David A. Bernroth
When I started working with my hands over 35 years ago I thought I was just going to learn a trade as many people I knew did. As a painter and finisher, I learned everything I could about the craft and did some really great work. I never settled for just collecting a check, I wanted to distinguish myself as someone with higher quality.
As long as I played guitars I was interested in how they worked, how to adjust them etc. One day I decided to make an electric guitar and 68 guitars later I have learned just about everything there is to know about them. But as I was always an acoustic guitar player, I considered electric building a practice run before starting acoustic instruments. Only having built a handful so far, I strive to continue to showcase my craftsmanship and abilities through whatever I make. I occasionally make small furniture and also have made a few kit instruments. It’s always fascinating learning something new and studying the process.
I used to make every instrument different than the last and it was easier to do with electric guitars, but I finally settled on 2 body shapes which I can continue to make occasionally going forward. I experimented with semi-hollow neck-through electrics, and I may make a few more before I’m done making electric guitars. I was glad to finally set up for making acoustics and start thinking about developing my own signature body shape and sound.
One of my passions is researching all things related to what I’m doing such as design and building. Studying knowledgeable accomplished builders like O’Brien, Cumpiano, Gurian, Goodall, etc. has given me a great foundation and when I’m not in the shop I’m always researching something. Even when I was an accomplished finisher I still wanted to know more. I started building and did not get the results right away which set me on a path of developing my own system of finishing. I wound up trying out some waterborne finishes and although I wasn’t there yet I liked the idea of an eco-friendly way of finishing. After trial and error, I found techniques I was happy with and decided to encapsulate them in a forthcoming book which is titled “Dave’s Little Book of Finishing”. I enjoy a varied life, and when I’m not building I’m writing, recording, and playing. I like getting instruments out into the world, mostly so I can keep building and exploring tone and hopefully offering something unique to the world of lutherie. The cure for boredom is curiosity, there is no cure for curiosity…
Located: King of Prussia , Pennsylvania
Professionally Selling For: 11 Years
Instrument Types: Electric Guitar , Steel String Acoustic , Ukulele