Rein, Thomas Learn More +
I have been building guitars since the early 1970s. I started out making steel-string guitars and served a two-year apprenticeship with the late Edward F. Rose in Lexington, Kentucky. Ed was an old-time cabinetmaker and guitar restoration expert. Ed got me started with proper machinery techniques, including sharpening tools and designing jigs, and the experience I gathered repairing a myriad of instruments with him helped me “design out” in my own guitars many common guitar ailments. In the early 80s, a lutenist approached me with the idea of building him a 7-course Renaissance lute. I was intrigued by this challenge since the lute was so different from anything else I had ever built. This led to a decade of building all sorts of lutes, theorboes, and a bass gamba. After a move to the Washington DC area in 1986, I decided to concentrate solely on the classical guitar. My classical guitars have been played throughout the world in concerts and on recordings. In 2007, I came full circle and started building steel string guitars again while continuing to build classical guitars. I have found that many of the construction details that have become established in contemporary classical guitar design work equally well for steel string acoustics.