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Date this web site was last edited:  12/06/2015






"A Great Afternoon in the Woods"

I recently tried a set of 10’s on my Gibson 335 that I’ve owned since ’65 (the guitar, not the strings - 12’s or 11’s are what I usually play,) and the smaller diameter dropped the G string down so far in the nut that it started buzzing. However, I liked how much easier the 10’s "seem" to play, and not being much of a guitar repair guy I thought I’d find somebody to make me a new nut. At the same time, I had just as recently purchased a Yamaha 1200 arch top whose neck was giving me fits. Obviously, I needed to find ma’self a good repair guy.

I’m not real big on guitar repair guys in general because I’ve had more bad experiences than good ones in the past (admittedly, usually due to my ultra expectations…8^) Plus, you always had to leave your guitars with them for an undetermined period of time – until they found time to work on them. But, I had heard that one of our active members, Kraig Phillips, was a good one that I should give a try if I ever needed anything done on my guitars. So, I called him to see if he would have time to work on mine. "Sure, come on out and I’ll take a look at them," he said implying immediate turn around. So, OUT I went….

OUT folks was at least an hour’s drive from Columbus through some very pretty country of Ohio. About 4 miles the other side of Johnstown – on a county road – nestled in the nicest patch of woods. I seemed to forget how far I had to drive as I drove down his winding gravel driveway that ended up in a little complex of a pond, dome house,
garage converted into a workshop, and three dogs. Kraig had a pot of coffee waiting for me in his workshop that was the dream of any wood worker. Table saw, band saw, planner(s), all kinds of sanders, routers, drill presses, and walls full of all kinds of wood working tools – to die for. In addition, however, I could immediately tell this wood shop was set up to BUILD GUITARS…
Forms, clamps, molds, templates, a stockpile of quality flat wood – and, the sure give away was several arch top and Selmer style guitars laying around in various stages of completion. "Phillips" guitars – I believe…. It looked like I had come to the right place.While he took a look at the Yamaha he pointed me to a stack of old Fret magazines he had looked up and brought out for me to peruse -
one of which was opened to an article on how Paul Yandell was Chet’s "new" rhythm man. Complete with pictures of Paul with lots of DARK hair. (Have any of you ever got this treat- ment in a regular guitar store?) Gladly I looked through the rest of the mags while he finished up working the neck and bridge of the arch top – sharing stories of how he got started into building guitars.
Seems he had to make a decision a long time ago whether to PLAY the guitar, or BUILD them. He looks to be around 40 years old – and, he still hasn’t made up his mind…..Another cup of joe for me and he handed me the Yamaha while he commenced building a new nut for the 335. Kraig is more of a rock, blues, jazz flat picker, so he seemed
quite interested in my thumb pickin’ style of playing while we continued bs’in’ about guitars… When I got to just trying the chords to Georgia On My Mind that I tried to teach my son Clayton recently for his middle school jazz band (in E freeken’ flat) I got to the end of the first chorus and mentioned I wish I knew a neat little turn to show him right "here." Kraig put down his tool
and took hold of the 1200 and ripped off a super little turn around right where I had asked for one. The guitar back in my hands, he took the next few minutes to show me whar to put ma’ fangers to create the same turn. AND, I GOT A GUITAR LESSON…..

When he got through with the TC-335 (the true love of my life) we played with the dogs a bit, finished up the last of the coffee, and headed down

into Johnstown for a little lunch. What an afternoon in the woods. This urbanite got his guitars "set-up", saw some great country side, got a guitar lesson, met a true guitar artist – player and luthier, and a new friend. Kriag Phillips  phillipsguitars1@phillipsguitars.com 

Palmer Moore – Organizer
Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club