These are the questions I get asked most frequently.  If you have any others, please feel free to call or email (see my contact page for details). 


What timbers do you use?
Soundboards are usually spruce (European or North American) or cedar (European), depending on the type of sound required. Back and sides can be made from maple, rosewood, walnut, wenge and many others. I have 60 year old rosewood in stock, and a whole variety of exotic timers.

From where do you source your timbers?
Almost anywhere, as long as it is from a sustainable source.  I once even collected a batch of beautiful African walnut from a boat builder in Edinburgh. Woods in stock come from everywhere from Alaska to Africa.

Do you maintain a stock of instruments or do you just make to order?   
I always have a variety of instruments in stock, for exhibiting at festivals, but I usually make to order.  

Can you fit electric pickups in acoustic instruments? 
Yes.  In the past, I’ve fitted Shertler Blues Sticks and Headways, depending on the usage and the sound required.

Are left-handed instruments made differently and do you charge extra for them?  
Yes, the internal structure needs to be different, as well as the stringing, and no, I don’t charge any more. Lefthanders have a difficult enough time finding instruments anyway.

How long does a guitar take to build if I commission one?
If an instrument is built to your specifcation, normal waiting time is around three months. This can vary - it will be longer during a festival season and may be shorter during the winter.

Do you repair guitars?
I sometimes undertake repair work but am normally too busy building new instruments to take repairs on. Please feel free to enquire by email or phone, but the answer is probably no. Read Franklin and Heywood run an excellent repair shop

Do you build banjos?
I do not usually build banjos but I may do so in the future - please enquire. I currently have a 'banjola' (banjo with a mandola body) in production.

Why don't you have a webstore?
Lots of reasons. Stock is always moving in and out while I'm away at festivals, I mainly make to order, and I like to get to know a prospective buyer so I can understand better what they need.

Do you build voilins etc?
Unfortunately I don't - I specialise in fretted instruments. However, I occasionally build fretless versions of fretted instruments, such as lap steels. Please see Tim Phillips Violins

Which folk festivals do you sell your instruments at?
Most years I attend Cheltenham, Sidmouth, and Towersey folk festivals. This year, I also had a most successful visit to Warwick Folk Festival, to which I will be returning next year.

How much do your instruments cost?
Price varies from instrument to instrument, usually based on the materials used and the time taken. Usually, my instruments start at about £400 for a mandolin, and up to £3000 for a custom made acoustic guitar using Rio rosewood.