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Maker of Steel String Acoustic Guitars and Archtop Acoustic Guitars.


Hand Made Guitars in the Scottish Borders

In my workshop in the Scottish Borders countryside, I build only a small number of instruments each year - principally steel string acoustic guitars and archtop guitars, but also mandolins on occasion.

Instruments are built to commission and optimised for each individual player - their style of music and their style of playing. The method of construction, the body size and shape, the scale length, neck profile and string spacing are designed in conjunction with the player to produce a uniquely built instrument. Every set of tonewood used in the construction of an instrument is different in its characteristics, and each instrument is crafted to provide the best tone and response from the woods used in its construction.

Visitors to the workshop are welcome, and having said that I build to commission, I generally try to have a couple of guitars to hand for playing and these may be available for purchase - please check if you think you may be interested.

I also offer a repair and restoration service.


I'm not a big user of social media, but I try to keep the Facebook page updated with developments.



Craig McAdam instruments:

Most of my work is commission based, and instruments are built uniquely to suit the individual, so anything goes. But generally, the instruments I build fall into three broad categories.


Steel String Guitars

There are two body sizes that I generally use as a baseline - the Academy model which is similar in size to the traditional OM style of guitar, and the larger Auditorium Model. Oh, and there's the small bodied Parlour model as well. So three body sizes, then. Other body sizes can be built to commission - the owner gets to choose their own name. It's only fair.


Archtop Guitars

My archtop guitars are designed and built as acoustic instruments but they can have a floating humbucker pickup included as an option.



Mandolins, citterns, bouzoukis. Big, small, hand carved - endless possibilities exist in the mandolin family. So I restrict myself to the larger instruments - octave mandolin, cittern, and bouzouki with a common body size and variations in string courses and scale length as appropriate. ( I'll do an F style carved instrument if you ask me nicely ). If you've ever tried to buy a good case for a mandolin, you'll know why I stick to a common body size.



Craig McAdam instruments Prices:


Steel String Acoustic Guitars, hard case included -

Base Price £2500, comprising

  • Sitka Spruce or Western Red Cedar top
  • Mahogany, Walnut, or Bubinga back & sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood or Ebony fingerboard and bridge
  • Wood binding and purfling
  • Alternative tonewoods and build options are available at additional cost. Most commonly, adding a cutaway is £300. To add a pickup, simply add the cost of the pickup. Please contact me for the cost of alternative tonewoods, this is constantly changing. To take just a couple of examples, an upgrade to Indian Rosewood is currently an additional £100, Tasmanian Blackwood is an additional £200.


Archtop Guitars, hard case included -

Base Price £3500, comprising

  • Hand carved European Spruce top
  • Hand carved Flame Maple back and Flame Maple sides
  • Laminated maple neck with contrast striping
  • Rosewood or Ebony fingerboard, Ebony bridge and Ebony tailpiece
  • Wood binding and purfling
  • Designed and built as an acoustic instrument, with an option for a floating pickup to be added at a cost, typically, of £200 for a Benedetto or Kent Armstrong jazz humbucker. Adding a cutaway, and this is most commonly requested, is £300.


Mandolins - I generally only build the larger bodied instruments - octave mandolin, cittern, and bouzouki. I build these with a common body size with differences in string courses (4 or 5 string pairs and/or unison or octave tuning) and scale length. As a guide, the base price for a specification similar to the acoustic guitar above is £1700.


The instrument's scale length, nut width, string spacing, neck width, and neck shape & profile are all uniquely designed for each instrument to suit the individual player.


Please note that I don't normally do any inlay work other than straightforward headstock inlays or abalone / mop soundhole work

- wood has a natural beauty of its own and I let that speak for itself. In any case, no inlay ever added to the tone or playability of the instrument. Well, not in my opinion anyway ....




Feel free to contact me using the contact form on this page. I will be happy to respond quickly to your needs and requests.


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    • 28 May 2023 6 h 56 min local time

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