Welcome

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See descriptions and pictures of completed guitars

My quest is to learn to build good guitars.

The finest guitars are visually attractive with interesting woods, bindings, headstocks, and rosettes set off in a rich finish.  They project a full and balanced acoustic sound, have a compelling tactile feel, and are responsive to the player.

My personal style of play is fingerpicking, so most of my guitars are medium body guitars focused on that style. In my pursuit of visually attractive guitars, I slightly modified the shape of the body to conform to phi proportions, which I prefer. The relative dimensions and profile are described on my Phi Guitars page.

I’ve finished guitars in nitrocellulose lacquer, in two brands of water-borne finishes, and most recently in French polish. My favorite finish is French polish. It has a more natural luster and feel than the plasticity of the water-based finishes, without the environmental impact of nitrocellulose lacquer.

phi_guitar_16x20Many variables affect the sound of guitars – so many that harnessing those variables requires a lifetime of experience. My personal experiences in shaping the sound and responsiveness of guitars is found on my Voicing page.

Guitars are a unique canvas for unique woods. Some of these can be viewed on my Gallery pages. One of the joys of building guitars is hand-selecting the wood – feeling it, listening to it, and projecting how it will look in a finished guitar. It’s part of the organic experience of transforming wood into a fine musical instrument that makes guitar building so enjoyable.

Learning to build good guitars is a journey. I feel that I’m making progress in my quest.