As a small builder I can build the niche guitars that aren’t commercially viable. When they become commerically viable, like my aluminum resonators did after 150 or so, I lost interest – it was too much like a job. We life a simple life off-grid in Montana, my shop runs completely on solar as well as the house, which gives us much freedom. This simplicity allows me to constantly work on my experiments instead of worrying about marketing a product.
Each year I build a few electrics, 1 or 2 Weissenheimers, and an occasional wood reso or archtop. Right now I’ve hit on a flat top design, while a little bright in standard, it has really focused lows in lower tunings so I’ll experiment more with that this year.
I’m more concerned with performance than appearance – if you’re only interested in inlay and mirror finishes than my guitars probably aren’t for you. My focus is on sound & playability – traits that can’t be done easily with machines and in mass production.
Most of my wood was salvaged in Central America from stumps and tops left by loggers or fire and hurricane damaged trees. In Belize I collected Rosewood, Granadilla Rosewood Burl, Bastard Rosewood, Hubrillo and the Mahogany. There’s always the odd garage sale or thright store furniture made of mahogany or even rosewood which I salvage and use too.
I don’t do many custom orders prefereing to just offer my experiments for sale. If you are interested in what I have on hand get in touch!
I was born in Montana in a farming and ranching family – my Dad went off to WWII as a pilot. He didn’t care for the military, but they had really cool airplanes, so he was a fighter pilot thru Korea and Vietnam, where he was shot down. Fighter pilots move around a lot – so my first musical influences were Ray Charles & Gospel music in Georgia 1954. Then England & Germany in the late ‘50’s & early ‘60’s – listening to English blues & The Beatles on Radio Luxembourg.
I built guitars as a hobby when I was a Fine Arts student in the late ’60’s thru ’75 when disco hit and live music almost died. I began making knives and because of a martial arts background ended up making my own steel in the Japanese tradition & even shared a shop with a Japanese knife/sword maker named Kuzan Oda.
In the early ’90’s the collectors were ruining knife making for people interested in functional designs, so I got back into guitar building full time.
I’ve built around 400 guitars, focusing mainly on sound & playability. These are traits that can’t be done by machines & mass production.