Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open - 135
s a kid, lap-steel builder Tom Burton
banged around on drums, plunked on
a uke, then in 1964 found a Stella tenor
guitar ("I really wish I still had that little beauty!"
he said). Instruments that strayed from the
mainstream inspired him even as his professional life was spent in a different aspect of the
"My wife, Claudia, and I are both fortunate
enough to be Emmy-winning animation
producers and directors," he said. "We owned
an animation/visual-effects company in Los
Angeles for more than 30 years before I went to
work at Technicolor for a decade, where I headed
the company's film restoration efforts."
While he has been repairing and modifying
guitars along the way, a decade ago he got deeper
into building parts guitars, and in 2012 tried
his hand at a from-scratch lap steel. The turn
sparked a fire.
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How did you wade into guitar building as
By Ward Meeker
For years, it was a parallel effort along with my
day job. As an artist and designer, I'm fascinated
by that magical process that occurs as concept
metamorphoses into creation - in this case, as
a design on paper evolves into a playable guitar.
As a musician and performer, I'm addicted to