Burner Guitars began in the summer of 2008 after Paul and Kyle took a week-long trip to Saylorsburg, PA and built two acoustic guitars under the guidance of master luthier Kevin Gallagher of Omega Guitars. Their natural talent and comfort with wood found them desiring to take what they had learned during their time with Kevin and expand it to building guitars of their own design.
To chronicle their love of the process they posted photos of their builds on a web community called the Acoustic Guitar Forum. It was on this forum that their skills were noticed and they were encouraged to 1) continue their process of becoming luthiers and 2) sell their guitars.
It was the positive feedback they received on their first 3 guitars that has set this dream in motion. Paul and Kyle would like to personally thank Kevin Gallagher and the community of guitar builders on the OLF (Official Luthier’s Forum) for giving them the guidance they needed to become better builders with each new guitar project.
6/25/2010 Update: It is with great sadness that I bring word that our friend and mentor Kevin Gallagher has passed away after a short bout with pancreatic cancer. We will truly miss his friendship and willingness to ALWAYS go the extra mile to answer any question we might have about any aspect of guitar building.
professional engineer - structural | guitar builder | husband | dad
Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Guitar Player, Singer. Built first guitar in 2008 – Maple-Flame Hog-Maple/Sitka with Florentine Cutaway.
Like many young kids I did not start playing instruments with the intention of playing beautiful music. Rather, I wanted to be cool and spend time with my friends. Regardless of why I entered the world of music, I have found my way to a place that brings me great joy and hopefully allows me to do the same for others.
For as long as I can remember I have been surrounded by guitar players and musicians. My father has played in either a local band or church bands my entire life. I spent many nights laying at the foot of the stairs in my parents’ basement listening to my dad’s band practice. Learning to play the guitar was just something that was bound to happen.
When I was about 12 years old my parents loaned me an old acoustic guitar that had floated around the family for years. The acoustic guitar did not last long as it did not provide me the “cool factor” that every 12 year old desires. After 2 electric guitars and with the help of the trade in value of a trumpet and a flute I had my first acoustic guitar. It was a red shallow body Ovation. I grew up with my dad playing an Ovation Adamas, so an Ovation seemed like the only logical choice to me at the time. My limited exposure to different types of guitars allowed me to be completely content with my first guitar. It wasn’t until I started building guitars that my eyes were opened to the different sounds a guitar can make and how different characteristics of the guitar can so greatly affect the tone of the instrument.
I was a stubborn child who did not like to take direction from my parents, and so every week while a band full of great guitar players were practicing in my basement I went to guitar lessons. Looking back I realize how silly it all was.
High school came with busy schedules and guitar took a back seat to other activities. As high school came to an end, I began leading the youth group worship band at church. Through college I played in multiple church bands and played the guitar when I had free time from studying and work.
Before my senior year of college my grandfather passed away. Being the generous man he had always been, he left the grandkids some money. I took the money my grandfather left me and took a trip to Pennsylvania with my father to spend a week with Kevin Gallagher of Omega Guitars. That week has changed me. It has provided me a creative outlet and something to be truly passionate about. It was because of my grandfather’s generosity that I was allowed to discover something that has become and will continue to be a lifelong passion.
I cannot wait to continue to build guitars and get better with each one. My hope is that through the joy, frustration, sweat and countless hours of contemplation that go into each guitar that we can create an instrument that exceeds the expectations of all who play it.
graphic designer | guitar builder | husband | dad | "papa"
Graphic Designer (owner of Slide Arts Graphic Design), Guitar & Vocals in “The Wheezetones Band“, Built first guitar in 2008 – Amazon Rosewood/Sitka.
My first guitar was when I was about 10 years old – it was a rental – and it was one of “those” guitars that the strings stood up about an inch above the fingerboard. Needless to say I didn’t last long. When I was in Jr. High (before they called it middle school) I had a paper route and with the tips I earned at Christmas I purchased a Kay acoustic guitar. I was elated. My sister’s boyfriend (at the time) showed me a few chords and I was on my way. I remember buying a book on how to build a guitar sometime during those Jr. High and High School years – and strange as it seems – I found the book a few years ago and sold it at a garage sale thinking the guitar build dream was something that would never happen.
Well – I’m in my 60s now and have played in bands or as a solo artist most of my life. Many of those years I also was involved in many different church worship teams. I was involved in what would now be called a contemporary worship service way back in the early 70s.
In 2006 I stumbled on the Acoustic Guitar Forum and my life was forever changed by a thread I started asking if anyone offered a short-term guitar building experience. The same day I got a message from Kevin Gallagher of Omega Guitars. It took almost two years – but in May of 2008, my son and I went to Saylorsburg, PA and spent a week with Kevin building two acoustic guitars. Kevin was very affirming in letting us know that he thought we had a natural comfort with building and showed great skill and patience (a big requirement in being a good builder).
This experience has forever changed my life. My son and I came home and began turning our dream into a reality. Our shop has been set up, and specialty tools have been purchased . Through the support of a wonderful community of guitar builders on the internet – we have started building guitars and are discovering that this will be a life-long learning experience… and along the way we get to make music.