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

I changed mind on this Macassar Ebony guitar. It's going to be a very dark, rich guitar, and the Adirondack top was seeming too bright. I'll use it on something else. But now I'm making a new top with this dark Red Cedar. It will sound great with the long sustain of the Macassar. Thank you Miss Muse. (2 photos) ... See MoreSee Less

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Therese Bagley KwiatkowskiDo we get alive show at thanksgiving?1 day ago
Jason ScheileCool1 day ago
Betsy ClarkI learn something from every one of your videos, Ben. Thanks so much!1 day ago
Geep NaohVery nice looking & sounding guitar. Very good presentation. Thanks!1 day ago
Julie Dow HildahlImpressive, nicely done !!!1 day ago
Ann Young PerssonRuss Sr really enjoyed watching this!1 day ago
Michael TiltonB, nice!24 hours ago
FMargo HornbackGood show, Ben.24 hours ago
Tanya WilliamsBeautiful22 hours ago

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Macassar Ebony. I'm starting a new build today with beautiful Macassar.
It's a very dense wood that rings a single bright chime-like note. Alternating stripes of black and caramel brown. It's very lovely and fairly rare. For a top, a nice set of Adirondack Spruce. This is the top wood that is very in demand these days. It was used on all the early Martins, and then it became very scarce, so it has a certain cache. It sounds good to tap, and this is a nice clean set with no obvious flaws. Adirondack tends to be much wider in grain than the other spruces and have color variation in it, with distinct winter-wood lines. Here goes.....
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Peter Supersano, Betsy Clark and 21 others like this

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Wm S ReynoldsBeauty piece of wood3 days ago
FMargo HornbackYou can do it!3 days ago
Michael TiltonNice piece of wood, reminds me of old barn wood.3 days ago
Dennis LongBeautiful, is the Macassar Ebony a brittle wood? looks like it might be sort of delicate to work with?3 days ago
Gregory Cardinal DilleyIs this a commissioned work, Ben?3 days ago
Wilborn GuitarsMacassar is a little brittle, Dennis, but not too bad. And Gregory- yes, it's going to the The Acoustic Music Company in England. I can always make another, though!3 days ago   ·  1

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The Koaconstrictor. I'm just about to polish the frets, and then string it up. The whole post- finish assembly and set up is nerve wracking, because the instrument is polished and perfect. I try to move methodically and slowly so that I don't do anything clumsy and scrag the delicate newborn. But I have before, and probably will again.
After I'm done, I will have to go run around the block several times to release all the tension. (4 photos)
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Dan Thornton, Sherry Darling and 19 others like this

Geep NaohWOW! another beaty out from the Wilborn shop. I want one....4 days ago
Terry FarrellTalk about pressure!!4 days ago
Michael TiltonWrap it in bubble wrap.4 days ago

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There are two ways to shape wood- by cutting, or by abrasion. I am an abrasion guy. If it is at all possible, I will use a rasp or sandpaper. It is much less likely to cause catastrophic
tear out, or kickback, or slice off some treasured bit of your body. There are many places where cutting tools must be used, and are a pleasure to use, but I love me some sandpaper. Here is a selection of custom made sanding blocks I use to final shape and smooth the neck. (2 photos)
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Troy Falk, Matt Giraud and 10 others like this

Wm S Reynoldsdid probably 5 hours of 220 grit on a piece of fir, arthritis in thumb not to happy today, stick is starting to gleam, no oils yet...dog i do love a piece of wood2 weeks ago
Luke Burkedon't see much concave, interesting...2 weeks ago
Michael TiltonI see you use a temporary nut for shaping...?2 weeks ago
Wilborn GuitarsT- no, that is the final nut. I shape it with the neck, then take it out for finishing.2 weeks ago

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