Howman Guitars specializes in hand making unique guitars using traditional methods. Formally established as Howman Guitars in 2004, the first instrument was made in 1992. It is a one man operation, with every step from timber selection to final stringing up is performed by luthier Dominic Howman. Trained as a physicist and later a geophysicist, an obsession playing guitar led to a passion to combine science and tradition to create guitars that would inspire the player for life.


Hand tools are used for the majority of the work whenever possible. Preserving hand skills and the products they produce is the essence of Howman Guitars. Each Howman guitar represents 120 - 150 hours of hand crafting. The
guitars are assembled on an open workboard rather than a mold, allowing total freedom of design and total uniqueness of each instrument. This preserves a tradition of guitarmaking that relys on hand skills rather than use of machinery.


Quality wood is the key to a stable and sonorous product. Timber is carefully selected and stored in a wood storage area that is humidity controlled. Assembly of the guitar is performed in the same climate controlled room. Wood is stored for several seasons before actually using it, making the wood extremely stable. This benefits the construction process, as minimum stresses are placed on the wood while it is being assembled. The resultant soundbox is more responsive and resistant to the stresses of string tension, and is less likely to crack over time.


The guitars are built using the traditional X bracing pattern. The top and braces are custom voiced to the customer’s requirements. Tops are made either flat or domed with a domed back.
Integral construction with a Spanish Heal is available as well as the more traditional dovetail join.


Howman Guitars also specializes in high quality pearl inlay. Inlay materials include pearl, abalone, and silver as well as a huge selection of exotic woods. Customer’s input onto the inlay design is encouraged. Retro fitted inlays are possible.
“If it can be drawn, it can be inlayed”.