If I had the wood working talent and tools necessary to create guitars, I would be up early hauling that wood back to my house.
Alas, I am only a guitar player; not a builder, however there are a few luthiers that have taken up this challenge and ran with it.
|Nick Pourfard - Prisma Guitars|
In my opinion one of the most unique builders that I have heard about is 24 year old Nick Pourfard. Nick is an industrial design student and a self-taught woodworker who lives in San Francisco.
His garage and basement have been turned into a woodworking shop where he builds his unique brand that he calls Prisma Guitars.
|Old Skateboards await to become guitars|
|Skate board deck|
Each veneer is then glued by hand with a water based wood glue. The maple veneer are then stacked according to their grain with some grains running from front to back and other running in the opposite direction. Grip tape is applied over the top of the deck. This "tape" is a sheet of paper or fabric with an adhesive on the backside and a surface similar to sandpaper on the other side. This aids the user in staying on the board, especially while doing tricks.
|Nick removing Grip Tape from a board.|
|Prisma Guitar body template|
Once the wood is sanded flat he shapes the finished product by use of a template to outline the guitars body shape. This is then cut out using a band saw.
|Routing out a Prisma Guitar|
|Shaping a neck|
Various files are used to hand shape the neck and the headstock. The results are stunning.
|Prisma Guitar Bodies|
|Prisma Guitar logo|
This is inlaid in the guitars headstock and at the guitar bodies base, where the end-pin fits. Nick has also applied his guitars features to a line of guitar pickups.
There is only one other existing builder that I am aware of who uses re-purposed wood in his builds. This is Rick Kelly of New York City. All of his guitars are made from reclaimed lumber from wood procured in the 1970’s at farm auctions.
|Kelly Bowery Guitars|
This was lumber used to frame buildings that were erected in the 1800’s. As these buildings were demolished, Rick Kelly was able to obtain some of what he refers to as “Kings Wood” to build a unique line of instruments. Most of this wood is pine.
|Kelly gluing boards together|
|Bill Kircher with Kelly Bowery Pine|
|Rick Kelly guitars|
His instruments are made from air dried timber that has aged through the years. The natural resin in the wood has crystallized which leaves the pores open to vibration. Kelly makes some fantastic instruments. Most are based on Fender body shapes, however Kelly has modified them in his own unique way.
The last builders that I am aware of that utilized re-purposed lumber were Charles Stromberg and his son Elmer. Both died in 1955. During their lifetime, the Strombergs came out with a series of guitars that were built to rival Gibson’s popular Super 400 model.
|Stromberg Master 400|
The Stromberg series Master 300 and Master 400 models built from the 1930 through the 1950’s are sought after and now command prices in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Click on the links in the pictures for the sources and the links in the the text for further information.
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