Peter Barton ~ luthier

Steel String Guitar

Having worked on a number of American guitars from the early 20century, I love the lightness of build and simplicity of design of some of these early guitars. I like the use of hide glues and thin finishes and the handmade quality of these instruments. So this was my inspiration for making steel strung guitars which started in 1990 with a model based on an outline similar to Martin's orchestral model.

My steel string guitars have also been influenced by looking at the instruments of both classical and steel string makers from the last century. I particularly like the early small bodied guitars from C F Martin, the O, OO and OM models. My own guitars are of similar size but a different outline and with 12 or 14 frets to the body

Although, structurally different, the principles and techniques of construction are the same and I employ the same attention to detail and decoration as for the classical guitars.

Recently, responding to a request for a smaller parlour style of steel string guitar, I built a model based on the 19C guitars made by Panormo. Made in the Panormo style but with cross strutting, the body is made from Koa and the soundboard of Alpine spruce. A relatively short scale length of 630mm makes the guitar very easy to play and it has a sweet, full tone and looks very pretty.

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