fundraising ax giveaway


so, i hate asking people for money, but i need some serious dental work that i can’t put off any longer, and also can’t afford.
i am not in any pain, fortunately, but it is a situation that has been going on for too long, and it is only a matter of time before something really bad happens. basically, i need all my teeth pulled out and replaced with dentures.
anyway, i figured out a way to ask for money that doesn’t feel so much like asking for money.
here’s the deal~ i have set up a fundraising page on, and for every ten dollars you donate (up to $100), i will write your name on a slip of paper, and put it in a box. once i have three hundred slips of paper in the box, i will reach in and randomly pull one out. the person whose name is on it will receive their choice of one of the guitars i have available here or a custom commission of comparable value.
not such a bad deal, eh?
i will repeat this process as long as donations keep coming in, until i have collected enough funds to cover this procedure, and hopefully even some other overdue medical bills that i have also not been able to pay off; and then i can get my life back on track, and get back to building guitars.

here is the link to donate. please make sure to enter your name and email address. is a free service, and they give you the option of giving them a dollar to help keep it running, but if you don’t want to, just change the $1 to $0.
if you have any questions, please email me at
thank you so much!

currently available axes, more details here





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#1502 Rusticator SC


quartersawn white oak top on sassafras base, red milk paint finish on back.
hard maple neck with black locust fretboard
available from me ( $1500






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so, i have not done much in the past week, except for feeding the woodstove.
the latest polar vortex did a bit of a number on this area, encasing it in alternating layers of snow and ice.
they don’t plow the backroads here, and really, i don’t think many would survive it anyway, these little one lane tracks of gravel with a hopeful helping of tar. this is ours..


they are treacherous now, we have not received mail all week.
too cold to work in the shop, too cold even to heat the one part of it i do heat, as i can not keep enough moisture in the air to prevent all my wood from cracking. so i set the thermostat to 40 just to keep my glue and finishing material from freezing, and went for a walk..







besides… the cold never bothered me anyway.


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#1501 barnstormer sc


Bookmatched, quartersawn red mulberry top on chambered basswood body.
Cherry neck with persimmon fretboard.
Three single coil pickups with a three position switch and a new wiring arrangement~ the middle pickup is tapped halfway through the winding, and the middle switch position pairs each half of the coil with one of the other pickups, out of phase magnetically and electrically, giving a tone similar to positions 2 and 4 in a strat, but much fuller sounding and hum-cancelling.
One piece aluminum bridge/tailpiece combo, and hipshot classic tuners.
Weighs 6.2 pounds.

Available directly from me ( for $1250 including case and domestic shipping.







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#1410 barnstormer sc


Playing with milk paint some more, this time on sassafras I cut on my portable sawmill years ago. I miscalculated the shrinkage rate at the time, and after it dried, it was the thickness of a guitar body~ no room for planing; so I have been figuring out how to use the rough bandsawn surface.
Neck is cherry, with an osage orange fretboard
Pickups are Amalfitano TP, very nice sounding.
Tuners are Grover vintage style
Brass hardtail bridge.







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#1409 Barnstormer prototype


This is one I put together from an older neck, and a body prototype from when I was reworking the barnstormer DC design.
I also used it to try out a couple ideas~ the finish is milk paint on barnwood, with tinted shellac sealer, and a waterborne varnish top coat.
I will be trying this more, and in in different colors; really liking it.

Body~ four piece salvaged poplar 2×4
Neck~ soft maple, with persimmon fretboard, 25″ scale, 22 frets
Pickup~ Tonerider hot classic bridge
Bridge~ Dismalax aluminum compensated bridge/tailpiece combo
Tuners~ Gotoh vintage
Weighs 6.2 pounds







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#1408 Rusticator DC


Double cutaway, set neck version of the Rusticator
Top is beech barnwood, on a cucumbertree base.
Neck is maple and walnut, with a persimmon fretboard.
Pickups are my own homespun humbuckers; bridge 8k; neck 7k
Schroeder wraparound bridge/tailpiece.
Grover tuners
Weighs 7 pounds







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#1407 barnstormer SC


This is a single cutaway version of the barnstormer, with simpler appointments..
The body is cucumbertree, with an elm barnwood top featuring the worn remains of the original red paint.
Neck is hard maple, with a persimmon fretboard


Pickups are my own homespun single coils, which are a little shorter and wider than typical.
The covers are made from micarta, a bakelite-like composite, but in the future I will be using corian-type countertop material.
Tuners are Grover deluxe vintage style.






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So yeah, a little about me, to clear up any confusion, and possibly to cause some.
I used to be called George, but now I am Gwen.
The former was largely a facade built up over a lifetime of fear.
The latter is what crawled out of the ashes of that mess when it became unsustainable.
I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not gay or straight, or any of the other labels most folks feel they need to apply to people in order to make sense of the chaos that life actually is. I am a person.
I don’t really even like the term “transgender” very much, as I feel it only serves to validate the gender binary, a social construct I have come to regard as an oppressive illusion. Having escaped that trap, I have no desire to be caught in another.
In spite of this, I still prefer feminine pronouns and terminology when suitable gender-neutral ones are not readily available, as they feel more resonant with who I am in the context of the social interactions these words are used in.
To take this even further, I don’t even identify as a luthier, mostly out of respect for those who have spent a lifetime studying and mastering all the manifold aspects of this craft, the conventions of which I blatantly violate on a regular basis.
I am an artist first and foremost; and what that means to me is that I take seemingly disparate concepts and make something new out of them.
Sometimes this is beautiful, sometimes monstrous, often both.
This is my life, this is me.

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#1406 Wisconsin road dog


This one is a custom commission, and possibly the last T********r shaped ax I will build.
I love this guitar as much as any of the others I have made, but I have gotten a bit tired of using this body shape over the years; not really interested in copying anyone else’s designs anymore, or dealing with their lawyers.

The body is made of salvaged yellow pine, with the original saw marks showing on the front.
Neck is cherry, with a black locust fretboard.
Pickguard is made from a 1965 Wisconsin license tag.
Pickups are my own homespun creations.
Switch plate is an antique brass doorknob escutcheon.








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