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Anything and Everything you need to know about Born Guitars

Carving wooden guitar frame

Finish is the hardest part of the guitar, usually.  Today guitars are finished with car finishes at most big shops. Why? Guitar players demand fancy high gloss finishes, and those type of finishes are labor intensive and difficult to achieve.  Car finishes are designed for high-speed industrial production, which makes them easier and more efficient to use. They can be sprayed, cured and buffed in the same day! They also allow for brilliant colors and a rock hard clearcoat. 

So why doesn't Born Guitars® use car finish?  - Car finishes are horrible for the environment and us.  It releases toxic chemicals into the air, it requires toxic chemicals to clean it out of spray guns, and any leftover finish is toxic.  To give you an idea of how strong the chemicals are in car finish - If you simply take the lid off a can of car paint without a mask on, you might pass out from the fumes alone. Some of these finishes have warnings like - 'if finish contacts your will lose your eye'

Born Guitars® uses waterborne finishes to achieve the car finish look.  These water-based finishes clean up with water, require no additional chemicals, and are fairly harmless if we have an accident and get some on our skin.  They also have minimal chemicals in them, and are similar to interior house paint in terms of VOCs (Volitile Organic Compounds - The bad stuff).  

So why don't all guitar builders use waterborne finish? - It can be a complete pain in the rear.  Water-based finishes are much less forgiving, and for the inexperienced finisher they can be an absolute nightmare to spray compared to more traditional finishes such as nitrocellulose finish (most common guitar finish traditionally) and modern car finishes.  At Born we've developed specific methods to achieve excellent results with water-based finish, and we are also willing to deal with the slow and artisanal methods required to use waterborne finish.  We don't use it because it's easy, we use it because we feel its the only right thing to do.

Contact Us, Email us at or call us at 720-440-BORN (2676). We’re available Monday through Friday 9am-5pm MST.  We usually get back to you within 24 hours. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Visitation of our custom shop is by invitation only.  You may request a visit or tour, but a visit is not guaranteed.  Personal tours and visits to the shop disrupt customer builds and the flow of the shop.  New and existing customers are always welcome to schedule a visit to the shop. If you visit our shop please be respectful of our time so that we can focus our day on building guitars.  If you have questions or need guidance on your build we are always happy to schedule a phone call or answer all your questions via email.
All of our custom electric guitars are constructed from start to finish at our shop in Longmont, Colorado, U.S.A. using a combination precision machining technology and fine hand craftsmanship. We start with raw lumber and build everything to order.  Our necks are built from scratch to your specifications and our bodies are usually one-of-a-kind featuring rare wood tops and custom finishes. Our hand shaped necks and custom fretwork really set us apart.

Master luthier and Owner Jonathan (Jay) Miller builds every guitar at Born. Jonathan has been obsessing over guitars since he was in high school, and started Born Custom Guitars with the mission of building the best electric guitars possible.  He has studied every detail of electric guitar design, traditional & modern building methods and has learned from many very talented and well known luthiers such as John Page.  As a result Jonathan makes some of the finest electric guitars in the world.  He tailor makes each custom electric guitar to your exacting specifications.  Jay will even match your favorite neck shape from a guitar you own, or create a new shape that will best suit your playing style and hand size.

When you order a custom Born you will work directly with Jay to design the ultimate electric guitar for your playing style.


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