As a boy my father instilled in me the values of honesty and integrity, he told me “when theres no tool make one, wheres theres a problem solve it and most of all do work you can be proud of.” My journey to repair and concert guitar restoration started while in grad school at SMU. I had always experimented with my own instruments electric and acoustic trying to fine tune them maximizing tone and playability. What finally lead me down the path as a luthier repairman was the frustration of not being able to find someone locally who could repair and adjust my guitars to the accuracy and specificity that a concert level guitarist needed. As a graduate student I had the time and freedom to devote to learning the craft so I took it upon my self to do so. After many months reading the standard repair/luthier books and watching countless video tutorials I took to repairing inexpensive guitars that I would break then re-repair in a loop to refine my skills. Once I became competent in the work I was doing and felt confident enough I took my own concert guitars and practiced on them, takes nerves of steel and confidence to strip the finish off and take a hammer to a $7k instrument. I am a life long learner always striving for accuracy and masterful historical restorations.
Gabriel De Hoyos M.M.
This is where it all started in the kitchen of my grad school apartment. My father and I made that oak workbench together and it served me well for many years. I gave it to a luthier friend of mine and I know its serving him well. In the picture I was reshaping the neck profile and refreshing the shellac.
Constantly seeking to better myself some years into my luthier journey I sought some formal training. A luthier friend and I attended a guitar building course thought by Robbie O'Brien. We started with a stack of Rosewood, Spruce and Mahogany lumber and finished with and instrument one could be proud of. This photo was taken at the end of a grueling week of building at his shop in Parker CO.
As my skill set improved so did the demand for proper quality tools so for many christmases and birthdays I gave my family a list of tools they could chose from and gift me. Later I converted the second bedroom into my shop and packed it full with work benches, tools, tone wood and dust collection. That humble bedroom shop is where I learned my craft, the limited space and noise confinements forced me to master using traditional hand tools like chisels, rasps and hand planes. I know have a purpose built humidity controlled shop with walls filled with closed cell foam and radiant barrier in the ceiling. My studio doubles as my recording studio where I shoot my Behind The Strings Series videos which pairs fine musicians with bespoke guitars. .