Don't Try this at Home: In 1967, at age 16, I attended the concert of a well-known acoustic guitarist who opined that sanding the lacquer from the face of a guitar and finishing the exposed wood with linseed oil would surely improve its tone. Respecting the man's music, I bought some sandpaper and linseed oil and applied both to the face of my Harmony twelve-string guitar — an inauspicious beginning and an operation I don't recommend.

My Education Begins: In 1970, while escaping one of the vicious ice storms that punctuate winters along the Columbia River, I stumbled into the warm, brightly lit shop of a French violin maker newly arrived in Portland, Oregon. The smell of freshly planed wood and spirit varnish haunted me for days. I returned to apprentice and spent nearly two years in intense learning from both the master and the other apprentices, all intelligent, talented young men with backgrounds in building beautiful objects of all types, from race cars and sailboats to violins, pianos, and lutes.

After leaving the violin shop, I shared a workshop with lute maker Bob Lundberg and also did some work for guitar maker Jeff Elliott. Over the years, I've built modern and baroque violins, violas (one of my own design), cellos, viols d'amore, viols da gamba, a few guitars, a standup electric bass called the Oregon Bass, and mandolins. I've repaired nearly everything that has strings.

Early on, I formed the habit of carefully measuring the best instruments I could find. To this day, I continue my passion of learning from highly talented luthiers and fine instruments.

The Computer Years: From the mid 1980s to 1998, I followed my computer interests and worked for both Oregon Software and Microsoft. During this time, I continued to play music, both guitar and fiddle, and follow research into ancient Cremonese violin making techniques — excitedly reading both Roger Hargrave's Classic Cremonese Edgework and Geary Baese's Classic Italian Violin Varnish. These works were heady stuff that, along with a pilgrimage to the Museo de Stradivari in Cremona, led me back to lutherie.

 
Go to my home page. Discover the violin family instruments I build. Discover the mandolin family instruments I build. Enjoy a photo essay of my building techniques. Read a description of my guiding philosophy. Discover how to buy one of my instruments. Read published articles I've written. Find my contact information. Go to a page containing links to others' web sites. Find both my Copyright and my Web Page technical contact information.