From the age of eleven I have been fascinated by the guitar. As a young person playing music in the family band for almost 4 years around Mt Gambier, South Australia and Western Victoria it kept me occupied and interested in improving the guitar as a players' tool. I completed a Carpentry and Joinery apprenticeship by 1983. By then I had built a handful of electric guitars. My respect for the design and construction process was well established but did not deter me from building my first acoustic guitar in 1984. Along with my brother David we founded Woodtone Manufacturing in Hamilton, Western Victoria. Later Woodtone Guitars ran Australia's first 5 day workshops for budding guitar makers up until 1992. Now I specialise in OM steel string guitars, the odd F5 mandolin and PRS-style electrics. I can no longer take commissions but I always have finished stock to choose from. My passion is for Brazilian rosewood as a preferred tonewood along with the best Engelmann Spruce. This shift from Adirondack as a perfect match is simply due to the greater choice of material available in the Engelmann variety. But I am always learning.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of benefiting greatly from the experience of some great makers in Australia. (Sadly, some such as Brian De Gruchy are no longer with us.) Brian was generous with his time and expertise in my early days.
Ian Noyce also shared valuable knowledge and friendship as did Steve Gilchrist and David Churchill. Of course there are many others and you know who you are. The Luthier community is quite small in Oz but it seems to get along well especially given the tyranny of distance.
In 2018 I sold the business 'Woodtone Guitars' to Mr Michael O'Donnell in Penguin Tasmania. Michael is providing a great service to others wishing to build their own guitars. I am still providing Warranty cover for all prior made Woodtone Guitars. My new guitars made under my own name also carry a lifetime Warranty to the original buyer.
With the Exception of Archtop Guitars, All my instruments are cased in Hiscox LiteFlite cases.
Each guitar is unique and priced accordingly. Prices in Australian dollars
These are starting prices. Extra depending on Artwork.
Available as able. Individually priced
Tube Quilt Maple, Engelmann Top, Ebony fittings, Presto Case.
High figure Woods, EMG or Seymour Duncan , Gotoh hardware
Sunburst triple tobacco finish, High figure woods, Mi Si or KK pickup
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Alexandra, Victoria, Australia