By trade, I am a Cabinet Maker and Draftsman. Having completed City and Guilds qualifications in both fields, and been in the Cabinet Making industry, both as a maker and a draftsman for over 25 years. Luthiery began in 1994 with my first custom built guitar. Since then I have been designing and building guitars of various types, on a semi-professional basis. Since moving to the Stranraer area in 2018 I have been a dedicated professional Luthier (along with occasional Cabinet Maker duties), working from my workshop, here in Dunragit. So you can be assured of my skill and knowledge of the guitar making process.
Your Custom Guitar
My existing model line-up is the basis of the design process. Each guitar I build is custom made and tailored to it's owner and their preferences. The guitars illustrated on these webpages are demonstrator models which I keep, and are available for you to try out in my studio, as the basis for a discussion about what you want in your new custom built guitar. The design engineering work has already been completed on these demonstrator models. So you only need to let me know what hardware, electronics and tonewoods etc you would like in your particular guitar, and I will build it for you. I will then charge you for the build only. Should you wish me to design and build for you a totally new guitar, not listed here as a standard model, or one from your own imagination, I will need to charge a fee for the CAD engineering work, as well as a fee for the build. Left handed guitars accommodated at no extra cost, whether on existing models or completely unique instruments.
The choice of woods, finishes, electronics, hardware, scale length, frets, headstock and anything else you can think of is your choice to specify. It is also your choice whether to choose a set neck or a bolt-on neck. I'm always available to advise on these choices if needed. On most of my models (bar the Tempest), there is no real difference in neck joint detail, so as long as I know at the beginning of the process, which you would like, I can accommodate either type. My Tempest model is a dedicated through-neck construction guitar. So if you would like a through-neck style guitar, the Tempest is available, or if you would like a different neck joint, please let me know what you would like, and we can discuss this, as applying a through neck detail to my other standard models is a little more involved.
In addition, the headstock shape is entirely your chioce, and any of my standard model guitars can have any of my standard headstock shapes applied to them. Or if you prefer another headstock shape (providing it is not a copy of another "famous" shape) please let me know.
Neck profiles is a highly subjective topic. Each player has their own preference as to what style of profile they prefer. Please refer to the chart below for the standard neck profiles I offer.
Natural Oval Veeback Broadshoulder Offset (L/R)
The standard depth of profile I make is a constant 19mm from top nut to the heel. The minimum depth allowable with my custom made truss-rods, is 18mm. And the maximum depth is whatever you like. If you can supply me with some paper templates of your favourite existing guitar neck, I will endevour to shape the neck to these templates, in order to replicate that neck, as best I can (although I can't copy it exactly). Instructions for this process available on request.
Neck Widths and Frets
My standard neck designs are;
44/59 - 22 fret neck. 44mm wide at the top nut and 59mm wide at the body end of the fretboard. Scale length as required.
44/60 - 24 fret neck. 44mm wide at the top nut and 60mm wide at the body end of the fretboard. Scale length as required.
These width designs offer a good balance between string spacing ("finger room") and hand reach, for ease of chord fretting, especially on more demanding chords like bar chords. But if you want any other neck width dimensions, please let me know.
I use long lasting stainless steel frets as standard. Please specify the fretwire dimensions you would prefer. Different fret wire material available on request.
I use custom made truss rods, which I make myself. Using a steel rod inside an aluminium square U shaped extrusion, which is bonded in place within the truss rod channel. This gives the neck unparalleled strength and rigidity, exceeding the strength of the neck before the channel is routed. My truss rods can be used to accommodate any scale length neck. tensioning is either by a T30 torx head blot at the headstock or an M6 nut at the body end. The choice of tensioner placement is yours to specify.
For most of my models I am able to accommodate either a "bolt-on" (screwed) or "set" (glued) neck configuration, as there is very little difference in the manufacture of the components. Simply specify which type of joint you would like in your guitar, and I will make it this way for you. For screwed necks I use a special system where the two lower screws are placed at right-angles to the body, as per the normal system. But the two upper screws are placed at an angle of 30 degrees to the body. This has the effect of keeping the screw heads as near to the lower screws as possible, whilst having the threaded part of the screws as far towards the neck as possible. Thereby giving the advantage of widely spaced screws, but minimising the heel joint, for excellent top-fret access. In addition, the angled screws actively pull the neck into the neck pocket, when they are tightened. Normal perpendicular screws are not able to do this. The Tempest model however, is a dedicated scalloped heel, semi-through neck design and therefore has no neck joint.
I can finish your guitar in different finishes. Such as high gloss lacquer, satin lacquer, and oil finish, it's your choice to make. Please let me know which finish you would like, and on which parts of the guitar you would like, as I can also accommodate differing finishes on different components of the instrument.
For any other considerations not listed above, please do just ask, and we can discuss it.
Please note, most of my guitar body and headstock shapes are registered designs.