FRETS.COM Field Trip

The Gryphon repair guys stop at the Santa Cruz shop of
Ed Claxton, Guitar Maker
© Frank Ford, 4/14/98; Photos by FF, 4/9/98

On April 9, 1998 Tim Chambers, Mike Gold and I drove down to Santa Cruz to visit as many local makers as we could manage in one day. We dropped in unannounced to Ed Claxton's shop just as our day was ending.

Ed graciously stayed late so he could show us around his tidy workshop. Fortunately, he had one of his finished instruments for us to see and play:

Mike was quite taken by this fingerstyle beauty!

Tim looks on while Ed gives us some of the fine points of side bending and mold construction:

Behind Ed's left shoulder you can see the bent sticks of his go-bar deck where top braces are being clamped. To Ed's right, you can see Mike still playing Ed's fingerstyle guitar, oblivious to what's going on.

Here's Ed's label on the inside of the rosewood back:

Ed's workmanship, fit and finish are second t

He told us he's eager to pay premium prices for materials, because he makes only about a dozen instruments a year, and the cost of materials is nearly insignificant compared to the labor involved in making his guitars.

He insists on perfect tops, with the classic "silk" grain pattern throughout:

If you have an opportunity to play one of Ed Claxton's guitars, you'll surely know why we like them so much!

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