Building guitars by hand isn’t a great business idea! It is a time and labor intensive craft which requires many divers skills. Creativity is needed in every aspect of the design and execution of the plan to reach the goal of a ‘great instrument.’ That continues to be my goal and the reason why I’m drawn to this craft/art/trade. My approach to building is conceptual in that I’m first inspired to create an instrument with a characteristic voice or vibe, and then ply my acquired knowledge of materials and craft of woodworking to bring it to life.
It starts with the wood and the physical properties attributed to a growing list of desired species used for fine instruments. There are many practical considerations for choosing wood for musical instruments and they include density, stiffness to weight ratio, workability, and appearance. Regardless of the species, tonewood has to be selected, milled and prepared differently than wood destined to become furniture or flooring, in order to make the most of its strength and acoustic properties. Species at the top of my list include several varieties of spruce, rosewoods, mahogany, cedar, and maples and walnut.