is unique about
interesting how this question can change over time. For example,
when I first started building almost fifteen years ago the extensive
use of jigs and templates was something found primarily in a factory
setting. I would say Jim Olson is the first builder I became aware
of who really effectively applied this to a small shop setting.
So when I started offering my own line of guitars it was partly
because I was fascinated with the idea of making advancements
on the designs I had seen as well as building better sounding
guitars. Jigs, efficiency, and accuracy were my ethos.
today things are very different. Computer Aided Design (CAD) and
Computer Aided Machining (CAM) have dramatically changed the landscape
of manufacturing across the board, and that includes guitar building.
At first the computer technology was employed by only the largest
factories, but as the technology becomes more and more affordable
small shops are starting to embrace it as well. These days it
is also possible to subcontract a myriad of processes and parts
ranging from making complete necks & bridges to the actual
finish work. It's a different environment.
I've given some thought to how I feel about this and what I am
trying to offer my customers. What I came up with is the strong
belief that part of what people are paying for when they purchase
a custom, or "hand made" instrument is a certain involvement
in the process. Not only on their part, but on the part of the
builder as well. It's easy to debate the very question of what
constitutes "hand made" but I think there's value in
my customers knowing I still work alone and perform every process
myself...from selecting the woods, to sweeping the floor, to painting
the guitars. I'm even likely to answer the phone. And, I'm also
still striving to constantly build better guitars...
is the current wait list?
of Summer 2006 I have a current wait list of about 16-18 months
on all orders.
Important is Proper Humidity?
the proper climate for a new guitar is crucial to the longevity
of the instrument as well as for maintaining the Warranty. I build
in a constant environment of 44-46% Relative Humidity at approx.
72 degrees F. which are the conditions you should strive for as
well (particularly for the first year or so). Please call or write
if you have further questions.
are the differences in various soundboard woods?
is no "magic" soundboard material that will guarantee
a certain result. One piece of advice I try to offer people -
whether they buy a guitar from me or not - is to be as descriptive
as possible about your playing style and needs and let the builder
suggest the appropriate wood choice.
prefer to work with either Adirondack or one of the varieties
of European Spruce. But I am comfortable with Sitka Spruce (highly
underrated in the world of "custom" guitars) and Western
Red Cedar as well. I have never found Engleman Spruce to offer
anything unique from a tonal perspective. Below is a short description
of each wood.