While helping a friend move, I discovered a box with a Martin Guitar kit inside. Deciding to put it together, I started reading all the books I could find about guitar making. Building the guitar proved frustratingly difficult with my minimal woodworking tools and experience. After some research, I decided to go to Phoenix, AZ, to the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. I completed the Martin kit there as well as several other instruments.
Upon completing the instruction in 1995, I got married and my wife and I moved to Nambe, NM just north of Santa Fe, NM. I was lucky enough to have a kind landlord and neighbor, who let me work out of his small shop with some of his woodworking tools. Thus began Furnace Mountain Guitar Works and my career as a full time builder and repairperson. I did a lot of work for a Santa Fe music store called The Candyman. I was taking orders for custom instruments and building steel string acoustic guitars and mandolins, as well as a variety of solid body electric mandolins, guitars and basses.
In 1998, we moved back to Virginia and started a family. Since then, I have done all sorts of woodworking and carpentry to finance my family and the newly built workshop.
One of the places I worked for several years was a custom stairbuilding and millwork shop. It was here I met Stuart Orser who is a fine woodworker and musician. Since the spring of 2006 Stuart has been helping out with repairs and has built several fine instruments that include banjos, mandolins , violins and guitars. Stuart is now building mandolins and archtop guitars, and I am building mostly flat top instruments. We have both been busy with repair work.
Another face you might see in the shop is Susan Keeney, who has been helping out in the shop since 2010 mostly rehairing bows and repairing violins.
Thanks for visiting the site. Please call or email with any questions, or if you would just like to say hello.