hi there.

Welcome to Wildwood Manufacturing.

We are excited for you to get to know us. Here you can find out just what sets us apart in the instrument OEM business, and a little bit about how we do what we do.

If you like what you see, or just want to know more, feel free to send us a contact message using the form at the bottom of the page.


Thanks,

The Team at Wildwood Manufacturing

Who We Are

Tucked in among the Redwoods on California‘s rugged north coast Humboldt County is home to many artists, and is said to have more artists per capita than any county in America. The artists‘ media includes hardwoods. We have a rich history and a deep infrastructure in quality furniture, and in musical instruments.

The City of Arcata, where Wildwood Manufacturing resides, is the home of Marimba One (Ron Samuels), Moonstone Guitars (Steve Helgeson), Ken Lawrence Instruments, P.W. (Phil) Crump Company, Ian Davidson Instruments, (Colin) Vance Banjos and (Jeff) Callahan Pickups (Jeff is also our Production Manager) to name a few. Wildwood Manufacturing is proud to be a part of Arcata’s special appreciation for music, musical instruments and hardwood products.

Recapitalized

Bruce Hamilton purchased Wildwood Manufacturing in September of 2007. At that time, he was neither a guitar player nor a woodworker, but he brought over 30 years of manufacturing and executive experience to the company, as well as much needed capital.

In October of 2011, we acquired a new, state of the art, Anderson CNC three-axis router to complement our milling, wood working and finishing equipment.

Over the past five years, Wildwood Manufacturing has been transformed from a craft-stage production shop into a modern, highly-tooled, and highly-specialized industrial manufacturing operation with a singular focus: being a custom woodshop for the electric guitar industry.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to build long-term relationships as a valuable supplier of quality guitar bodies and necks to the music industry. We have always been an OEM - we do not sell parts to the public.

We have never advertised, relying solely on word-of-mouth and referrals to promote our growth. Some of the finest electric guitars and basses on the market today start with the foundation of Wildwood Manufacturing‘s bodies and necks.

Body Wood

A big part of what we do is sourcing wood. We purchase and stock all the basic body woods as boards or as blanks. These 8/4 boards and blanks include Swamp Ash, Alder, Khayan and Genuine Mahogany, Basswood, Sugar Pine, Popular, Western Maple, Sitka Spruce and reclaimed Old Growth Redwood.

We purchase at least one thousand board feet each of Ash and Alder every month. We use a variety of sources, including a good local hardwoods store, Almquist Lumber, and many suppliers who have been in the music wood business for many years.

All of our vendors certify the genus and species of the boards that we purchase from them and sign a certificate that states that they know the origin of the wood and that the wood is sustainably harvested.

Top Wood

We stock many specialty woods for tops, including Western Maple 3A and 5A Flame and 3A and 5A Quilt, Spalted Maple and Koa for bent or carved tops. Exotic woods for artist-quality, high-end body tops, neck blanks or finger boards are often supplied by our customers. We can handle, store and work with virtually any wood you choose for your many orders.

Neck Wood

We also stock hundreds of neck blanks and hundreds of finger board blanks for guitars and basses. As in the case of body wood, we use a wide variety of sources. We always have a stock of Eastern hard rock Maple, flat or quarter sawn, 3A and 5A Flame, 3A and 5A Birdseye, and both Genuine and Khayan Mahogany. We always have Indian Rosewood, Pau Ferro, African Ebony, flat and quarter sawn Maple, birdseye Maple and often other slightly more exotic blanks for fingerboards.

Product Development

The process begins with a discussion with you to understand your requirements. Our CAD software is utilized to interpret size and shape, weight reduction pattern, arm and waist bevels, pickup and neck pockets, etc. into a set of commands that the three axis CNC machine can follow. The machine carves two bodies each cycle, two fronts and two backs, with accuracy to a couple thousandths of an inch. Pickup pockets, rear control cavities, neck pockets, and weight reduction channels are accurately reproduced on all guitar and bass bodies.

We also CNC flat necks and tilt back necks to the common scale lengths.

Nut width, peg head shape and thickness, tuner hole diameter, heel width and thickness, finger board radius, fret slot depth, nut channel and of course, the back carve and transitions are carefully developed for all necks. We develop set necks as well as bolt on necks.

In-House Engineering

We make all of our own fixtures to hold the bodies and necks in location on the CNC‘s vacuum bed. We also make many jigs and other work aids to make the process of making precision parts repeatable. For example, the "Chest of Vacuum" - individual vacuum drawers that create the force to glue one bent top at a time to one body core was engineered by our in-house staff.

CNC Support

All CNC computer programming is done in-house using Mater Cam software. Our programmer Darran Sanders has 9 years of experience using Master Cam to create guitar bodies and necks.

We have a complete set of more than 50 very special end mills, including a right angle saw to cut fret slots, and we keep all of our tools very sharp, changing them out regularly.

We are able to create a body or neck that is unique to your specification that feels the way you want it to feel. Once created and approved, we can reproduce it reliably for ongoing orders.

Necks

Our necks are built from carefully selected kiln-dried maple and mahogany, and are fitted with one-way or two-way truss rods to insure adjustability. Our finger boards are accurately located to the neck, truss rod pockets and tilt back peg heads are precisely routed, back profiles are accurately shaped, as well as the size of the perimeter of the neck to fit into the neck pocket on the body with as snug a fit as you want. Finger boards are radiused with either a straight or compound radius, fretted, pocketed, inlaid, and bound if desired.

Truss rod adjustment access can be in the heel or peg head. At two times in the process of making the necks, we set them aside for a two day rest. After we glue the fingerboards on the necks blanks, the necks rest for two days to relax before we perimeter and carve them. After we carve the back the necks rest for two more days before we sand out the finger boards and begin the fretting process.

Fretting is done by hand, one fret at a time. Every slot is machined to a specific width and depth on the CNC to match the tang on any of the nine wire profiles we stock. We produce a level, consistent set of frets that need only your final dressing. Finish sanding is meticulously thorough until both the board and the carve feel great.

Bodies

Over the years, we have developed a library of traditional body shapes with a vast array of pickup and bridge configurations. Completely custom solid bodies, semi-hollow chambered bodies, "bent-top" bodies, and carved tops are our specialty. We work from proprietary designs or can supply traditional shapes from our library of body styles.

Fancy wood tops for the "bent-top" series are vacuum formed over the solid body core wood to produce an elegant appearance to your instrument. From the fancy quilted and flamed maples to the exotic woods such as Koa, cocobolo, spalted maple, buckeye burl, and fancy myrtles, almost anything is possible. All bodies are carefully sanded until they are almost ready to paint or finish.

Finish Sanding

After the CNC machine, calipers and programs, our products are enhanced by human touch. Through a series of sanding stages, the bodies and necks achieve the potential to become parts of a fine instrument. When they are packed and shipped from our shop, they are ready for final preparation for painting or trans finishing.

Contact Us

We have a 5,000 square-foot shop completely outfitted with all the critical wood working tools. We have nine committed specialists who take deep pride in what we produce. Every raw material, machine tool, hand tool, fixture or work aid is focused on the making of musical instruments.

From your dream, through the CAD program, CNC machining and the final hand sanding, we are producing world-class quality for electric guitar bodies and necks on a daily basis.

Whether your order is for twenty bodies and necks of the same style or for twenty bodies of five styles and four neck styles, we will deliver it to your specification, fairly-priced, and on time.

If you are a builder of fine electric guitars and/or basses and you are in need of unfinished bodies and necks for your existing models or if you have new models that you want to have made to your precise specifications, please contact us.