Our luthier – Kevin shares his shed with spiders. A few square feet of cobwebs had to be vacuumed up before he could move in. They are still there of course, looking down from the shed corners. It seemed appropriate then, seeing that the type of resonator we chose to build involves the use of a ‘spider’ bridge that the Spider Shed became part of our trade name. And there is a small SpiderShed trademark motif somewhere on the guitar.
Luthiers can’t always play the guitar (as in Kevin’s case) so it helps to have a brother who is an accomplished guitarist and musician. Brett started this enterprise by asking Kevin if he could build a resonator guitar.
Kevin draws on a wide range of technical skills from his career in engineering and construction but metal guitars were a new challenge. From a purely metalworking perspective the making of the body offered an opportunity to make the body depth, cover plate and sound hole a unique artistic design for each guitar. The steel is hand cut, welded, drilled and filed. No two guitars look or sound the same.
“I have worked in factories making the same things year in and year out. I am not doing that again, I would rather die! What you are buying is my time and skills to make you a unique instrument.” says Kevin.
The individual metalworking attracts attention, as do the patination effects, but the guitars can be made in polished stainless steel if you prefer.
What was really important for us was to build an instrument that a guitarist could make great music with. This meant that Kevin had to ‘go back to school’ and do his research. He had to learn about different scale lengths and neck profiles; fret height, nut and bridge materials; string gauges, resonator cone and bridge types; body volume and sound hole size and how all this has a bearing on the resulting sound.
His latest development is making an adjustable bridge which allows for more exact intonation required for finger picking due to the fact that with many resonator guitars the intonation is often something of a compromise.
So Kevin makes his noise in the shed and Brett makes the music and does the ‘quality assurance’. Our friend Howie at Lemongrass Marketing provides the website design, photography and marketing skills without which you would not be reading this.
However, we think that the most important person in all of this is you, the musician.
Perhaps you are looking at this website and thinking that you would love to buy a unique hand crafted guitar from us but have more questions that need answering. Get in touch. It is easy to talk to us – we have Skype. We could do a conference call from anywhere in the world that has internet, get our guitars out and discuss playing styles.
So all we need to know from you is – how you would like YOUR guitar to look and sound?