About

SOME OF MY STORY
” A guitar is an outwardly simple device to the uninitiated, but its beauty and soul are in the quality of the materials used and the attention the builder gives to nuance and detail…​

As a founding member of the Gibson Guitar Company my great great grandfather, Thaddeus McHugh was a tenor, innovator, and master luthier who in 1921 helped changed the way we play guitars today. His patented designs of the truss rod and adjustable bridge made guitars more playable, longer lasting and these innovations carry on today. This idea that a product should perform well and bring years of service and joy was passed on through generations of wood workers and guitar players in my family.

As a teenager I myself fell in love with the guitar and for years I eagerly absorbed as much of it as possible. Practicing and studying continuously to hone these skills. Through the years I performed locally and regionally, offered private lessons all the while continuing to learn. As a necessity I educated myself to repair, build and maintain my guitars.

​Having grown up with generations of woodworkers, luthiers and craftsmen I continued these traditions as well. Honing these skills throughout my adult life the guitar was always my constant companion. As time went on my interests diverged from performing to actually creating the instrument. After more than 25 years my passion continues. Today I build handcrafted classical guitars for the discerning enthusiast.

A guitar is an outwardly simple device to the uninitiated, but its beauty and soul are in the quality of the materials used and the attention the builder gives to nuance and detail. I build using the finest available materials and employ traditional construction techniques. My guitars are built to provide years of enjoyment to their owners with a simplicity and quality that my great great grandfather would approve of.

My Work

SOME OF MY STORY

Here you will find some common repairs services and pricing options. I am a full service repair shop and not every scenario can be listed so please feel free to contact me regarding the specifics of your instrument. I work by appointment only.

When someone purchases one of my guitars I encourage the buyer be personally involved in every aspect of the build. From the initial interview, selection of features to suit the players needs, types of woods used all the way down to the finish. In my opinion this is what makes a guitar “custom”, the fact that every aspect is founded on your personal needs and desires hence giving it its unique character.

All of my guitars are handcrafted from a player’s perspective using only the best materials and techniques available. I build only a limited number of guitars each year and in doing so it enables me to not only focus on producing instruments with superior sound quality but unique visual aesthetics as well. Each guitar I build is truly a one of a kind.

I style my guitars after Hermann Hauser using mostly traditional building techniques. With all the master luthiers that have come before us I couldn’t convince myself to do it any other way. I saw it as an opportunity to resurrect a piece of history while utilizing the best of each of their works. This has been my philosophy from day one and as I now see the industry trend returning to some of these traditional methods and materials I now know it was the correct one.

I build a limited number of guitars each year and the waiting period is approximately four months.

My standard build includes the finest grade of Engelmann spruce or cedar top; East Indian rosewood back and sides; Spanish cedar neck with carbon fiber stabilizer; rosewood fingerboard; rosewood bridge; all wood bindings; a natural wood rosette. The fingerboard is a 650mm scale and the width is 52mm at the nut and 64m at the 12th fret (other scales and spacing can be accommodated). Natural bone nut, saddle, and tie block inlay. The neck is a Spanish heel construction and can be shaped to the customer’s preference. All instruments are finished in a multistage varnish process and hand buffed to a beautiful luster.

The base price is $4200.00, which includes Gotoh Premium or Gilbert classical tuners, SKB Thin-line hardshell case with humidifier with a digital hygrometer.

When a guitar is ordered I require an initial deposit of thirty-five percent of the total price, and a final balance on completion. I do welcome an inspection of the guitar during various stages of construction (with an appointment). All transactions must be in U.S. funds or equivalent, cash, money order, or certified bank draft. The final satisfaction of CITES or any other necessary export/import regulations is the responsibility of the owner.

