January 1, 2009

It was one year ago when I embarked on guitar building.  I will recount my accomplishments during the year of 2008 and look forward to what lies ahead in 2009.

This all started with a Stew Mac 000 kit which I received as a Christmas gift from Carol, my wife.  It started as an experiment to determine whether I should add something meaningful to my “free” time, as I was spending much too much time in the chair.  After spending an absurd amount of money on tools and expanding my  workshop, I completed the Stew Mac 000 (guitar 801) in March.

Before I completed my first guitar, I knew I was hooked.  I discovered LMI and used their kit wizard to purchase the components for a rosewood OM (guitar 802), which ended up in my daughter, Rachel’s hands before she went off to her sophomore year at NYU in August.

I sent out feelers for commissions, a means to continue building, but getting someone else to fund my efforts before I could legitimately sell custom guitars.  My friend and music partner Larry ordered a maple OM using the LMI kit wizard, and guitar 803 was born.  I just finished 803 on December 31st and turned it over to Larry.

Through Larry, I got a second commission from one of his business associates.  Guitar 804 is a Koa Parlor, also sourced through LMI, which is 75% complete.  See “looking forward” below.

In June I attended a guitar building workshop from Charles Fox and the American School of Lutherie in Portland.

I did a few repair jobs, one of which was a refret/refurbish of an old 5 string banjo for my friend Tom.  I also took possession of a classical guitar with serious neck and top problems from my brother-in-law Bim.

And, guitar 805 started construction in November with wood stock from a tree farm which will end up being a 12 string dreadnought.

Finally, in wanting to do something for myself, I started guitar 901, a zebrawood resonator guitar which needs to sit idle for some time while I finish things earlier in the queue.

Later tonight, I’ll lay out my roadmap for 2009.