Made by hand

The finest quality guitars

We make the finest quality guitars, individually, by hand. We incorporate the same skills into the manufacture of small batches of standard designs as we do to individual orders for professional players. At our scale, the two approaches to guitar making fit very well together.

There are up to 100 component parts and three hundred operations involved in the manufacture of an acoustic guitar, and every maker has his own system of working.

Individual makers struggle to make a living, to work consistently and efficiently, but factories require massive investment and cannot treat each instrument individually.

Fylde Guitars is Roger Bucknall’s way of achieving the best of both worlds. He divides construction into convenient sections, so that the skills of the individual craftsmen are specialised and concentrated, but with a large amount of overlap and flexibility.

Operating in a small well equipped workshop, each stage is carried out by the person most experienced in that operation, and if any one stage is a little slower than another, there are enough shared skills to keep things running nicely. It’s a bit of a juggling act and chaotic at times, but to an outside eye it’s very smooth and efficient.

The final product speaks for itself.

"95% of our work is at the bench, by hand, but nothing can be achieved without tools."

We choose methods that help us make the best possible instruments, working by hand is sometimes the only way. At other times, accuracy or heavy work requires a different approach. Human eyes and hands can achieve remarkable things, but nothing can be made without the proper tools.

Around the workshop are a wide variety of special jigs and tools - many of them unique to Fylde - all of them purpose built by Roger to meet our needs. Without them, maintaining quality and consistency would be impossible.

These tools complement the skills of the individual craftsman, they serve to relieve menial physical work and allow them to accomplish far higher levels of precision than would otherwise be possible. Even with the help of machines for heavy work, around 95% of our time is “at the bench”, working on individual instruments by hand.

At one time, the equipment in the workshop included an expensive and very sophisticated “CNC Mill”, and an even more expensive Ultra Violet lacquer curing system. Both have been abandoned in favour of working by hand and more traditional systems. At a small scale, such machines distract from the basic intention of the business, interpretation of individual pieces of wood is not possible, and the ability to work on such a wide variety of different instruments is lost.

Human skills and personalities are the core of our business.

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