My start as a Harmonica tech is like the matching of peanut butter and chocolate. I picked up the harmonica in 1972. Upon graduating from High School I went to work in the dental lab field in 1976. For the next 22 years I learned how to do very intricate detail work with my hands.
In 1998 a discussion ensued online about finding a better way to finely tune reeds. I added my comments as a metal finisher and soon realized I could transfer my knowledge in the dental field to the work bench with harmonicas. Later that year I sought out the assistance of some of the best harmonica techs in the world and studied with them for 4 years. The first advice they gave to me, and I pass onto other harp techs, is that the reed comes first in everything you do. In September 1999 I hung out my sign for business.
I spent the next 20 years focusing on studying reed function by repairing all types of diatonic and chromatic harmonicas. While the intent to make customs was there, repairs and restorations became a priority. Btw, I’ve been the only authorized repair tech for the HFC harmonicas for about 10 years. I’ve had plenty of background into maintaining them long before building them.
It was with the offer to take over production of the Hands Free Chromatic that I decided to go “full Monty” into the Custom harmonica business. While I will still do repairs for my professional customers I’m limiting my time to using what I learned about reeds to building a better chromatic harmonica for both the rack player and hand held player. I hope we get to share the experience of working with you.