My approach involves a strong focus on hand tool use. With hand tools the feel is immediate, giving me a direct connection with the raw materials. By using planes, chisels, scrapers, and files for crucial shaping and joining I am able to closely monitor the musicality of the result.
All wooden parts are shop made using lumber I've hand selected over the years. I use lumber from a variety of sources, thoroughly dried and acclimated to my shop for many years before being crafted into an instrument. I currently have a comprehensive selection including standard and unusual tonewoods: italian, korean, german and sitka spruces, red cedar, port orford cedar, yellow cedar, redwood, african, honduran and cuban mahogany, black and claro walnut, east indian, brazilian and madagascar rosewood, ebony, myrtle, maple, madrone, apple, cherry, and yew, to name a few. If you are curious, just ask what else I might have available!
I hand craft every wooden piece of every instrument. The only pre-fabricated parts I use on my instruments are tuning machines, strings, bridge pins and electronics. All wooden parts (plates, sides, linings, blocks, neck, fingerboard, binding, purfling, marquetry etc.) are meticulously hand-crafted by me, in my shop. I like to be sure that every piece of wood that goes into an instrument is structurally sound and, above all, rings with musical tone.
I feel lucky to be doing this work, and I take it very seriously. When someone commissions a custom instrument, they deserve a piece of handmade art. Strenuous observations and critical attention are needed in the design and construction of each piece to ensure a total inherent contribution to the musicality of the product, both in form and function.
My approach to crafting musical tone is simple and direct. I hand tune each soundboard using combination of methods I've observed over the years. I've had the privilege to get to know and be inspired by some world-renowned builders, and strive constantly to maintain my work at the highest level of excellence. Ultimately, each method is only as good as the outcome, and I find that voicing becomes more clear, more alive, more balanced, and more expressive with each instrument I produce.
Member; Guild of American Luthiers