Jennings Stringed Instruments
Quality Custom Guitars434.489.1850
Stuart Jennings, Owner@JenningsStringedInstruments
I use the highest quality tone woods available. There is such a great amount of time invested in a build that it doesn’t make sense to use inferior materials. Many tone woods are becoming difficult to obtain, it therefore takes a lot of effort to find great wood. I use mainly ebony for bridges and fingerboards, Adirondack spruce for soundboards, and either rosewood or mahogany for sides and backs.
I attempt to build guitars that are light in weight but not so light that they won’t stand the test of time. That is the great trade off in acoustic instrument building. Lighter guitars have more volume and better tone but if they’re built too lightly they won’t stand up to the tremendous stress put on them by string tension.
I determine the proper thickness for each soundboard based on stiffness and species of wood. The bracing for the soundboard is carefully trimmed and scalloped with chisels and planes to produce the desired sustain and tone.
I use dovetail mortis and tenon joinery to attach the neck to body. This is a very difficult joint to cut but it produces the best durability and sustain.
Necks are carved from a single block of mahogany. The profile of the neck can be made to fit each players desire.
I prefer using nitrocellulose lacquer for a finish. This make a very tough and beautiful glossy finish. This finish requires about ten to twelve coats and lots of hand sanding and machine buffing.
As a small child I grew up to the sounds and smells of woodworking. Just outside my back door was R.C. Tate’s Cabinet Shop where I spent countless hours hanging out underfoot. I was too young to really contribute much to the work at hand, but I could fetch hand tools and other items for the workers. I watched attentively as the men, who worked with machines and their hands, built custom kitchen cabinets and furniture. The aroma of the wood being worked was magnetic to me.
Through the years I came to realize that working with your hands is probably the most satisfying work a man can do. I learned that it’s possible to build most anything from wood and other materials given the proper amount of patience and perseverance. I’ve found that building acoustic guitars requires the greatest amount of perseverance of any task I’ve ever undertaken. Fortunately, it also provides the greatest amount of satisfaction!
Please contact me to discuss your ideas for the perfect instrument to fit your individual playing style.