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Guild of American Luthiers

Member since 2003

The Guild of American Luthiers is a nonprofit educational membership organization whose purpose is to facilitate learning about lutherie: the art, craft, and science of stringed musical instrument construction and repair.

Guild of American Luthiers (opens their site)


My fascination with guitars began when I was 11 years old. My first guitar was a hand-me-down given to me by my Mom and Dad. It had spent perhaps 20 years in my grandmother's attic in Clear Lake, Minnesota. She bought it for him when he was 10 years old. (1938). He hated taking lessons so after 6 months of listening to his griping, up in the attic it went.  


I guess you could say that was my first vintage project guitar. I played with that rusty old National until I was old enough to get a job and buy an electric guitar. In fact there have been many guitars in my life since that old National, but that one is special, and is still with me. I had literally played it to death. I didn't want to give it up, so I restored it. That was the start of something I really love to do.

                                     Dale Nielsen


Fender Musical Instruments Inc. (FMIC) awarded me a Gold Level Certification as a field technician in 2008. I perform warranty work on Fender acoustic and electric guitars.

More recently FMIC has placed their trust in my skills for refurbishing and restoring guitars.  I am told that the list of people they refer customers to is quite short so I consider it a huge honor that they think highly enough of my work to trust me with your project.

Glo & Dale at the Washington State Fair

If you guessed I was at the State Fair you are correct - me and my lovely wife 'Glo' enjoying the day.

Dale @ age 18.

Way back in 1970!!! That's a 1966 Gibson ES-330 TDC with a factory installed Bigsby B7. ...the first of several guitars I regret getting rid of.  Hey, look at the size of those hands - Sasquatch!


My first attempt at a vintage restoration was actually my dad's 1938 National Triolian. Don Young, of National Resophonic Guitars offered his considerable knowledge and consulted with me as I worked through the process. I will be forever grateful  to him for his generosity and kindness. I'm fortunate to have met many really nice people along my journey through life!

I've been working on guitars since I was a kid and 'yes' there were 'casualties along the way. I learned enough from my mistakes and from doing lots of reading to begin working professionally in 1999. My first professional restoration was to a 1956 Gibson, Les Paul gold top.

In 2003 I completed my apprenticeship with Ed Schaefer, Master Luthier, specialising in building archtop jazz guitars.


I haven't kept count on how many repairs or restorations I've done over the years.  Probably not as many as some, and probably more than others.  I've had the good fortune to have been able to pretty much specialize in working on vintage guitars,

I probably get as much enjoyment out of bringing a dead guitar back to life as does its owner, who sees it in better than  playable condition for the first time in years.

This is not about quantity! I have a close friend who loves to ride motorcycle. He tells me it's not about how fast you get there. It's about the ride. I use that advice when working on a restoration.


• Consummate Wood Butcher

• Natural-born screw-off 

• Guitar Reconstructor

My 'other' job - Moonlighting as Sasquatch at the Firepit

1938 National Triolian

• Eater of Jalapeno Poppers

• ​Perpetual Jokester

• I moonlight as Sasquatch!

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