Hi and welcome to Whitaker Acoustic Guitars!
Let me tell you a little about myself and my connections with building acoustic musical instruments. I had built many model airplanes when I was younger (some of which actually flew) and so, when I discovered guitars and that people actually built them, I was intrigued by the idea. In 1971, I built my first steel string guitar. In those days there were very few (3, I think) books on guitar construction so the only guidance I had was from an acquaintance who had built and repaired guitars in Denver, Colorado. He generously supplied the wood for the top, back and sides, and fingerboard as well as helpful hints along the way. This first guitar was constructed using only hand tools since that's all I had!
This first one turned out to be playable and, in fact, was still being played at least ten years later. I was sufficiently encouraged that I built a "next" one – this time a classical guitar and then a next one. . .with a few banjo necks thrown in along the way
The next phase of my stringed instrument education was doing repair work at a newly opened stringed instrument shop here in Nova Scotia. At the time, it was about the only place where stringed instruments could be repaired so we were inundated with a flood of guitars, from "el Cheapo Grandees" to high end prewar Martin guitars. Constant repair work at that rate of influx was an amazing (and rapid!) education in what works and what doesn't in guitar, banjo, and mandolin construction. After an hiatus for a few years, in 1978 I began to build and repair instruments on a full-time basis from a workshop we constructed here at home. This ten year period was immensely enjoyable as I pursued the guitar sound I had in my head and tried to create instruments to bring it to life.
Now that I've returned to building almost full-time (after retirement from other pursuits), I'm still chasing that elusive sound. There have been one or two steel string guitars which have come close – especially a thirty year old one that has been played almost daily during that time and which I was privileged to become reacquainted with recently – but it still remains an ideal to strive to achieve. I am now building steel string guitars – both "dreadnaught" and "OM" styles , classical guitars, and recently have embarked on constructing carved top and back mandolins in the Gibson Lloyd Loar F-5 style.
Visitors are always welcome in the shop in Nova Scotia, Canada – I love to talk about instruments, sound, ideas on construction, etc., but please call ahead to be sure I'm home.