Q: Who makes Gronlund guitars and where are they made?
All Gronlund guitars are made by hand completely from scratch by James Greene in a small workshop on the Maine coast. I began playing guitar in the late 90s at about 15 years old. I built a few guitars from kits in the years that followed. After finishing a bachelors degree in Media Studies at the University of Southern Maine I went to the Roberto Venn School of Guitar Luthiery in 2010. Gronlund Guitars became a full time endeavor in 2015. I take care of every element of Gronlund Guitars from website design to answering emails to shipping the guitars to designing the guitars to ordering supplies to of course building the guitars.
Q: Do you offer a warranty with your guitars?
Yes! Every guitar has a fully transferable lifetime warranty against defects in materials or craftsmanship. It does not matter if you are the original owner or a second hand buyer. If an unexpected issue should ever arise with a guitar simply contact me and we'll get it taken care of. Possible exceptions would of course be normal wear and tear from regular use or issues brought about from neglectful care.
Q: Do you make left handed guitars?
Absolutely! For the same price as a right handed guitar.
Q: How do I buy a Gronlund guitar? What are your ordering terms? How do you accept payment?
At this time all currently available and ready to ship inventory guitars are listed at reverb.com/shop/gronlundguitars. All guitars bought on Reverb.com are returnable for 3 days after delivery.
Custom builds are bought directly from me and require a 50% deposit to begin and then the remaining 50% can be paid at the time of the guitars completion. To begin a custom build simply contact me with your specifications and/or ideas! All custom build sales are final.
For payment I typically use Paypal because it's safe, fast and convenient. Paypal invoices can be paid with any major credit card. However you can alternatively send a check or money order and that's perfectly fine as well.
Q: What are your current wait times for custom builds?
At this time I can generally have most custom builds completed in 6 to 10 weeks.
Q: Do you use a CNC machine in the construction of your guitars?
No, not at all. But I have nothing against CNC machines. Many of my guitarmaking peers use them and they are incredible tools. But it just isn't for me. My guitars are truly "handcrafted" in the real sense of the word. I don't want to spend time in front of a computer screen running a CNC machine. I would rather do every bit of it by hand. I use paper and pencil in the drafting of all of my designs and everything is built from scratch using rough cut kiln dried hardwood. I use hand tools such as files, rasps, spokeshaves and chisels and power tools such as routers, bandsaws, tablesaws and belt sanders in the building process and am proud to carry on in this old school manner.
Q: What kind of cases do you ship in?
I am now shipping every guitar in Mono soft cases. A top quality thick walled soft case has much better shock absorption and padding than hardshell cases do. This works much better for safe shipment - especially when packed inside of a strongly padded and reinforced shipping box.
Q: How do you package a guitar for shipping and what is the price of shipping?
I use oversized heavy duty corrugated boxes reinforced internally with 1" thick foamboard which adds a great amount of strength and protection. Shipping will generally be $75 within the USA and $150 international.
Q: Can I change specifications on my custom build along the way?
Maybe. If the item in the building process that you're interesting in changing hasn't already been completed then I can likely accomodate any such updates. It's best to have a confident set of specs to begin with that you know you wont want to change. But if you do change your mind on something definitely don't be afraid to ask!
Q: Are your necks scarf jointed or one piece?
The 6-in-line necks that I build are one piece. The tiltback necks are scarf jointed. Scarf jointed tiltback necks are much stronger than one piece tiltback necks because they keep the woodgrain oriented in the correct direction as shown in this illustration. This is a cross section view of a one piece tilt back neck compared to a scarf jointed tilt back neck. The parallel lines represent the woodgrain. The one piece non scarf jointed neck will have a lot of endgrain runout in the headstock which makes it weaker and much more prone to breaking. The scarf jointed neck remedies this flaw and all woodgrain is focused in the correct direction. This adds substantial strength and creates a better neck.
Q: What degree are your tiltback headstocks?
12 degrees! Many Gibsons are a whopping 17 degrees which in my humble opinion is too extreme and can cause tuning issues as well as being much more prone to to breaking.
Q: What types of wood do you build with and where do you get it?
I mostly use North American hardwoods such as Swamp Ash, Hard Maple, Black Walnut, Claro Walnut, Redwood, Koa and Alder. I also use Spanish Cedar, Mahogany, Rosewood and Ebony from time to time. Much of the lumber I use for tops is salvaged old growth. All of the Redwood in particular is harvested from 1500+ year old downed Redwood trees which once stood 20' or more in diameter and towered over 400' tall. I find that to be incredible. I get all of my lumber in rough cut kiln dried form from these great suppliers: Rare Woods USA, Kings Mountain Hardwood and Oregon Wild Wood
Q: How should I store my guitar?
All of these guitars are built in a humidity controlled workshop at 45% humidity. Ideally your guitar should be stored in a 40% to 50% humidity environment. A hanging wall holder is perfectly fine - just be sure that it is not in a location where the guitar will get any direct sunlight exposure, or too close to a fireplace or any other type of heating source.
Q: What kind of strings do you use?
I'm currently using D'Addario XL Nickel Wound strings on all guitars. Your choice of 11-49 gauge or 10-46 gauge.
Q: What does the small stamped number on the back of my headstock mean?
The guitars are numbered in chronological order starting with 001 and working up from there. So, for example, if you have 062 then you have the 62nd guitar I built. A few of the early guitars were not numbered. If you have one and are curious what number it is just send a photo and I can tell you all about it!
Q: What do you use for a finish on your guitars?
They are finished with a very thin nitrocellulose lacquer. I mostly use satin nitro which allows you to spray even thinner than high gloss nitro which requires many coats of build before buffing. Some of my early guitars have a thin polyurathane, varnish or pre cat lacquer. If you own one of the early models and want to know what it is finished with just ask and I can let you know!