Making guitars entirely by hand from scratch is becoming a lost art. It is very time consuming, labor intensive and commercially impractical. Most importantly, making guitars by hand requires considerable skill and talent. These days it is virtually impossible for guitar companies to manufacture guitars without the aid of computerized machines which speed production and enable them to use an inexpensive workforce.
Having been a guitar enthusiast most of my life and having owned dozens of different guitars, I eventually realized that I wasn't satisfied with any of them. Most of the guitars I owned - and some were very expensive - were all mass-produced, machine-made instruments which lacked that certain quality which I could never explain. I found that factory, machine-made guitars had no soul and therefore could not affect me emotionally, as a good instrument should.
I eventually realized that there was a better way to do things, so I set out to make my own guitars entirely by hand. Not surprisingly, the very first guitar I ever built was better than any other guitar I ever owned previously regardless of brand or price. What made the difference? The human element consisting of irregularity, variability and inconsistency; a person's touch and feel are the ingredients essential in the making of guitars or any other musical instrument.
My guitar making process consists of shaping bodies and necks as precisely as humanly possible but not at the level of programmable machines. Perfection and precision are not my primary goals. Since I guide every operation by hand, my workmanship is not precise to the thousands of an inch but it does result in some of the best feeling and most ergonomic bodies and necks you will ever play. I choose not the "finest, most beautifully figured and flawless woods" but instead the most unique and interesting pieces regardless of blemishes, imperfections or "tone-wood" status. Unlike other companies, I try not to buy wood from "select lumber mills", because I understand that fancy and expensive wood, used to "package" the instrument is not what is needed to make a great guitar. My design and manufacturing process utilizes only primitive Old World craftsmanship and never any "New World technology". I understand that anyone can push a button on a machine and that "groundbreaking computer technology" is both a sacrilege and a disgrace when it comes to building great guitars. "Achieving the most exact tolerances found in the guitar industry" is nothing to be proud of. It's like an artist bragging about painting by numbers.
Over the years, the craftsman look of guitars has been lost to the dull machine-made look of cookie cutter regularity. In the fifties and sixties (the golden years of guitar making) much of today's high tech manufacturing was unavailable and the only way to build guitars was by hand. Companies had to rely on the imprecise touch of highly skilled humans as opposed to the latest computerized machinery. The quality of the workmanship 30 years ago was considerably less precise than anything made today by high-tech machinery. These vintage guitars are sought after today for their great feel and this is precisely what I set out to achieve and emulate by handcrafting my guitars. I build guitars in the way they were built in the past. I believe that the reason vintage guitars are considered special in feel and tone is precisely because of their imperfection, imprecision and inconsistency. This makes each vintage guitar a true individual creation with qualities that make them more appealing physically and emotionally.
When it comes to hand craftsmanship, the beauty of the work lies in the natural flaws of the material. The graininess of the wood and the visible tool marks in the work piece, bring out a character, which no machine can duplicate. Today, guitars are built utilizing the "most advanced technology" and therefore "ruthless precision" has replaced the human touch. Just as imperfection makes us all human, it also makes a guitar feel more comfortable to a human.
By making guitars entirely by hand, one at a time, I have gained complete control and freedom of design. I do not copy any other guitar design, nor do I subscribe to any trends, gimmicks or fads. I am not bound by tradition, nor am I limited or influenced by commercialism. My guitars are originals and every aspect of their design has a single purpose; to make a better instrument. With a Zachary Handcrafted Guitar you can reclaim the look and feel of hand-made; truly and entirely hand-made.