Dale was the first guitar that I ever built. He now bears his name proudly hanging from the wall in my shop. I will be the first to admit that this is not an overly impressive guitar (I mean come on, cut me some slack—it was my very first one!) but there is a pretty cool story behind it so Dale gets to keep his slot on the website. Early in high school I desperately wanted a new electric guitar that could really rock. I had an old Fender Strat that my guitar teacher had sold to me but it just wasn’t cutting it. I really could not afford to buy anything nice for myself, but since I had some experience working with wood, I decided that I would try my hand at building my own. My high school tech teacher, to whom I owe a great deal to this day, was kind enough to go out of his way to take a book on building electric guitars from his home library, make copies of it and bind it up for me. That was all the information I had. After looking through it cover to cover I started on my build. I’ve already mentioned that I had no money at this point in time so I certainly couldn’t afford to buy a nice piece of mahogany; in fact the only three letters from “mahogany” I could afford were hog. That is to say that the boards for this guitar came out of an old hog stall. Yes, that is correct; the stock for this guitar came from a barn where for years they were rubbed up against by swine. It bears noting that when I got the boards the barn had been empty for some time. It’s also worth noting that these boards actually make wonderful instrument material, and that the 100+ year old 2x12 boards of sugar maple I salvaged to this day make some of the best neck stock that I have ever used. That spring I started building my first guitar and I finished it up the following summer. I owe a great amount of thanks to my grandfather and my tech teacher for helping me get through that first build. I was thrilled to have it done, it sounded great, played fair, but most of all I had made the whole thing from scratch starting with a board from a hog stall. I even won grand champion in woodworking at the county fair that year with it. As for the name of the guitar, I had an old leather strap that said “Dale” across the shoulder (it had been my uncle’s) and the name stuck. There is no real meaning behind it but I never could come up with something else; it just seemed fitting. My instruments and I have come a long way since then, but Dale will always be the one that started it all.
Body: 1 piece, solid sugar maple. 100+ years old.