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CITES and Rosewood

As some of you may have heard there is a new international ruling now in effect, January 2017, regarding Rosewood. Now we and our suppliers are just not sure how various agencies are going to enforce this ruling. It’s a tough one for sure.

The reason it was initiated is that a bunch of ne’er do well bugger’s are mowing down forests to get rosewood. No replanting, no thoughts to soil erosion, no cares for the people who rely on the forest to survive. In reading the CITES brief on why this sweeping measure was put in place they stated that rosewood is the number one illegal item trafficked now.  It’s in the same style as ivory and rhinoceros horns etc. 

So I agree with what they are trying to do. To be clear, all of the rosewood we have used in the past is in accordance with the existing rules. It is part of harvest silviculture.  

We are moving to a new wood for the rosewood look. Pau Ferro (Machaerium villosum or schleroxylon), also known as Morado, Santos Rosewood, or Bolivian Rosewood is not a true Rosewood, but it boasts many of the qualities that are highly regarded in a fingerboard wood. It’s stable, abrasion resistant, hard, attractive, exotic and has good compression strength parallel to the grain. It’s not so resinous that it can be difficult to glue like a few of the Rosewoods. From Brazil and Bolivia, supplies are adequate and no shortages are anticipated.

Pau Ferro is the fret board at the bottom of the pic. Nice eh? 


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Lost a friend..

I never met Jay in person, he was one of my favourite grumpy curmudgeonly funny as hec customers though. Really enjoy working with him

I thought I’d just share this with you in his memory. This came from his wife when she responded to the Merry Christmas email.. ( see.. Jay didnt have an email either..:) and told me Jay has passed on November. 


The guitar form you made for Jay made him so happy.  I don’t know if I ever saw him  so engaged in a hobby before.  He was so proud of his finished guitar and really enjoyed playing it.  His granddaughter  has it now.  He would have liked to do another but just did not have it in him.  We had one of his friends play it at his memorial and he said it was one of the nicest guitars he has played.  Thanks so much for helping to make Jay’s guitar venture such an enjoyable one.

RIP my friend..

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Our Own Line Of Custom Pickups

Through the years building our guitar I’ve come to understand what works well with our guitar. I mean most pickups are pretty darn good, it just some really stand out when placed on our “BONES” These pickups are hand made here in Vancouver, with the pieces we’ve come to know are tone giants… Okay well maybe not tone giants but pretty darn good… I have them made for our Junior, 59 Carved top and especially the Archtop.. 

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Air Brushin’ Mayham

One of our most excellent customers had a tie with this image on it. Lets do it he says. The tie comes to us, we send it to our airbrush team and voila, we have an exclusive amazing one of a kind guitar…



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Making guitars…..

I was at a singer songwriter show last and young man named Scott Cook ( no relation ) played a song of his that I found so wonderful and heartfelt. Scott’s song spoke to what we, you and I as guitar makers, do. That we take time, care and effort to make something worthwhile, a  beautiful a fine instrument that will be a legacy of ours.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did..

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Praise on painting…..

Hey Phil, I received painted lady on Friday in great shape. Thanks for the great packing job!!! As soon as I opened it and got my first look my jaw dropped!!! The fit and finish was second to none!! The burst was just as I expected, the 2 piece back was so well matched it looked like one piece!! The neck and finger board were perfect and the thickness of the neck was just right for my big hands!! I took it to my go to man at Frets and he could also not believe the quality [as well as the other 15 people in his shop at the time] and he’s been been setting up and repairing guitars for over 20 years!!!

Your shop got a lot of great praise that day!!! I can’t force myself to put a pick guard on that awesome top!!!! It will be finished in about 3 weeks do to how busy he is at Frets but as soon as I get it I will send pics. I can’t thank you enough for such a great guitar and I will be back for more.

Thanks Phil Billy S


My guitar arrived today and I wanted to say thank you.
The guitar is flawless! and everything I was expecting. From the paint finish, the fretwork, binding, inlays and routing.. everything is absolutely first class. It really was worth the wait!

I will be sure to send you some pictures of the completed guitar when it is done in a few weeks. I’m just waiting for a few more items and it will be off to my guitar tech.

Once again, many thanks.



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Okay.. we’re getting good at this… Nitro TV Yellow

We found a number of old recipes and put them to good use.  Really, really like the result.. it’s awesome.

We put down a couple of milky white coats of lacquer and then the yellow lacquer. Takes a longer time, but boy oh boy the results are just beautiful.. you can feel it. These have to take a week or so to harden.

They’re a couple for customers that are going to relic them, so having the layers done right, it’s important.

And I have one iPhone pic of a gold top.. same thing, the original recipe…


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Some Seymour Duncan Sets I have in now….

I have had a great working relationship with Seymour over the years.. I like what they do and the attention to old school detail that he demands…Here are two the best pickup sets, I think always, for our 59 carved top models..

the Seth Lover set…

and the Pearly Gates…Particularly Awesome..

We also have the aged of tuners, bridges and PUPS

Antiquity P90 Set..sublimeness… I love these…

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Parry’s Korina Jr..

I just thought that you might like to see something pretty cool. This is a lil jr, with a double p90 cut,  made out of korina, neck and body. It just has such a great look to it. It will be a beautiful player when Parry is done with it.




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Camphor Wood – Very very cool looking.

We love when our customers go their own way. Don, he’s a great customer and built a few and had an idea in his head about using some exotics in his guitar. He sent us along a block of wood that we were really curious about. When my guys opened up the box they said it smells like Vicks Vapo Rub.. and it did. It was quite wet too, so we dried it for a month or so and then made it into Don’s next guitar.

I love the woods he sent along.

He just got it, this is what he said:

Hey Phil,
Just got my vapo rub guitar. It is better than I thought it would be. You guys work magic, will send pics when put together. I can’t say thank you enough for your perfect guitar carving abilities. This should turn out amazing.
Thank You so MUCH

Take a look, see what’s possible.

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Our Latest Idea… Shaped Heel Carved Top

We built this to the specs of a great customer and were so so delighted with the result that we going to make it one of our regular kits  in 2014.  Should be ready mid January.

It’s an awesome player… a bit thinner, 1 7/16ths, as opposed to the regular thickness of 1 5/8ths. Makes it light and easy to handle. The shaping we’ve done is just beautiful, makes for a elegantly smooth transition and amazing upper playability.

Check it out…



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Emerson Pre-wired Vintage Kits

In our ever ending quest to offer the most awesome guitar building stuff, we’ve got Mitch @ Emerson Guitars to make us a line of pre-wired kits. This is the one that will work with our 59 carved top. I think these are a great way to coax that vintage tone out of your guitar. Soldering and set up of the tone path is not really that difficult and you can for sure do it yourself but it’s pretty nice when you get it Pro… done to a very very high standard with some hard to come by parts..



Here’s the stuff:

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Graphtech Labs Super Cool Ratio Tuners Ready for your guitar…

Really pleased to be able to work with the guys at Graphtech, there actually just around the corner from us, so I’m scooting down there a lot. When I saw these tuners in development at their shop, I thought now that’s a good idea..

Dave said it’s one of those things that has been rattlin’ around in his brain for a long time. I know what he means.. but sometimes the stuff that rattles around in your brain for a long time, well it just aint that good in the light of day, but this is.

Its fantastic to play, especially on stage when you’re trying to get the tuning spot on. Come and take a look at them..

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