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'm getting ready to cut the binding channels on The Advocate. There are various contraptions on the bench.
In fact, my entire shop is filled with contraptions. There are guitar makers in Paracho, Mexico, who build guitars with almost no tools. They make a sort of crude carving knife out of old
Sawzall blades ( starrett preferred) wrap a little tape around the handle, and get to work. Just a bench, often outside, and a shiv. I'm not sure if that makes me feel tremendously lucky, or like a wuss.
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I sprayed the final coat of lacquer on the Koaconstrictor last night, and now it's going into the curing closet for a couple of weeks before being buffed out and assembled. This is the way the lacquer looks " off the gun". Shiny and smooth, but not shiny and smooth enough. Wet sanding up to 2000 grit paper, and an hour or two with the buffing wheel will do it.

This is one of my favorite rosettes I've ever done. It looks so rich! (3 photos)
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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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