Luthier on Luthier: Frank Ford


In 1969, Frank Ford and Richard Johnston started the legendary Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California. On episode 47 of the podcast, Ford tells us what it is like to run one of the world’s premiere repair shops for over 50 years.

We hear about the early days of Gryphon (including their initial attempts to build and sell handmade instruments). Ford also talks about the store today, his philosophy on communicating with customers, his favorite repairs, and how, thanks to Dan Erlewine, he got started in teaching.


Above photo: The Gryphon repair crew (left to right): Brian Michael, Todd Novak, Alex Myers, Frank Ford and Alfred Aquinga. Not shown: Michi Matsuda and Hideo Tateno.

Below: The extremely damaged 7-string 1931 Martin 000-45 that Ford mentions during the podcast (around 26:45); the restoration of which will be chronicled in a future edition of the Fretboard Journal.