Guitars Built at the Galloup School
I'm Jimmy "Jim" Burton and I've lived in Austin, Texas for over forty years. My interest in woodworking was sparked early by my father who was a builder and woodworker in Burkburnett, Texas. I began working in his workshop by the time I was in Junior High School and spent many happy afternoons working in his wood shop on my latest woodworking passion.
After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Economics, I followed in my father’s footsteps and became a builder rather than pursuing a more traditional career. Forty years were happily spent either building or managing the construction of everything from houses and apartments to roads and treatment plants.
In the middle of all those large construction projects I always carved out time for personal, hands on woodworking interests. I continued refining and honing my woodworking skills on nights and weekends, building cabinets and furniture. I've nearly always had a complete woodworking shop for my use since Junior High School.
I am also a long time guitar player. I built my first guitar, an electric, way back in the late '70s from hardrock maple left over from my father's construction of a bowling alley. At that point in time, I had more enthusiasm than knowledge but plunged ahead, learning as I went. It's still hanging on the wall as a good reminder about how much I've learned about guitar construction.
In 2006, I rekindled my love for guitar building by beginning the construction of two archtop guitars based on Bob Benedetto’s book, Making an Archtop Guitar. I was hooked and spent my summer vacation in 2010 receiving training in lutherie from Charles Fox of the American School of Lutherie in Portland, Oregon www.americanschooloflutherie.com. I was able to take full advantage of Charles’s 40 plus years of experience with guitar construction, which shortened my learning curve immensely. I built a fine, grand concert size 6-string guitar there that is still one of my favorites to play.
After early retirement in 2012, I attended the Bryan Galloup School of Lutherie www.galloupguitars.com in Big Rapids, Michigan where I received my Journeyman training. While there, I built an electric Les Paul Jr. type guitar and a wild curly maple, big bodied acoustic that are both fine guitars. Once again, I was able to take full advantage of Bryan and his staff’s extensive knowledge of guitar construction and learn what separates a good guitar from an exceptional guitar.
As with most things, much of the training is based on my own experiences as well as information gained from my association with other luthiers in the Guild of American Luthierswww.luth.org. A good portion of the technical details and physics of guitar construction comes from my study of Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build by Trevor Gore with Gerard Gilet www.goreguitars.com.au. The two volume set is highly recommended reading for anyone serious about guitar construction.
I would be happy to build or repair a guitar or other stringed instrument for you but I would also like to encourage you to build your own or at least see the effort behind the construction of a quality guitar. With that in mind, a portion of the site will be devoted to photos illustrating guitar construction and simple stringed instrument kits that I have available. If you decide not to build your own, the information should serve you well by making you a more knowledgeable guitar buyer and player.
After building guitars for over 40 years and full time for almost 7 years, I am confident in my ability to produce high quality, great sounding instruments that suit your needs. To date I have built dreadnoughts, 000 12 Frets, 00's, Orchestra Models, cutaways, arm bevels, tenor ukuleles and my own "Ella" design. They have all received excellent testimonials and reviews that you can find on the testimonial page.
Whether the guitar is for Grammy award winner Redd Volkaert or for a brand new player, it will receive my full attention to detail.
Charles Fox and Jim with the Guitar Constructed During the Class
Jim's First Guitar Build
Made From Bowling Alley Flooring