Photo Gallery
Here are some of the 55 guitars as well as other instruments I made between 1976 and 1998. In the beginning, I made guitars that were fashioned after the traditional dreadnaught style guitar. I then started to build one or two "experimental" guitars a year. Some of these experiments were changes in body shape, neck dimensions, internal bracings, bridges and headstock
designs. I used both spruce and redwood for top-woods. My later guitars favored redwood because I liked the sound as well as the look. In 1994 I hit on a combination of elements that became the guitar I was searching for -- this was guitar number 40. It guided the design of my subsequent guitars. The photos below begin with the 4 guitars I kept after my 22 years of guitar building.

click on a photo for enlargement


Digital Guitar #54


Archtop Guitar #55
Above: The Guitars I Kept. More on these.

Similar bracing as used in #40. I thought of it as a cross between steel string and classical bracing, using one leg of an X-brace with fan bracing below.

#54 - Sunburst- Mahogany back and sides

#53 - Mahogany back and sides
Archtop guitar #55 in construction: Sides, back and top- yet uncarved.

An early dreadnaught with dove inlay on headstock and leaf inlays on bridge.

Dove inlay similar to the one used on the left-- Mother of Pearl and Abalone.

Control panel for the digital electronics on #54

Another view of Digital Guitar #54

My first guitar was this half-sized dreadnaught built for my 7 year-old daughter Melanie.

An early guitar with Florentine cutaway and F-style mandolin-like headstock.

My first 12-string featuring a cutaway and extra wide saddle, compensated for each string.

Large body classical guitar using experimental bracing and matching bridge.

I made about a dozen of these electric mandolins under the name of Tree Frog Instruments in the late 1990's. Available in two styles, they featured a unique pick-up system that gave them an acoustic sound using an under-saddle Baggs transducer and onboard active electronics. It came with a vintage-look tweed case.

Hybrid Parlor Guitar - designed for silk'n'bronze strings. 12 fret.

East Indian Rosewood back and sides.

Another parlor guitar. I made 6 guitars with this body style. The back and side woods varied between mahogany, walnut and rosewood.

I derived the shape of my hybrid parlors by taking the difference between a classic and dreadnaught shape.

A friend got me some swell quilted walnut that I used on the back of this dreadnaught
This spruce-topped guitar (# 27) had a standard-width fingerboard where most others I made were 1 7/8" at the nut. The headstock shape was experimental but with the frog inlay that marked almost all of my later guitars. The back and side woods were curly maple with purple heart wood purfling.

Venetian cutaway, curly maple sides & back. Frog inlay on head.

Maple sides and back on a dreadnaught witha sunburst finish. Cloutier inlay on head.
Four 12 fret guitars: a 12-string, a cutaway, and 2 parlor guitars. The 12-string was the last of the three 12ers that I made. It had a 2" fingerboard at the nut which made clean fingering a lot easier than 12-strings with narrower fingerboards.

I made about a half dozen acoustic mandolins. My records are not good enough to say exactly how many I made. My unconventional design philosophy also extended to the mandolin. I made them with wider fingerboards simply because I felt they were much easier to play that way. These were flat-tops mandos, but with an ample arch that was provided by curving the braces.

Yes, I know... what can I say? I saw some photos of Danny Farrington's guitars once and got a wild hair to try and make an acoustic guitar shaped like the Gibson Explorer electric solid-body. It had a bird's-eye maple neck and a three piece rosewood back. It sounded- craptacular.

This is an early dreadnaught with "Cloutier" inlaid on the headstock instead of the frog.

This may be the first guitar I built with my favorite shape. But I was still searching for a headstock design.

This is a nylon-stringed, solid body guitar featuring an acoustic style bridge with a Baggs ribbon transducer and active electronics. Weird? You bet!
I made two acoustic basses. The one on the right is dreadnaught in shape and size. The second was much larger with a body depth of almost 6".

I also made 2 or 3 classical guitars.

This is my second 12-string. It had a bulbous lower bout shape that I used a few times.

This is a banjo I put together from a kit. Of course I had to jazz it up a bit with a vine fingerboard inlay, head inlay and binding. I also made a guitar neck that can be swapped with this neck allowing you to play it like a guitar but sound like a banjo.
The "Paddle-Ax" was made on a whim for backpacking. It's small, light and sounds slightly better than rubber bands stretched over a cigar box.
Mother of Pearl Frog Inlay

Here is a guitar repair rate card I recently found. It's from 1996.
This is a fixture I made for bending sides. The wet side wood is placed between 2 steel sheets heated by 3 light bulbs.
A 1993 Cloutier guitar #27. Maple sides & back. spruce top with purpleheart binding.
Number 27's headstock. Photos courtesy of Willa Dios, owner.

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