Talented Nacogdoches craftsman hand makes guitars, stringed inst - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Talented Nacogdoches craftsman hand makes guitars, stringed instruments

Luthier Stephen Kinnaird has a fine eye for detail. (Source: KTRE Staff) Luthier Stephen Kinnaird has a fine eye for detail. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Stephen Kinnaird Guitars are crafted in a his backyard shop located in Nacogdoches County. (Source: KTRE Staff) Stephen Kinnaird Guitars are crafted in a his backyard shop located in Nacogdoches County. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Every custom guitar upon completion is signed and numbered by the artisan. (Source: KTRE Staff) Every custom guitar upon completion is signed and numbered by the artisan. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Stephen Kinnaird has national and international customers. (Source: KTRE Staff) Stephen Kinnaird has national and international customers. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

There are only a few known luthiers, or makers of stringed instruments, known to be from East Texas. One lives in Nacogdoches County. His name is Stephen Kinnaird.

East Texas News visited with the talented craftsman to see him at work.

"I like to flatter myself that this is so that every guitar that comes out of the luthier, a local small shop, will sound better,” Kinnaird said.

A custom Kinnaird guitar begins with a concept from U.S. and international customers.

"Prices start at $4400 and go up,” Kinnaird said.” It has to be …” He made an OK sign with his thumb and forefinger.

The craft starts with a thin piece of wood.

"This back will be 95 to 90-thousanths of an inch when we're through,” Kinnaird said.

The material is taken from trees that grew in faraway countries or as close as the Texas Valley.  Each part of the tree can lead to a different sound.

"The bridge is Brazilian Rosewood,” Kinnaird said. “The fret board is Ebony. The top is Engleman Spruce.”

The parlor style guitar is a copy of one played by Kinnaird's grandfather.

"He used a guitar like this to woo my grandmother, so that's got a lot of appeal to it,” Kinnaird said.

If the final product leads to love from either the musician or the listener, Kinnaird will have mastered his craft. 

"The work of a luthier is to figure out what he has or she has, be able to work with it and coax out of that the best sound he can,” Kinnaird said.

For more information about Kinnair'd shop, visit this link.

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