Whipple Creek Guitars
My personal philosophy of building, and life in general, in reply to my question I put to my first real employer, an old, well respected carpenter almost 40 years ago.
"Whatever it takes."
Just a little p.s. I'm not eloquent in describing various tones and intricacies of the how and why woods do what they do nor in finished instruments. In the past I made mistakes in describing those things in articles and interviews, some it wasn't accurate and not what I probably meant anyway, so I gave up with all the cliche' stuff and the latest buzzwords. I absolutely DO know what I'm doing, though, and believe I've hit my stride now in making some of the finest sounding instruments out there.
I have been very fortunate to see, repair, and take detailed measurements of some of the most sought after pre war vintage Martins, Gibsons, Larson Brothers and more. I have 18 different models to choose from. Call me, I would love to hear from you. I can make it happen.
I love this quote so much I wrote it on the edge of a shelf of hand tools in my shop. It is there to remind me not to get too full of myself and to learn from my mistakes. I simply strive to pull out the best I possibly can from the materials and tools I employ, always experimenting, analyzing, and re-evaluating both my work and the details of specifications I've acquired of vintage instruments. I'm using the best of my abilities to create a guitar that is both pleasing to the ear and a joy to play.
I started many years ago as a carpenter building homes, making cabinetry, furniture and finish work. As a guitar player, and as some people do, I toyed with repair and setup of my own instruments and those of a few willing friends. Then came the fateful day I lost two fingertips of my left hand. I knew instantly I would never play as I did before. It was a year before I had the emotional courage to try to play again, this time as a left handed player. I like to joke I can now play left and right handed with equal mediocrity. Left handed guitars were few and far between at the time and I finally found one I could live with. I began to think, I could build better than the one I had. I ran into another builder, spent time with him, and realized I could be pretty good at guitar building. A few years and several guitars later I had the good fortune to meet Robert Bowlin, a phenomenal musician, with an incredible resume', who was impressed enough that he not only ordered a build, but did an article on me in Flatpicking Guitar magazine. And as they say, the rest is history. I've been building and repairing approaching 20 years now.
I'm a one man operation preferring to work in the solitude of my country home nestled up to the beautiful Shawnee Hills near Wolf Lake Il. I do all kinds of repairs and will do classes on any phase of building and repair. Visitors are alway welcome, and I have guitars for sale and to test drive, but please call before your visit. I can be reached at 618-559-2317, though you will most likely have to leave a message.