Optional Material (à la carte): prices will vary based on availability and current market value.
Back and Sides:

  • African Blackwood
  • Amazon Rosewood
  • Bocote
  • Bubinga
  • Black Walnut
  • Claro Walnut
  • Cocobolo
  • Honduran Rosewood
  • Indian Rosewood (standard)
  • Indonesian Rosewood
  • Koa
  • Macassar Ebony
  • Pau Ferro
  • Sapele
  • Tasmanian Blackwood
  • Wenge
  • Zebrawood
  • Ziricote

Tops – (Tone woods):

  • European Spruce
  • Engelmann spruce (standard)
  • Western Red Cedar (standard)
  • Western Red Cedar “Reclaimed “ (streaks)

Thermal curing is available on all tops. Also known as “torrefication”, “roasting” or “baking” which is a controlled drying technique that accelerates the natural aging process of wood. Not only does baking change the outward appearance of the wood giving it an aged golden brown color but it structurally causes the wood to be stiffer and lighter in weight. A winning combination when it comes to soundboards.

Fingerboards:

  • Ebony (standard)
  • Rosewood (standard)

 
Tuning Machines:

  • Alessi
  • Fustero
  • Gilbert (standard)
  • Gotoh Premium (standard)
  • Irving Sloane
  • Schaller
  • Waverly
  • Graf

 Construction Options

 Finishes:

  • Varnish (standard)
  • Shellac Spray
  • Shellac French polished
  • Nitrocellulose
  • Nitrocellulose body, French polish soundboard

 Fingerboards:

  • Custom widths
  • Scaling (650mm standard)
  • Radiusing

 Bridge:

  • Twelve Hole (double-hole) Tie-block

Warranty

I warrant my instruments against defects in materials and workmanship for my life as an active luthier.  I will not cover damage due to fair wear and tear, abuse, neglect; extremes of temperature or humidity (see my notes on humidity). Also despite years of proper seasoning, it is the tendency of several wood species to develop hairline fractures.
Periodic maintenance is the responsibility of the owner and is a condition of this warranty.  Appropriate care accessories and instructions are included in the purchase of each instrument.  Any repairs or alterations performed by someone other than me may risk the cancellation of this warranty. All transportation expenses are the responsibility of the owner.

Returns

After fifteen days of receipt, if an instrument proves unsuited to the player, it can be returned for the purchase price, (minus any shipping &  handling fees).  If not in new condition, the cost of restoration will also be deducted.  Reimbursement will follow immediately upon the inspection and any restoration (if needed) of the returned instrument.

Here you will find some common repairs services and pricing options. I am a full service repair shop and not every scenario can be listed so please feel free to contact me regarding the specifics of your instrument. I work by appointment only.

SET UP $50.00 + Strings. Includes Neck adjust, action adjustment at nut and saddle, minor fret work, tighten tuner screws and nuts, lubricate tuning machines, general clean up, restring.
NEW NUT $45.00 – Includes raw material. If your guitar has worn frets, a bowed neck, or an ill fitting saddle, expect additional cost to correct these problems.
NEW SADDLE $35.00 – may or may not include raw material. Same qualifications as with “new nut”.
RE-GLUE BRIDGE $150.00 – Remove and refit old bridge. Finish touchup included. 12 string bridge will be higher depending on guitar.
REPLACE BRIDGE $150.00 + cost of factory made bridge, approx. $30.00 + cost of new saddle if needed.
HANDMADE BRIDGE $200.00 and up, by quote. Handmade bridges may be necessary for vintage Gibson, Martin, Guild, and custom bridge replacements.
REPLACE TUNERS $40 and up. Seems like a simple job, but can he filled with nuances that cause much work. Includes touchup of any visible marks and screw holes left by original tuners.
FRET LEVELING (“Filing”, “Dressing”…) $100.00 and up. Worn or uneven frets can he filed level in many cases, if there will remain enough height on the fret to suit the customer. Frets must be lowered to the height of the lowest pit that can be found. Sometimes, replacing the most worn frets is appropriate. Includes “set up” adjustments.
RE-FRET $150-200.00 – Add $40 for fretboards with binding. New nut or saddle may be necessary.
INDIVIDUAL FRETS $10.00 plus leveling and or set up costs in some cases. New nut or saddle may be necessary.

Let’s Talk

TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR NEEDS
Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.