Custom Designs

EARNEST collaborates directly with musicians to design and build custom instruments to meet unusual or specific needs. The process often begins with the discussion of a “dream instrument” and leads to rough sketches, first drafts, full-sized models, selection of materials, electronics, color, and finish. Final drawings are drafted and approved before actual construction of the instrument begins. The result is a one-of-a-kind instrument, created with the combined knowledge of the musician and the luthier. Joel’s experience as a woodworker, luthier, and a performer enables him to understand both the technical requirements of musicians as well as the technical challenges of building instruments. His knowledge of wood technology, acoustics, musicology, and instrument history informs his sense of design and construction. The fact that he plays the instruments he builds ensures that they will sound and feel “right.”

Epiphone Electric Tenor Guitar

Walking Stick Uke

Lil’ Ricky Rickenbacker Tenor Uke

Colander Girl – Resonator Concert Uke

The Shelele, Walking Stick Uke

Weissenborn Electric Dulcimer

The Earnest Bandolim

The Rounder Electric Guitar

The Stukulele (made for Stuart Fuchs)


Custom Blonde Veronica Tenor Guitar

“The Skinny” Electric Tenor Guitar/h3>