From Steve Toon:
Having come from a heritage of fine cabinetmakers, furniture designers and engineers it seems natural to have taken up guitar making.
I acquired my first guitar at the age of ten when my father found a broken one in a skip. Together we spent many hours repairing it and since then I became captivated by its sound and intrigued by its construction. I later built my first guitar at school while I was learning to play classical guitar. After leaving school I attended London College of Furniture to Study Early Fretted Instrument Making but left the course early lured by a career in the Music Industry as a live sound engineer. I did this for about 3 years before moving into the furniture industry and making guitars in my spare time.
Around 2004 I decided to stop working in furniture and concentrate solely on my guitar making as it was really my true interest and passion and have since then spent my time improving my guitar building as well as becoming a “go-to” guitar repairer. During my time building and repairing guitars I have come across guitars by notable makers and had the opportunity to study these first hand.
I have been making guitars for more than 25 years and am still fascinated by the process of turning beautiful wood into a living instrument of simple beauty which can produce versatile sound – extremely aggressive and strong, powerful and passionate or light and tender.
When I build a new guitar my aim is to make it respond to the player. I select the wood very carefully from my stock of aged wood, paying great attention to the soundboard, back and sides. I care a lot about the aesthetics of the guitar as I also think it should look good. I use traditional methods and work almost entirely by hand. My guitars are either French polished or varnished using oil varnish.
I have built guitars for John Etheridge, Gordon Giltrap, Blake Wilner, Ciyo Brown and Hayley Savage as well as many talented amateur and semi pro-players.