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Unknown to me at the time, as a young boy I was being trained by my father and brothers to develop skills that are now proving to be invaluable in the craft as a Luthier. Growing up on a small family farm in southwest Minnesota, I learned valuable creative skills in metalworking, woodworking and general repair. These skills have certainly applied themselves perfectly to my work as a Luthier.


I started working with wood at the age 9. My first wood project was a gift for my father, a Tri-winged toy plane made from scrap wood from my fathers basement workshop. I think I need to mention a good story of how I made that gift. Sharing an interest in aircraft with my father, I decided as a young boy to create a gift for him. One time in particular my father caught me trying to neatly break the wood over the edge of the workbench with a hammer of all things. I was not allowed to use the power tools at the time, so using a knife I had neatly etched the lines where the wood was to be cut. I was certain I could just hit it with a precision blow to cut it cleanly.

“For me, making guitars followed a natural path and like any natural path, it had a few twists and turns.”

Phil Lang

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