Jeff Jewitt has been interested in guitar building since the 1970s. As the inventor of TransTint dyes, Jeff is widely recognized as a leading expert in all types of finishes and is the author of five books on the subject. For our 55th episode of the podcast, Jeff talks about the start of his finishing products companies, as well as which solvents are most hazardous to your health (and how to safely use them). We also hear about Jeff's own line of guitars and his preferred finishing method for his own instruments.
Willie Carter has travelled the world as a guitar tech for Otis Taylor; worked at Gryphon and Santa Cruz guitars; served as a professional recording engineer; and is co-founder of Carter Poulsen guitars, where he and Eric Poulsen are making great acoustic guitars out of their workshop in Santa Cruz, Calif. For episode 54 of the podcast, Willie weaves all of these parts of his life together and describes the moment he fell in love with guitarmaking. Willie also talks about his favorite woods, the positive aspects of building in a partnership, reflects on being a minority as a guitar maker, and developing your own magic style.
Dan Erlewine literally wrote the book on guitar repair: He's the author of The Guitar Player Repair Guide, which was first published in 1990. A well-worn, dog-eared copy of that book is always close to my bench and it's how I first learned guitar repair. (I bet it taught many of this podcast's listeners, as well.) Over his 50 year career, Dan developed many of the methods luthiers use today and he never shied away from taking on the most challenging repairs.
For the 52nd episode of the podcast, Dan tells us about his career as a touring musician, opening for some of the biggest acts in the late '60s. He also discusses the guitars he built for Albert King and Jerry Garcia, his time at Stewart MacDonald, some of his toughest repairs, his favorite tools, and his new signature model DE-11 guitar made by the Iris Guitar Company.
Ian Davlin, who goes by the online moniker "Ian Hates Guitars," may have a complicated relationship with guitars, but he sure is good at fixing them. For episode 51 of Luthier on Luthier, Ian tells us about working for Breedlove Guitars and his eventful interview process at Nashville's famous Gruhn Guitars, where he worked for many years.
Ian also tells us about the development of his heat stick neck removal tool and his popular finish touch up class he teaches at Dan Erlewine's shop. These days, in addition to doing repairs, Ian runs a Patreon supported guitar repair group which has proved to be an invaluable source for excellent information on all aspects of the business.
Tom Ribbecke is a lutherie legend and one of the originators of the custom guitar scene as we know it today. For episode 50 of the podcast, Tom walks us through his first 50 years of guitarmaking, including the evolution of his sound bubble guitar, his Halfling model, and his compliant rim guitars and basses. Tom also takes us back to the ‘70s guitar building scene in San Francisco and ends the podcast with some truly profound advice for aspiring builders.