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For Sale: Steel String

Arbour reclaimed woods

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This Arbour guitar is made entirely with reclaimed woods apart from the veneers in the rosette and purflings and the bridge pins.

The soundboard is reclaimed 80-year-old Douglas fir. The back and sides are Honduras mahogany from an old chest of drawers and has some beautiful figure in it. The neck is mahogany from a door frame that came out of Bradford University: a very learned piece of wood. The fingerboard and bridge are Indian rosewood from the upstand on the back of an old dressing table.

Such aged wood and its very light weight at only 1450 grams makes for a very responsive instrument.

The machine heads were hand made to order by Keith Robson and are superbly functional as well as having a great elegance.

The guitar has a french polish finish.


Price: £2,800
Complete with Hiscox case.


This Pergola guitar was built for The Holy Grail Guitar Show 2015 in Berlin. It is made entirely from European woods: European spruce soundboard, yew sides, yew and cherry back, cherry and poplar neck, and fingerboard and bridge in laburnum. The sides are laminated with oak on the inside to be double thickness. This gives a solid foundation to the soundboard so that its energy is more efficiently projected as sound. The rosette is made from a piece of yew incorporating the sapwood and heartwood to great effect. The finish is French polish.

Price: £2,800

Complete with Hiscox case

Pavilion Sweep 13

This is a virtual 13-fret version of the Pavilion. In other words, without the sweep cutaway it would be a 13-frets-to-the-body guitar and thus the bridge is closer to the widest part of the lower bout. However the cutaway gives great upper fret access. The back and sides are osage orange, a dense wood with a glassy resonance similar to Brazilian rosewood. The sides are laminated with an inner skin of oak. This makes the sides pretty rigid giving firm support to the rim of the soundboard so that energy is not lost into them. The soundboard is European spruce, the neck reclaimed Honduras mahogany and the bridge and fingerboard laburnum, also known as "golden chain". The sides are laminated with regular English oak on the inside to double their thickness. This gives a solid foundation to the soundboard so that its energy is more efficiently projected as sound. The head veneer and rosette are made from pieces of olive wood. The body has a Manzer wedge accross the width so that it is shallower on the bass side where it fits more comfortably under the player's right arm. The finish is French polish. The machine heads are by Schertler.

Price: £2,900

complete with Hiscox case


I have made a pair of carved-top mandolins: one with a carved back and the other with a flat back. The Carved back has a little more punch and focus while the flat back is more open and woody-sounding. The flat back is available.

Flat Back Mandolin


This is an archtop mandolin with carved soundboard and flat back. The soundboard is European spruce while the back and sides are English cherry (from a tree planted by my grandfather) The neck is mahogany and the fingerboard and bridge are laburnum. The tailpiece is the excellent Allen type that is cast rather than pressed and thus helps with tone and sustain. The finish is french polish and the mandolin comes complete with a Hiscox case.

Price £1500