an apprentice takes a cheap kit guitar and transforms it


This project is a departure from our usual offerings, we had been approached by Premier Guitar magazine to write an article and shoot some video about how to install an xy MIDIpad Kaoss pad controller and we needed a guitar to be the focus. I had been planning a video series for our guild members that would follow a new guitar builder, in this case apprentice Howard, as he transforms a cheap kit guitar into (hopefully) something worth owning, and more to the point, playing!  This seemed to be the perfect opportunity and out came the £80 kit guitar and, well.. work began.

1 let us see what we can turn a basic cheap kit guitar into at Crimson Guitars

Let us see what we can turn a basic cheap kit guitar into at Crimson Guitars, the kit cost us £80 including hardware and delivery and, frankly we weren’t expecting much.. all looks ok though at this stage.  The body is a four piece… Continue reading

Robert Fripp visits the Crimson Guitars workshop

1 Robert Fripp holds his next guitar from the Master built series at Crimson Guitars a rosewood hollowbody signature model

I’ve been working on Roberts next guitar, a Rosewood Robert Fripp Hollowbody signature for several years now and he has come to our new workshops to have a look before we finally add hardware (read custom 3-point bearing tremolo) The project ran aground a little when initial plans for the tremolo proved less than perfect.. perfection of tone and return to pitch are exactly what is required and we are finally ready to provide that!

2 Robert has brought several of his other guitars for set ups

Robert also brought along a few of his other instruments for setting up and a bit of a re-vibration.. this Burny is a very nice instrument!

3 Roberts first Crimson Guitars signature guitar

As is this one.. Roberts 1st (successful at least) Crimson Guitars signature  model :)

4 this Tokai is one of Roberts oldest and most used instruments

This is his trusty old Tokai.. this beast has seen some action!  (apprentice Howard doesn’t know what to do with himself when a luminary of Roberts status is in the building :)… Continue reading

guitar builders basics 14 – how to become a pro guitar builder, or should you even try?

This week I talk about the guitar business and little else, I’m often asked how to get going, what path to take and is it even worth it so I’m going to talk, and see where we end up.. there is also a cool video link, news from Crimson Guitars and a funny story culled from the Crimson Guitars forums at

We are exhibiting at the Great British Guitar show in Birmingham .. be there or be.. bored :(

I’ve had another bit of post come through from a new UK pickup maker, Radioshop pickups, I think you should check them out!

Europes city of culture this year is Umeå in Sweden and there is a truly awesome museum there that all of you will want to visit.. fancy drooling over close to 300 vintage and rare guitars from, most, of the top makers in the world?  Check out this video!

Thank you for watching, please subscribe, get yourself a guild membership, buy some of our tools and kiss your kids, or your guitar, and have a great week!

Guitar Builders basics ep 13

This week we talk about warped wood.. leveling a fanned fretboard, a guitars hardware plating wearing away and more on the subject of routing binding on a drop top guitar.. I also start a new feature where I review (kind of) a book related to luthiery.. this week Robert Benedetto’s ‘Building an archtop guitar’  Finally more on the great tone-wood debate in viewers tips and tricks and we have a cool video for you to watch.. an hour of awesome violin making.

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