My Trip to Greenfield Guitars HQ (Part 1)
It is not everyday you get to fly out to one of the worlds most beautiful cities to meet a one of the finest guitar builders on the planet and see his work shop and build process!
Arriving at this very cool looking industrial building in downtown Montreal, I arrive at that famous logo imprinted on the door..Greenfield Guitars! On ringing the (very loud) door bell I was welcomed by the friendly face of Mr Michael Greenfield. First impression of the Woodnest as I walk in, is that of awe. It is beautiful, majestically organised and spotless. The 3000 square foot space is filled from floor to ceiling with some of the most incredible machinery I have ever seen. Vast silver piping runs through out the ceiling into what can only be describe as the worlds biggest hoover...Let the tour begin!
But not before having a local coffee to meet an old friend, who Michael has been enjoying a coffee ritual every Tuesday and Thursday for the past 17 years. I feel quite honoured! Possibly the strongest coffee I have ever had (that will sort the jet lag out for a while) we sit in a little Italian cafe taking Brexit, UK politics, Albums and of course guitars...
Right back to the Woodnest for the rest of that tour. I very quickly learn that this is no ordinary works shop. Greenfield Guitars is one of the most high respected and coveted brands in the world. The closest example I can use to describe Greenfield guitars is that of Rolls Royce cars or Patek Philippe watches. Home to players such as world renowned finger style guitarist Andy Mckee & Tony McManus and Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards plus many many more. Over the course of an incredible 30 years Michael greenfield has been held as a pioneer in his field and is one of the most respected luthiers on the planet.
Taken through each stage of his build process we start at the incredible array of Greenfield Guitars wood inventory. "There are no bad woods here at the woodnest" Mr Greenfield says. And I believe him...from some of the most outstanding sets of Africa & Amazon Blackwood to mind blowing Brazilian, Michael takes me through example after example..all the while I can literally hear and see the guitars these beautiful sets will eventually make.
Next we turn to the detailed process of choosing the tops and sanding. Hours upon hours of sanding to perfection! Michael explains the tools, measuring devises and the in depth process of how he gets the perfect thickness of each and every one of his tops.
From the intense rituals of voicing, binding, inlay work, right the way through to the spray booth and finishing process, I am shown the enchanting amount of detail that Michael Greenfield goes to on each and every Greenfield Guitar that he builds.
Watching Michael at work is a truly humbling experience and you cannot help but feel you are in the presence of a true master of industry.
A beautiful array of completed rim set, ready for their backs and tops ...
TNAG's GF (http://thenorthamericanguitar.com/greenfield-gf-fi... is 6th along from the left. More info on that little beauty to come..
After the tour we head to Michaels wonderful office, which feels as though it could be in another time zone. The room is very calm and zen like. I get the impression this is a place Michael comes to collect his thoughts, and take time for himself.
As he sits behind his giant oak table and I stare a gasp at the array of lutherie books, plaques, awards and signed photos from artists that cover the room, we chat about TNAG's plans for Greenfield Guitars.
Next on the agenda....time to start doing what we came here to do...Speccing the guitars. Not just any guitars but Greenfield Guitars...I am like a kid in a candy shop!
To be continued...