My guitars are all completely handmade and finished using the best materials available to me. This gives me the freedom to create insrtuments that are totally unique.
I build both my classical and steel strung guitars in the 'Spanish style', meaning that they are built face down on my work board with the neck joint incorporated directly into the body which allows the guitar to come together as a whole. Although there is more work involved in this method of construction than the more familiar 'dovetail' joint, I feel it is more than worth it to add integrity to the finished instrument.
I use the classic 'V-joint' for the headstock which not only affords a very strong joint, but also a pleasing aesthetic.
The bracing pattern on the classical guitars is my take on the tried and tested fan bracing using either 5 or 7 struts depending on the properties of the guitar top.
For the steel strung guitars I use the traditional X-bracing pattern, scalloped to suit the top.
All of my guitars are finished using shellac French polish applied by hand to achieve a mirror finish. This time-consuming technique is still the best finish for fine instruments because the polish becomes part of the timber which allows it to 'breathe' more naturally.
With the recent changes in the CITES agreement it is becoming more important to look at the way in which we as guitar makers source our timber. Recently I have been using birds eye maple and walnut. With their highly-figured patterns they are just as beautiful as traditional woods and cause less impact on the environment than their tropical counterparts.
Where possible I also re-purpose old furniture. For instance, the back and side set for one of my guitars, 'Narnia', came from the back of an old wardrobe. This resulted in a guitar with a one-piece back of 100 year-old rosewood. You just can't find wood like that anymore!