Ben Bonham of Bonham Design shares this tour of his shop, some shots of recent builds (see the gallery below) and this quick rundown of how he got started…
I have always made things, from a cardboard guitar in 1976 when I was 12 (inspired by the UK punk movement, but too young to go to the pub!) through surfboards, skateboards, windsurfing holiday centers, furniture, light fittings and finally my own house and shop. I also happily made my living playing music, until the economic crash forced me into working for MyaMoe Ukuleles here in the Columbia Gorge. I ended up re-jigging a lot of the work flow and I also produced most of the parts that were assembled in the main shop. Now I build mostly custom resonator instruments to order, and some Weissenborn style lap guitars — along with other things that find their way into my workshop. I’m most interested in the next thing I’m about to do and keen that no two instruments be the same. I am enjoying the goal of louder but better tone from a wooden resonator instrument — particularly how I can get a regular single cone guitar to sound as good as my single cone Weissenborn lap style guitar, which I love.
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