I love my Wilborn Guitar! Ben is a truly artful maker, with a brilliant eye, a gifted hand, and an exquisite ear. You could not ask for more in a handmade guitar.

- GILLIAN WELCH
Nashville, Tennessee

WELCOME

Welcome to Wilborn Guitars. If you are looking for a truly unique custom made acoustic guitar, crafted with absolute commitment to quality and a passion for tone, then you have come to the right place. Please browse the gallery for a sampling of recent instruments I’ve built.

I have spent my whole life listening closely to guitars, mandolins and violins, always searching for that special quality that makes an instrument demand to be played. I have studied a zillion instruments, held them in my hands, listening to the way they respond to my fingertips, their weight and balance, the way they reflect sounds in a room.

It is my passion as a builder to create instruments that can respond intimately to a player’s intention, and become as much an extension of the body as a beautiful tool for the creation of music.

LATEST SHOP UPDATES

Here I've cut pockets in the kerfing to accept the braces on the back. This registers the back properly to the sides, helps transfer the load, and assures that the brace ends won't come loose. Getting eight pockets and brace ends perfectly aligned takes some time, but I love looking in there and seeing NO GAPS. Gaps are the enemy. I hate 'em. (4 photos) ... See MoreSee Less

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I always get a kick out if my vacuum press. Yeah, I know: I don't get out enough. But nonetheless , it's so cool!
Here I'm gluing the first part of the Advocate's fan bracing on. With so many little pieces, it is very hard to assure that they are all getting clamped just right with conventional methods. But the vacuum press assures even pressure along all the little braces. You don't want these babies coming loose! So, voila! (3 photos)
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Bent side, unbent side. I tape the bindings to the sides and bend them all at once. ... See MoreSee Less

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Being the Geppetto type, I like to make my bindings from scratch. It takes longer and I can't charge extra for it. I'm kidding! (Not really) Anyway,
I think it gives the guitars a more consistent look, because all the bindings are cut from the same board, and it allows you to make non commercial looking stuff. These are made with curly maple and an unusually bold purfling of ebony. The maple has a lot of flash, and the single .040" purfling line gives a very solid, serious look to the instrument.
I'm holding the matching backstrip in my hand. (2 photos)
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Onward! Starting a new build today for an old and dear friend ( the friendship is old, not the friend!).
It's a parlor made of Honduran Rosewood, which has such a beautiful glassy and tuneful tap tone
that I can hardly believe it. This wood also smells like cinnamon and nutmeg
when it's cut- delicious. The top is to be red cedar, bound with curly maple.
It is going to be su-weeeeeet!
Marty is an attorney, so I'm naming this guitar "The Advocate". Here we go....
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