In 2001, I started making guitars for myself out of prefab parts and later started kicking up all kinds of sawdust as I built my own guitars from slabs of wood. In 2008, I started filming and uploading my projects to YouTube, and Sully's Guitar Garage has grown to almost one hundred guitar building related videos and well over a million views.
The Sully Guitars facebook page currently has over 6,000 fans, and the Sully Guitars brand has been gaining speed and support from companies such as String Dog Strings, GJ2 Guitars/Habanero Guitar Parts, Ormsby Guitars, The Guitar Sanctuary, as well as Doug Marks Metal Method instructor Dee J Nelson, and many other great guitar players out there.
A new design
In 2013, I unveiled my single cut design, the '71. A modernized single cut guitar with an over-the-shoulder nod to the past. The '71 features a modern look and feel, improved construction methods, and a more ergonomic playing experience. The first two prototypes have been very well received and 2015 will bring the first batch of '71s as well as the release of the flagship, carved top model.
A learning experience
In February 2014, I started teaching guitar building and founded the Sully Guitars Building Academy and Taco Appreciation Society. Throughout the year, students came to Sullyville and left with guitar bodies, necks, and even complete guitars that they built with their own two hands. They routed, they sanded, they ate delicious tacos, and then they left with their creations! It's been a lot of fun to share what I've learned over the years with people that want to learn about guitar building; it's definitely been rewarding on many levels.
Stick it to The Man!
Throughout this year, classes sold out and my building workload increased to the point where I had to make a decision; a scary, yet exciting decision. I decided to trust in myself and the work I've done, step off of the proverbial cliff, and quit my day job. As of October 1, 2014, I am a full time guitar builder and I feel beyond fortunate to have been able to do so.
The here and now:
Over the years, I've invested thousands of dollars into tools and materials, and I've been able to build some fantastic instruments with basic entry level tools. In order to help build more efficiently (and to help the build classes go more smoothly), I need to upgrade my workshop. An improved dust collection system, improved work stations, improved lighting, and more robust tools are all necessary to keep moving forward.
With an upgraded shop, I'll be able to work more efficiently, and increase the number of guitars that I build each year. If I'm able to surpass my funding goal, there's a possibility of adding some automation into the shop, which would be really great. Even better, I’ll be able to get a couple new models out of my brain and into your hands. Basses, 7 string guitars, and maybe even a semi hollow model. There's all kindsa stuff in my head and I can't wait to share them with you, but I need your help to do it.
Thanks so much for considering my project and I hope that you contribute. Oh, and tell a friend, won't you?
Some pictures of the spec builds that have been offered at massive savings:
Risks and challenges
Since this particular project is funding tools and fixtures, if funded, that portion will be very simple to complete. The project's rewards are mostly items that I already have in stock or are easily obtained (t-shirts, for example) via reputable businesses with whom I've previously done business. Those that choose to back at the highest tiers (the ones that involve guitars to be constructed) will receive regular communication and photos with the progress of the builds.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)