A little about me:
It wasn’t ‘til I was about 25, working in a garage, playing in a band around San Diego that I found out, through a friend, about the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix. Mark actually knew stuff about guitars, and would look at them with a discerning eye talking about this or that wasn’t right, knowing if it was a good deal or not. He was the guy pretty much responsible for turning me on to old guitars, a blessing and a curse, which I am afflicted with to this day! Thanks Mark!

So that was a turning point for me. I saved up, got (some of) my act together and moved to Phoenix to attend Roberto-Venn. After graduating I stayed in Phoenix, got a job in a pawn shop in a futile attempt to totally score some sweet gear (which did not happen unfortunately…no money, saw some cool stuff though). With no idea what direction I was heading, I toiled selling guns, working on store stock guitars and being yelled at by crack heads trying to pawn probably stolen junk.

Within a year I was lucky enough to start at Roberto-Venn as an assistant instructor. I continue “working” there to this day. Lucky for me I get a chance to work with some smart guys, get to meet a lot of aspiring builders as well as inspiring builders. Helping students build over 60 acoustic guitars a year for the past 8 years, it’s been a great situation for learning, about guitars and little ol’ me. When you boil it all down, I believe the best part of all is the learning.

People ask, usually, what does it mean first, how did I come up with it second. I’ll explain it the other way. Honestly, I first figured out which letters I thought would be easiest to cut for inlay. I had already determined I didn’t want to name the guitars after me, but they needed to have a name. Also, I kinda wanted the name to be hokey. One afternoon I was bouncing names off another student in class like “hay bale” and “hay ride” (which I liked), when I went home I started looking in the dictionary of all things, and there it was:

hay mak er (n.) slang. 1. A powerful blow with the fist.

Perfect, right? I wanted my guitars to punch people in their ears, hard apparently. Well, I thought it was just right, a fitting verbal association, so there you go.

I decided to attend R-V because I wanted to learn how to fix guitars. I was into electrics, cheap ones. Repair was top of the list, I like to fix stuff, always have. Well, as fate would have it, during my time in school I grew to really enjoy building…ACOUSTICS! Pretty funny to me since I had never owned an acoustic guitar and rarely, to this day, would I rather play acoustic over electric. But, I was addicted to the detail. There are a lot of things going on in an acoustic guitar that have a say in what it sounds like, it’s a real math freakout, but you can’t only use numbers, it’s also feel. I do love the intangibles. I was always a fan of art classes and ceramics as well as drafting in high school and guitar building seemed to encompass all of that and so much more, I’m hooked.

I really only build guitars I like. This may or may not be to my detriment. I have nothing against, say, a super strat type guitar but I won’t build one. Not my style. I’m into and inspired by guitars of the past. I tend to look back at the style and flair of the classics and borrow as best I can from them. Hopefully with an eye for what makes these guitars icons in my mind, sound wise and otherwise. Please feel free to take a look at the photo gallery and the rest of the site, for an eyeful of some of my work as well as models and specs. If you like the oldies, I might be able to help you out. If you like quality, I surely can. Thanks for visiting.