Like many luthiers we’ve encountered over the years, Neil Haynes’ relationship with woodworking began in college, and soon led to the fine precision work of high-end cabinetry. Music was a big part of his life, too, of course – he had begun playing instruments at the age of six and this soon blossomed into a lifelong passion. Crafting his own guitars and basses was a logical next step, and it’s something he’s now been doing for two decades.
Haynes is the mastermind behind Guitar & Bass Build, a company based out of an impressive workshop in Oxfordshire that offers a range of products and services: from blanks and templates for budding guitar-makers, to bespoke bodies and necks for DIY partscaster builds, to fully finished custom instruments made under the Haynes Guitars brand.
As well as producing a fair amount of sawdust, the Guitar & Bass Build facility also has a fully featured spray shop that offers custom finishes in nitrocellulose lacquer and polyurethane with matt and high-gloss options available. From solid colours to sunbursts, sparkles, transparent stains and even relic-style distress, whatever your dream guitar looks like, the odds are that Haynes can deliver.
With this level of choice on the table, it would have been rude not to spec out our very own custom-built instrument and the good news is that one lucky reader will be able to win it by entering next month’s competition. At the time of writing, it was nearing completion having recently left the spray booth.
Without wishing to spoil the surprise entirely, we can reveal that we opted for an instrument heavily influenced by the Les Paul TV Special and ‘non-reverse’ Firebird – it’s also very much a Brit-based affair that includes a collaboration on the electronics side with House Of Tone Pickups in Chester and James’ Home Of Tone in Stourbridge.
All will be revealed next month but in the meantime, why not point your browser at www.guitarandbassbuild.co.uk and start thinking about your own custom build…