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Ronin works with, among giants

Ronin works with, among giants

Northern Cali guitar maker is home of redwood electrics, more…

IT IS A HULKING, yet relatively unassuming building that backs up to North Channel Bay off Highway 101 in Eureka, California. At one time back in the 1970s, it was used by shipbuilders to paint the hulls of ships and other maritime construction tasks. Today, it is the unlikely home of Ronin Guitars — one of the world’s only guitar makers to use reclaimed old growth redwood for electric and acoustic guitars. The roots of Ronin can also be traced back as far as the ‘70s, when Jack Reed dabbled in recording and band management, but it was his son John that got him building guitars. The younger Reed was in New York at the time playing bass for a gigging band and turned to his father, who had been a hobbyist woodworker for several years, to build him an acoustic guitar to compose music on.

“I went and took me chainsaw… and what limited the size of the guitar is that the chainsaw didn’t have a very big bar on it… and went out to a redwood stump,” recalls the elder Reed. “We had 13 acres of redwoods on our property there (Humboldt County). I cut a block of wood and made this funny looking little guitar. All redwood. That’s how it started… nine years ago.”

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