How to Build A Fine Guitar

Today I began work on a new project to photograph makers of musical instruments in the Boston area. Bill Tippin of Tippin Guitars in Marblehead, MA welcomed me to his shop on the waterfront. A master luthier with over 30 years of experience making fine instruments, Bill specializes in crafting and repairing steel string guitars for finger-pickers and flat-pickers. Each instrument is custom built for the owner, considering the style of music, technique, and sound preferred by the musician. Recently he has parlayed his devotion to deep sea fishing into a sideline for his shop — custom made fishing rods.

Shaping the braces on a spruce top.
Shaping the braces on a spruce top.
Shaping the armrest.
Shaping the armrest.
Sanding with 1000 grit paper
Sanding with 1000 grit paper.
A guitar will take 9 coats of lacquer before it is finished and perfect.
Tuning a 1937 Martin OM28 before shipping to customer. Repair work included internal work to improve sustain and new frets, saddle and bridge.

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