Interest in lutherie came to me at an arts & craft show in 1977 in Tulsa, Ok when my wife spied a mountain dulcimer for sale at a whopping $850! I carelessly said 'but Honey, I can build one of those for you even better.' Two months and several thousand dollars later I produced what I thought looked kind of like that dulcimer using my shiney new woodworking machines. But by the 1980's I had graduated to the ultimate ambition of my life to date....the Archtop guitar. My formal training was with Robert Bennedetto and Bill Moll but the true learning came from building these magnificent instruments.
In my shop there are no CNC machines or carving machines nor any other apparatus' to shortcut the craft I love. Everything here is done one at a time and by hand. Since tonal properties of each piece of wood is different and unique unto itself I feel the best way to maximize each is through personal hand work. I work alone and build one instrument at a time and have no interest in mass nor high production of any kind. Approximately 300 hours are required to build each archtop and finish around 10 per year. I am retired from the corporate life and do not make my living from lutherie. I build for the love of the craft and the instruments it yields.
I have perfected several new fixtures over the years that produce far better "fits" for specific parts of the guitar that enhance tone transfers to the top and back for better clarity and volume. I buy only the highest grades of Sitka spruce and German or European spruce for tops and Big Leaf maple for backs and sides. Figured maple is cut for necks and Ebony for finger boards, tuning head veneer, bridges, finger rests and tail pieces. My finishes are sprayed with McFadden nitrocellulous lacquer and produce the best results of any product available.