am an “old newcomer” to the world of acoustic instruments
and luthiery. I have played in an internationally known bluegrass band,
Red Wine, since 1978, and I’ve been exposed for the same period
to hundreds of great acoustic instruments (guitars, banjos, mandolins,
basses etc) which I could “check out” and possibly analyze
somewhat more deeply. This is the “old” part of my relationship
with acoustic instruments. As for being a “newcomer”, I’ve
been apprenticing and working at a fine luthier shop since 1996, and I
built my first guitar in 1999. However, I can say that in this short time
I’ve absorbed quite a bit of the “know-how” that my
masters took 15 or 20 years to build up, if not their fine technique.
I have also learned a great deal from luthier guru Marty Lanham (Nashville
Guitar Company), who kindly lent me his huge experience and wealth of
knowledge on old Martin guitars. The pictures below will hopefully give
you an idea of my workmanship on guitars and banjos.
I build mostly dreadnought guitars, patterned fairly closely after the
great Martin D- models of the ‘30s, using basically the same top
bracing patterns, thicknesses, and structural guidelines. Although I prefer
to build guitars on custom specs, which I discuss with my customers, the
specs on my dreadnought are basically the same:
high-grade Spruce top (mostly Italian, but I use Sitka as well).
- back and sides in Honduras mahogany, or Indian rosewood (Madagascar
or Brazilian rosewood on request, when available), or American black walnut.
- Honduras mahogany neck, walnut on walnut body models, maple on maple
models, all with two-way truss rod accessible from the soundhole.
- rosewood or ebony fretboard and bridge.
- scalloped top bracing with "advanced X".
- choice of wood binding and purfling.
- high-quality and very light nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
also offer a few other non-dreadnought models:
- 00-style small body model, loosely patterned after the ‘20s Bruno
& Sons guitars, available in mahogany, curly maple, East Indian rosewood,
or choice old Brazilian rosewood.
- LG-style small body model, similar to a Gibson LG-2 body shape: a small
cannon of a guitar with advanced-X scalloped bracing. This one too is
available in the same choice of wood as the other models, including very
old Brazilian rosewood.
- Round-cutaway Gibson-style square jumbo body model (loosely patterned
after the Les Paul Jumbo shape), in Honduras mahogany, curly maple or
East Indian rosewood.
I'm also going to start building a J- model, body shape like a Gibson
Jumbo, with 14-fret neck or 12-fret neck (like a Gibson Roy Smeck Deluxe
/ HG- model)