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Gary Erickson started building instruments in 1968, at his childhood home in Newport Beach, CA.  In 1981, Gary founded Erickson Design Associates, at first located in Costa Mesa, CA. and then relocating to several different facilities located in Fountain Valley, California. EDA has been an industrial/product design studio specializing in electric guitar and bass design, sound and acoustical engineering, as well as professional recording technical services and systems design. In addition, EDA provides product design engineering and computerized product CAD services. Erickson Guitars is one of the many product lines that Erickson Design Associates has produced throughout the last 36 years.

Source: Erickson Guitars website (21 April 2017)


The Schaller Company started out as a radio repair shop founded by Helmut Schaller in 1945. Helmut Schaller was a talented inventor holding numerous musical instrument related patents,  and he went on to build the Schaller Company into a leading manufacturer of quality guitar components.The range of products has continuously changed over time, the focus gradually shifting from amplifiers and effects to hardware components including machine heads, mutes, bows, pickups, tailpieces, strap-locks, bridges and tremolos. Schaller was originally located in Feucht, near Nuremberg in Germany but is now based in Postbauer-Heng, Bavaria.


Georg Walther founded GEWA in 1925 in Adorf , Saxony, Germany an area with a long tradition of musical instrument manufacture, In the 1950s the company moved to another famous luthiery region - Mittenwald, Bavaria in the aftermath of World War II. Political changes with the reunification of Germany saw GEWA move their headquarters back to Adorf by 2010. Today, the GEWA company has subsidiaries in all important export markets but also holds substantial shares in Asian musical instruments factories. Circa 2017, GEWA GmbH employed more than 250 qualified members of staff in the areas of production, product management, sales, purchasing, administration, accounting, marketing and logistics.

Blast Cult

Luthier Jason Burns (of King Doublebass) launched the Blast Cult brand in 2011 - intially as an upright bass brand for the alternative/rockabilly player. Blast-Cult products now include: upright bass, electric bass, electric guitar, strings, pickups and effects pedals.


In the 1940s, Paul A. Bigsby was a foreman at a machine shop in Los Angeles owned by Albert Crocker of the Crocker Motorcycle Company. Paul’s interest in motorcycles and Western music brought him into contact with Merle Travis and they became good friends. Merle brought his Gibson L-10 guitar to Bigsby for him to fix its worn out Kaufman vibrato. On seeing the problems with the Kaufman design Travis ended up designing a whole vibrato mechanism which worked much better. The new Bigsby design quickly became the vibrato of choice for most guitar manufacturers.


Jeff Babicz and Jeff Carano founded Babicz Guitars in 2003, in Poughkeepsie, New York. Babicz guitars employ three patented technologies, the Continually Adjustable Neck (US patent #7,157,634), Lateral Compression Sound board, and the Torque Reducing Split Bridge (combined into one patent #7,112,733).

The most immediately obvious of these technologies is the lateral compression sound board - on Babicz guitars the strings are anchored in a fanned out pattern over the sound board.  By anchoring the strings in this way their tension is spread across the sound board (and not concentrated in the center) allowing lighter bracing and better sound.

Babicz has two guitar series: the Identity which is an acoustic model and the Octane series which is a hollow-body electric guitar. All guitars feature Babicz’s patented technologies.


ABM is a German guitar bridge manufacturer. ABM has produced guitar parts for more than 65 years and is a long-term supplier for manufacturers like Gibson and Gretsch.


The Kluson brand was established in 1925 and is best known for its range of tuning machine heads used on American guitars made by Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, and Mosrite. Today, Kluson Hardware has grown to include a full line of replacement parts for vintage and contemporary guitars. Kluson is a division of WD Music Products.


The D'Andrea company was founded in 1922 by Luigi D'Andrea in New York, who started out by making mandolin and guitar picks out of tortoise shell colored cellulose nitrate plastic. While guitar picks are still the mainstay of D'Andrea, they now offer a range of guitar parts and accessories as well as KSD basses.

Make the bearings and pipe supports



The JGRO design achieves linear motion using bearings running along pipes. The bearings are made from standard skateboard bearings bolted to aluminium angle. There are 3 pairs of bearings, a pair for each axis of motion, and each pair a different size. These bearings run along metal pipes, 0.84 inch diameter gas pipes for the Z (up and down) axis and the X (side to side) axis. I can't find these gas pipes in the UK so I am using cold rolled steel tube for the time being. The Y axis uses thicker 1.3 inch diameter gas pipe, which is not easily available in the UK.

Build a home made CNC machine (JGRO router)


This project describes how to make a CNC (computer numerical control) machine that could be used to make guitar parts. CNC may not always be the most efficient way to make guitar parts (a band saw and pin router is often the most sensible way to do guitar woodwork) but they are a flexible way to convert complicated 3D computer designs into reality. A good discussion about the role of CNC in guitar making was posted over at project guitar .


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