead of with a machine. I like the tactile sensation of feeling the wood resist at first, then (with the rise in temperature), feeling it decide to comply to my wishes. There is nothing like the sound and feel of a finely honed tool removing little wisps of shavings. I use the traditional hide glue, as luthiers have been doing for hundreds of years, it gives a continuity to the craft. The desire to build handcrafted instruments is a major part of my reasons for undertaking this difficult activity. I have another career that provides financial security, I build guitars for the love of the craftsmanship.
There is nothing like the sense of anticipation when stringing up a new guitar for the first time. Wood is unpredictable and subject to many influences, it is also fickle and moody. The first few notes are nothing like the sound that will come even 1 hour later. The sound changes so much in the first few days...
Aside from the pleasure I derive from constructing a new guitar I also enjoy seeing the smiling faces on the people who play my instruments. The fact my instruments are also being used to entertain groups makes it even better. Several of my guitars are being used on stage. Giving the artist a means of expression, a means of creating more art, is very fulfilling and is the highest purpose for a box consisting of wood and wire.
A good guitar is very much alive, you can feel it vibrating, you can feel its desire to make music in your hands. Bringing wood and wire to this state of "aliveness" is a worthwhile endeavor. It is worth striving for excellence. It is worth striving for some level of perfection. I hope you will allow me the opportunity to try and provide you with a partner in your quest for art!