Musical Instruments

Dale’s first attempt at hand-building a musical instrument in his early teens resulted in a near tragedy.  He had found a piece of maple that he thought would make a nice guitar neck.  His father didn’t own many woodworking tools so Dale clamped a piece of maple in a vise in the garage, borrowed a butcher knife from his mom’s kitchen, and proceeded to “carve” a guitar neck.  Not very long into this project the knife slipped and created a deep cut in his index finger that left a permanent scar as a reminder of his lack of skill in guitar building. It was not yet time for him to build instruments.

Dale made two Appalachian dulcimers from kits in the early 1970s.  They are very basic instruments and did not require lots of skill for assembly. In the 1980s Dale decided to try his hand at  guitar making again.  This time he had access to many power tools and knew how to use them.  He started with a manufactured bass guitar neck.  After designing the shape of the bass he gathered cherry and maple wood and constructed a presentable electric bass guitar.

Dale’s cousin, Rick, recently began building electric violins.  This was the incentive Dale needed to build more instruments.  He began with electric violins.  He soon realized that he needed to make another bass.  This time he decided to make a five string fretless from “scratch”.  It took months to build and has become his bass of choice whenever he plays the bass in his family band.

Next came a unique electric mandolin made from seven different woods.  This instrument was very challenging but the sound and looks are fantastic!  Rounding out his  recent accomplishments in instrument building is a beautiful six string electric guitar made from tiger maple and exotic hardwoods.

In the near future he plans to build an “upright” electric bass and custom dulcimers.  From the following photos you will see that his instruments bring out the intrinsic beauty of wood and are fully functional as working musical instruments.

It should be noted that  Dale has also been involved in stringed instrument repair for a number of years.  He began by "putting together" old garage sale violins, setting bridges, etc.  During the 1990s he repaired numerous violin family instruments (including basses) for the music department in the Gouverneur Central School system.  He recently repaired a very old handmade banjo for a customer that involved replacing hardware and the banjo head.

Contact him if you have an instrument needing repair.  He would be glad to check it over and give you a free estimate on repair or restoration.

In each of these presentations, clicking on any of the thumbnails will display a larger picture.

5 string electric bass guitar

6 string electric guitar

5 string electric violin

Electric violin

Electric violin


Violin repair


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