It’s been a long journey to get here!
I started playing guitar when I was about 12 years old. Was given a ’53 Les Paul goldtop when my father lost interest in it. Started taking lessons for a few years and got pretty good. I couldn’t put it down!
Also started to get interested in electronics when I had to do a simple repair on my amp. I also did a repair on a friend’s reverb, petal and other things. Developed a bad habit (which I still have today) of taking apart everything. Got most of it back together. Then one day I decided that I wanted a MUCH better stereo record player than what I had. So, I got a HeathKit stereo amplifier and built it myself. And believe it or now, it worked! Not bad for a 14-year-old kid!
I also developed a love for woodworking in an early shop class, and have been pursuing this ever since. Have been developing my skills for over 50 years. The love of music and woodworking have been with me most of my life.
Then in the late 60’s – early 70’s you started to hear a lot more acoustic bands. As I had been playing an electric for 6 years, I decided to get an acoustic guitar. Some that I checked out were very nice to play, but others that were not set up so well, would absolutely kill your fingers! This got me starting to think about why they could be so different.
I was going to the University of Georgia at the time, and was having to do a research paper on some boring subject. While I was in the library looking up something for the pater, I looked up and see Irving Sloane’s.
Book “Classic Guitar Construction”. And it hit me. Like I just discovered what I was put on this earth to do!
I started out making dulcimers, studied guitar making, and building my skills. I also got Wm. Cumpiano’s Guitarmaking book – known as the bible of the subject.
Greg Ebers – Luthier
I got a chance to visit Michael Gurian’s shop in Hinsdale NH soon after.
He had the most beautiful shop I’ve ever seen, and so kind to show me around the shop. I picked up some materials for dulcimers, acoustic guitars, and a gorgeous slab of burled walnut for an electric body – which later disappeared. But overall a wonderful experience. I was hooked into lutherie.
But then life happened! I had been working my way through college in a couple manufacturing plants, and getting close to graduation. Due to the skills I’d learned working in these plants, I found that I had a better career path if I pursued the manufacturing industry than my college degree. So, I chose this path to become a sales engineer, soon getting engineering certification from SME and enjoying a 35+ year career.
But I still had the desire to build guitars. I had been working in my shop whenever possible to build guitars, the needed jigs & fixtures, thickness sander and such.
Around 2002 my daughter Gracie who was about 14 at the time, decided she wanted to make a guitar with me. That got me in high gear again! I got her a CF Martin kit and we put it together in my shop. We embellished it with wood bindings & fingerboard and headstock inlays, had a great time and ended up with a wonderful instrument.
Then I went through my wood stash, to find the materials I’d gotten from Michael Gurian years ago, and built myself a small jumbo. It turned out great, but information I’d gotten from the books could only do so much. I wanted to get classes as well.
I attended a class by Irvin Somogyi in Newport and got additional information on voicing as well. I also had several classes with Kent Everett, Charles Fox and online classes with Robbie O’Brien and Tom Bills and several others.
I am now able to spend all of my time in the shop, pursuing my love of lutherie!