I am not a luthier. This is not my full time job. I build electric guitars as a hobby. I find it very relaxing, rewarding and fun. Over the past several years I have sold quite a number of guitars and most of my customers have been very happy with the guitars I have sold to them or built for them. My guitars are very well built, but they are not flawless. They are meant to be played - not babied. But if you decide to baby it, well that's okay too.
I started playing guitar when I was a kid, 10 or 12 years old. I never really got very good, but I always enjoyed hacking around with friends and playing some of my favourite songs. My first guitar was a rented acoustic. I can't remember the make, but I clearly remember the high action, the fret buzz and the poor, tinny sound. After about a year of lessons with that rented piece of crap, my parents felt I was going to stick with it and bought me an El Degas Les Paul copy. For an inexpensive guitar its played and sounded great. That’s one guitar I wish I still had.
During that time I did a lot of upgrades to it including pickups & tuners as well as experimented with coil tapping switches. A lot of this was trial and error, with many tips picked up from Guitar Player Magazine. I even built my own distortion pedal from a plan that I found in the same magazine. The parts cost me a small fortune and it didn't work very well, but it was a learning experience.
I have always been interested in woodworking, and because of the previous tinkering I have done with my guitars, I decided several years ago to try my hand at building an electric guitar. My son was starting to show an interest in music, so I figured it would make a nice Christmas present for him. It actually turned out pretty good and I was already planning what I was going to build next before I finished the first one. I guess you could say it quickly turned into a passion.
The first several guitars I built went to family and friends, but then the word slowly got around (thanks in part to the internet) and in the last few years I have sold a few dozen guitars… mainly in Southern Ontario but also in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Florida, California, Ohio, South Carolina, Colorado and even the UK and Norway.
Like I said before, this is just a hobby and I don’t make a living doing this. This is why I don’t take on very many custom projects. I prefer to build what I want to build, when I want to build it. If someone is interested in buying it, that’s great. If it hangs on my wall forever, that’s fine too.
So if you ask me to build something like a BC Rich type pointy thing and I decline… don’t take it personally. I just don’t build stuff that doesn’t appeal to me. I’m sure there is someone else out there who will be glad to build you whatever you want.