I’ve learned, and am continuing to learn, that many things are required in the building of guitars; skills, tools, advice, patience, etc. The one component, however, that I find to be the most intriguing, challenging, and time consuming is choice. Every single step in the process (wood, components, glue, inlay, bracing, finish, etc.) involves the consideration of hundreds, even thousands of possibilities, each which much be given proper thought. Once chosen, that course of approach necessarily excludes all others and then leads to the next round of engineering, design choices. This takes time. And for me – a lot of time!
Right now I have four cigar box guitars on my bench. a return to my roots in guitar building, if you will. One, a commission, is a three string slide guitar, another is a four string “lefty,” the third is a three string resonator (for which I am using an inverted dog dish), and the fourth is a six string electric. I have spent hours contemplating the possibilities of each one.
I have a chair in my workshop. Occasionally my wife, Ramona, will come out and find me seated there. “I thought you were building guitars,” she’ll say. My response is always the same: “I am!”
Choices, possibilities, decisions – all provide the creative flow of life.