Guitar makers on the road…

People often ask me where I get the materials for instruments. The answer is both simple and complicated: EVERYWHERE…

Lumber yards, sawmills, specialized dealers, gardens, etc. Sometimes even get pieces other builders don’t need anymore or are too small for them to use. I’m always looking for suppliers close by, who know what they talk about. It’s a great advantage when people work in the field themselves.

EnrawodEspecially when you need something odd. For the theorbo projects I need bigger pieces. So large most suppliers don’t have it in stock. But luckily there is one who does. Arne Hempenius runs Enrawood in Hengelo. Having been a guitar maker for years he has a great love for, and knowledge about woods. Besides that he is one of those rare people who always has something interesting to talk about. From guitars to making bows, canoes and early medieval combs…

Joës, Arne and yours truly

Joës, Arne and yours truly

One of the coolest things about guitar making and teaching lutherie is that you meet a lot of nice people. Players, hobbyists and colleagues, united by a love for instruments and instrument making. It’s always nice to get together and have a coffee. Most guitar makers in the Netherlands and Belgium know each other and get along fine. Most of them are very relaxed, knowledgable and talented people. Sometimes there even is a secret meeting, often involving a barbecue and much beer…

Yesterday fellow guitar maker and renaissance-man Joës van Went and I took a trip to Hengelo to visit Arne’s treasure trove.


I found two large tops for the theorbos (yes there will be a second one, more on that later). And a whole load of european walnut for he bowl of the Schelle.

A wonderful piece of pear wood, and something even more unique: flamed ash for the other theorbo…

One of the more unique products Arne offers are backs and sides in bambu. A cheap and environmentally friendly alternative for wood. I took along a sample to try on a baroque guitar, while Joës wants to use it for a ukulele…

So with a complete trunk in the trunk we started our voyage home…

Road trip

It was great to meet with these two wonderful builders…

Photos by Joës van Went and stolen from Arne’s website…


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