Whilst we're all sat in Covid-19 lockdown, most unable to go about our daily business, I thought it'd be a good time to start blogging about how and what i do at Hilditch Handmade Guitars!
My name? Mark Hilditch, no prizes for guessing where my brand name inspiration came from.
I've always been a lover of all things guitar, when I was younger I had dreams of being a rock star. Unfortunately I only have a limited natural talent for playing. However, also having a keen interest in woodwork, being a massive fan of gloriously figured exotic and domestic species and having an inquisitive mind when it comes to electronics, it didn't take long to realise my talent for building electric guitars from scratch.
Am I a Luthier? Who knows. If I need to complete a course and win a piece of paper with the word printed on, and a signature off some official, then no I'm not. If, however, I can fulfill the requirements of tentatively selecting and shaping fine cuts of exquisite wood, together with quality hardware, components and strings, and compiling them into an instrument that not only looks great but sounds great and gives the wielder a sense and feeling of being the rock star that I dreamed of being... Then yes, you can call me a Luthier.
I pride myself on producing handmade guitars, almost entirely made with hand tools. I do use a router and template to trim my bodies and necks, and then proceed to hand sand to final shape. Body contouring and carving is done with wooden hand planes and rasps, and all neck carving is done with similar methods. I do all inlaying with small carving chisels, and fret with a small Beech hammer. So I try to be hands on as much as possible so that a part of my character goes into each guitar and helps them develop their own character too!
I've never been one to follow the crowd which is why I decided to produce my own designs. There are some familiar elements, nodding to the main popular designs because they are popular for a reason! Couple this with my love of 80's Hair Metal, and you can see where my designs came from.
I'll not drone on much more, you'll be hearing from me again soon with numerous photos and videos from my slice of heaven, otherwise known as my man shed.
So thank you for reading, and finding my site, and I look forward to building your custom Hilditch Handmade Guitar!