Looking for a custom guitar? Learn guitar information and tips for creating the perfect guitar for you.
My name is Steve Frady. I am a guitar enthusiast. I like to play guitars. I like to look at guitars. I like to talk about guitars, and I especially like to build guitars. I live in Keller, Texas, where I build in my small but cozy shop. I first started learning to build guitars when I lived in California. In 1979, there was a new class being offered at Orange Coast College in guitar building. This was a two year course taught by Jim Long. We met on Friday nights, and it was the highlight of my week. Jim was a professional repairman and a fine craftsman. I picked up a lot of custom guitar information as I built my first Dreadnought guitar.
In 1981, I moved back to Texas and built an 800 square foot shop behind my house in Grapevine. I continued to learn as much about guitar building as I could from the few books that were available. One of the luthier supply houses (LMI) published articles, which contained useful guitar information.
When the internet became available, there was even more custom guitar information available. I continued to talk with other luthiers, attend seminars, and work at my craft. I have been a member of the Luthiers Interactive of North Texas for many years. We have hosted masters’ classes with some of the world’s finest luthiers. Each masters class I attend, gives more information that enhances my own guitars.
I build my guitars in a very small shop behind my house. I sometimes call it the “Tiny Shop Nation.” At other times, I refer to my shop as “ The World’s Smallest Guitar Factory.” I love my little shop. I built it from the ground up. It is heavily insulated and climate controlled. Climate control is very important for building quality guitars. I try to keep the relative humidity at 45%. This will help prevent cracking when the finished guitar goes through different humidity changes.
Over the years, my techniques have evolved into a unique style of building that I am pleased with. I respect the traditional methods of past luthiers, but I am not bound by tradition. I use many non traditional woods like Mesquite, Osage Orange, Texas Ebony and Huisache (all Texas Woods). I also use traditional woods like Rosewood and Mahogany. I use animal hide glue all throughout the instrument. Hide glue is a traditional glue that does not slip and creates a very rigid bond that aids in the transmission of sound vibrations. If a traditional method makes sense to me, I will use it, but I will always be willing to explore new techniques.
I started this site so I could share information about the instruments I build. I hope you will enjoy and appreciate my guitars and maybe we can talk about creating something especially for you.