Luthier Makes Music Pay
March 25th, 2016 by Cris Ellingson
Josh Humphrey’s handmade instruments are borne out of a love for quality woodworking and music.

Josh Humphrey’s handmade instruments are borne out of a love for quality woodworking and music.

Josh Humphrey has worked with his hands from an early age. His experience with craftsmanship and a love for music led him to start his own business, JBH Guitars.

“I feel lucky to be building guitars here in Ellensburg,” Josh says.

He welcomes the small-town vibe, the proximity to Seattle and “the incredible weather,” he says.

“I started my luthiery career in Eugene, where there were several other world-class mentors,” Josh says. “They were very friendly, and it felt like a nice place to get started.”

He sold his first handmade instrument in 2006. He now sells eight to 10 a year. They average about $4,000 each.

Josh learned the traditional art of instrument making using hand tools. He proudly points out there is no power equipment in the shop.

He prefers to create instruments with his own hands, sometimes in-laying various types of woods in a variety of patterns and designs.

His small shop is well organized. The walls and shelves are filled with a variety of tools and woods.

“It is important to have the right tool for whatever job you are working on,” Josh says. “Things work out better that way.”

The wood he uses ranges from apple tree slabs from his yard to different woods friends have given him.

Josh enjoys repairing and building custom instruments, teaching the traditional art of handcrafted instrument construction and giving music lessons in a variety of genres.

JBH Guitars may be a one-man operation, but its products are anything but small time.

“My orders come from all around the country and internationally as well,” Josh says.

For more information, visit Josh’s website at www.jbhguitars.com.