Featured Builder: Northwood Guitars - Dave’s Woodstock Music

Featured Builder: Northwood Guitars

Northwood Guitars is a spectacular one-man shop. I’ve known John McQuarrie personally for more than 18 years, and I can say without a doubt the craftsmanship and pride he puts into the sanding, bracing, wood selection and complete build of his guitars is pure artistry. 

John's love of guitars began at an early age. When he was just 6 years old, he fabricated a makeshift guitar using a tissue box, paper towel roll and a bath tissue roll as the components. Over the next few years he continued playing guitar and eventually began studying classical guitar.

 In high school, John excelled in woodshop. When prompted to submit ideas for a personal project, he chose to build a guitar. His teacher was skeptical, but warmed to the idea when the plans were drawn up and presented the next day. With the help of his teacher and several books on the subject, John successfully built his first guitar.

 John continued building and repairing instruments throughout his high school career and was fortunate to be hired by Jean Larrivee of Larrivee Guitars in the 80's, when the Larrivee factory was still building both electric and acoustic guitars. He remained at Larrivee for 7 years, while continuing his repair business and collecting the tools and machinery he needed to branch out on his own.

 After leaving Larrivee in 1994, John started Northwood Guitars in Langley, B.C. He continued building and repairing guitars and other stringed instruments and attending trade shows worldwide to promote his product. He now has a loyal dealer network around the world.

James Taylor Northwood Mini Jumbo

 In addition to building Northwood guitars, John repairs a wide range of stringed instruments including the mandolin, banjo, bass and of course, guitar—demonstrating that he is a true luthier. Even James Taylor owns one of John’s famous Northwood Mini Jumbos. If you haven’t tried one yet, you owe it to yourself to experience a Northwood.

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