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About Me


I started playing guitar at age 11 and started “improving” on my guitars shortly there after.   “Improving” guitars is something that was quite common in the ‘70s. You had a Strat and you wanted it to sound like a Les Paul, just add some DiMarzio Super Distortions. You had a Fiesta Red Tele Custom and you thought it would look better in natural, just fire up the Black and Decker. A Kahler tremolo could always make your Les Paul  more versatile. You get the picture. Most of our “improvements” destroyed lots of really great guitars.


Cars (‘60s muscle cars) were another one of my interests. At 17, I learned from an old timer how to paint cars. This guy was around when nitro lacquer was still used in the auto industry. It turns out that the way cars were painted in the  ‘40s was very similar to the way guitars were painted in the ‘50s.


When everyone else was repainting their guitars in that new finish (polyurethane), I was using Nitro lacquer.  No painting and sanding between coats to get the finish thin and smooth. Fred taught me to paint thinly and quickly with one coat followed by another right before each coat fully reached its flash point. Sealer, base coat, color coat, clear coats and done!  This is exactly how guitars were painted back in the day.


Understanding how finishes were applied in the guitar factories during the ‘50s and ‘60s, gave me a leg up when in 1991 I started working in  the Vintage Guitar Market full time (thanks Mark!). Being able to spot a re-fin when buying high dollar collectable guitars was key to being a good buyer.  This knowledge is also key when replicating vintage finishes.  The Vintage Guitar business provided me with the opportunity to examine thousands of original instruments. The minutia of those old guitars was always of interest to me and is key to making a great replica.


Creating machines and fixtures for making repeated procedures more efficient is another one of my interests. All my machines and fixtures where designed with solid engineering behind them since I studied mechanical engineering in college.


Nowadays, I’m much less involved in the Vintage Guitar Business and I’m concentrating on building top quality guitars.


I have a passion for creating guitars and I love to show people who are interested the techniques and methods that I’ve developed.  I also love to hear from fellow enthusiasts.  Drop me a note and let me know what you’re into from our contacts page.


Welcome to my site,

Pat Murray

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