What's New Archive

November 2008

The beginning of another season of guitar building.

This is my 35th, or is it the 36th year of building guitars, I’m not sure about that. But what I do know is that by springtime I’ll be 65 years old and I’d like to make some changes in the way I work. Not retire, I’m still keen on building guitars and have lots of ideas of what I’d like to try out and build. But slowing down a bit, changing my priorities, less working on orders and more building of instruments I’ve been dreaming about but never got to build.

Like most luthiers, I have accumulated a stash of choice wood over the years, old Brazilian Rosewood sets, that special spruce top waiting for the “right” guitar, wood set aside to be used some time in the future. Well, I think the future is now, so starting with this season I’ll be using that stash to build some “dream guitars”.

I haven’t worked our exactly what, but it will include the revisiting of an old Hauser classical model that I used to build early on. Lately I’ve come across some of them, really liked how well they have aged and wondered why I had stopped building them. I’m thinking of using my last set of very dark old Brazilian, bought some 30 years ago via England, and a very intensely figured “Bearclaws” spruce top from about same time.

Let’s call it the 35th anniversary guitar.

I’d also like to spend some time working on a more acoustic Archtop guitar, something like the early Gibson/Loar guitars, less than 16’’ wide and with lower arching in the top. Maybe even try an oval sound-hole. We’ll see by springtime how it all came out.

I will also be showing my new guitars at the 2009 Montreal Guitar Show. This will be my fourth time at the show and it sure looks like this is going to be the annual event to display my newest instruments.

Take a look at The “Collection” page which provides details on 4 or 5 guitars that are currently available for sale.

 

  • Top view
  • Back view
  • Top view showing cutout
  • Top view from tail piece
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Yes, it’s a mandolin, OK, an archtop guitar shaped mandolin.  I can’t take credit for the idea, there are a few other models out there, but this one grew out of the close collaboration between customer and builder. Fitting the mandolin configurations into the archtop shape was a bit of a challenge but, I think, well worth it. The resulting instrument doesn’t just look very cool, it has the sound to back it up.

So despite my opening statement about just following my own ideas, I still like the challenge of building and designing custom instruments.