Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hamilton Steel Guitars

Chris Hamilton is on the left
About a month ago I received a great email from Chris Hamilton regarding The Unique Guitar Blog. It turns out that Chris is a professional metal worker and a highly skilled luthier. He has combined his talents to create Hamilton Steel Guitars.

You may have seen some of his instruments featured in Guitar Player Magazine or other guitar related literature.

His guitars are not guitars that are played with a steel bar, but guitars with mainly steel bodies.

In my reply to him, after a cursory view of his webpage, I commented that the guitars reminded me of Veleno instruments. But after further study, these guitars are nothing like Velenos. Hamilton Steel Guitars are among the most unique instruments that I have ever seen.

The instruments that Hamilton creates are works of art, sculptures in metal if you will.


Chris Hamilton
Hamilton Steel Guitars, which he abbreviates as HSG, is located in Van Nuys, California. Chris’ business is a one man operation, turning out one instrument at a time, so each is 100% handmade. All guitars are made of steel with an aluminum neck pocket and bridge block. Chris accomplishes this through his skillful use of T.I.G. welding (tungsten inert gas) to bind the instruments shapes together.

Chris began building and customizing motorcycles and prerunner, off road, racing trucks. But his passion is the guitars that he builds.

I'll note that he machines the bodies and necks on pre-WWII era milling equipment. Parts are made on an old LeBlond lathe. Unlike other manufacturers, there is nothing digital about Hamilton Steel Guitars. They are made in the same manner as luthery artisans of the past.

Chris' guitars are amazing. In a market that is flooded with replicas of American made guitars, Hamilton Steel Guitars stand out. Hamilton's instruments are hollow metal replicas of well-known electric instruments, such as Les Pauls, Gibson Explorers, Fender Telecasters and Stratocasters, however each instrument is made of rolled steel. Chris also builds his own unique designs and is able to customize an intrument to each customers specifications.

These guitars feature unusual twists, such as a radiator style grills, custom contours or decorative paneling on the body. Chris offers custom necks made of aluminum, graphite or exotic woods.

HSG offers custom finishes, such as Brushed Steel, Chrome, Nickel or one he calls Heavy, Medium or Light Rusting. This one gives the metal instrument an unusual aged look reminiscent of modern art sculptures. The visual impact of his creations is awesome.

As I have intimated, your order can be customized to fit any specifications you desire.

Pickguards and pickup rings can be fashioned from aluminum, copper, stainless steel or brass.

Your HSG does not have to come with a natural aluminum finish. The guitars are offered with Candy, Pearl, Metalflake, Powder Coat and any popular automotive or motorcycle finish. Chris even does Wallpaper finishes.

Pickups brands and types are left up to the purchaser. You can include however many pickups you desire, even piezo pickups.

HSG can be order with any style headstock. The bodies come with or without F-holes. Despite being made from metal, the hollow build allows the instruments to weigh anywhere from 6.5 to 11 pounds, which is no more than most solidbody wooden guitars.

There is one last thing you need to know about Hamilton Steel Guitars...They are not just entirely handmade, they are also bulletproof!

Check out the website at: http://www.hamiltonsteelguitars.com/



Chris was kind enough to send me some pictures of his remarkable creations. Enjoy!













Check out this video of Chris building a body. It is fascinating.

42 comments:

kejora said...

Fantastic ...
This is the first time I see so many unique guitars since I wrote about guitar in my blog. See http://guitar-16.blogspot.com/

Marc said...

Thank you for stopping by. Don't be a stranger.

~Marc

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