H J Williams

H J Williams makes electric and acoustic guitars from his workshop in the small village of Tindale Fell, at the foot of the North Pennine Fells.

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Hand made. Hand played. Quality instruments for the discerning musician. Nearly twenty years of professional guitar building experience help to produce instruments of outstanding playability, tailored to the players’ needs.

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“I was a teenager when I started messing about with guitars. Mostly playing them but, as time moved on I found myself increasingly modifying them, culminating in a shocking attempt at making an electric in my parents garage! After finishing my degree I moved to Cumbria and spent a couple of years working in the planning department of North West Water. It was at about this time that I had the urge to have a more serious attempt at building a guitar.

It was 1993 and I contacted The Overwater Guitar Company for advice, I built some of the guitar at their workshop and some at home. It wasn’t long before a natural talent for woodworking had been unearthed and I was building guitars and basses for Overwater full time. During this time I continued to experiment with my own electric and acoustic guitars, and develop the time served skill of understanding how different tonewoods interact with each other, both sonically and mechanically.

After nearly twenty years of building instruments at a professional level I am still learning my craft. Similar in a sense to how a musician is constantly learning, there is always something you haven’t played or heard. I use my experiences as a luthier to draw on materials, designs and construction techniques to produce the best instruments I can.

I build a relatively small number of instruments per year, I prefer to focus on quality rather than quantity. Most of my work is built to order and to customer specification.

Building an instrument that stands out among others demands quality materials and an attention to detail that often gets overlooked. My tonewoods are thoroughly dried and stabilized over a period of time, even if originally kiln dried at source. Excess moisture left in the timber only serves to dampen the resonance and muddy the potential tonality and responsiveness of a guitar.

I typically use maple for electric guitar necks, sometimes mahogany or wenge if they are better suited to achieving the desired tonality. In a similar fashion to my acoustic guitars I scarf joint headstocks for increased rigidity, strength, and material efficiency. Fingerboards are prepared and accurately slotted using cnc produced jigs. I am able to accommodate almost any scale length but offer 24.75″, 25″ and 25.5″ as standard.

My guitar bodies are largely machined using a combination of computer controlled machining techniques and hand work, this offers me a great deal of consistency in what I produce but with a required degree of flexibility. Necks are produced over-sized and finish carved and scraped by hand to achieve the desired feel and profile.

A wide choice of custom options are available, be it inlay work, fret board scalloping or through neck construction for example or, a completely ‘unique to you’ design and build.”

Haydn Williams

See more at http://williamsguitars.co.uk/