The workshop is in Tinténiac, near Rennes, Saint-Malo, Dinan and Combourg.
I'm offering setup, maintenance and repair services on every kind of acoustic and electric plucked string instruments. I also handcraft bespoke instruments : guitars, bouzoukis, mandolins, acoustics and electrics.
You have a custom project in mind ? Please contact me here.
When I was a kid, I used to dismantle and (try) to reassemble everything around me to know how it worked on the inside. Quite logically, my first guitars had to suffer the same fate. With the help of lutherie books and the boom of online forums, I'm learning how to setup and mod my guitars and those of my friends. While completing my acoustics and vibrations college degree in Saint-Etienne, I'm making my first instrument : a ukulele from a Stewmac kit. That was it. My mind was set. In 10 years I'll be a guitar maker.
I then had the opportunity to spend 2 years working with Philippe Berne, a wonderful luthier and person. He taught me everything he knew, sharing every trade secret. He taught me setups and repairs, but most of the time we were making a huge variety of stringed instruments. I learnt how to cut and dry lumber for instrument making, drawing an instrument from a faint idea, and most importantly how to create the sound desired from those pieces of wood. He also passed down his love for local woods to me (that was in 2006, the guitar world didn't really care about protecting rosewoods and other endangered species at that time).
The following years, I dabbled in repairing and making instruments, while working full time in order to prepare my future establishment.
13 years later, I'm pleased to receive you in my workshop, opened in January 2019 in Tinténiac, near rennes and Saint-Malo (Bretagne, France).
I try to build instruments with a minimal impact on the environment. That's why I mainly use French or European woods, and make mostly plastic-free instruments.
Tops are made from European spruce (Jura, Vosges, Romania). Backs and sides are made of walnut, maple, black locust, cherry, apple, pear, etc.
Necks are made from one piece are laminated maple or walnut.
Fingerboards and bridges are still made of ebony or rosewood, but I'm slowly switching to local woods (Service tree (sorbus domesticus), Wild service tree (Sorbus terminalis), pear, etc.).
I also have old stocks of exotic woods that I keep for custom orders (mahogany, Makassar ebony, ziricote, bubinga, etc.).
For instrument making and repairs, I use glues that have been tried and tested for decades (Titebond) or even centuries (hide glue). Those are stable, reversible and non toxic. Sometimes for repairs I have to use modern glues like cyano acrylate (a.k.a. SuperGlue) or epoxy resin. Those glues don't emit VOC once cured.
I mainly French polish my instruments with shellac. This is a natural and harmless product (basically bug poop dissolved in 95% alcohol). It can be used on tableware or toys. Shellac is also the product of choice for classical guitars finishing.
Shellac is a beautiful and safe finish, but it's more fragile than modern products. That's why I offer a polyurethane (water based) finish for instruments that will be subject to a harsh life.