Philadelphia guitar maker uses hand tools and CNC machinery to build high-end custom guitars
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Inside his Philadelphia workshop, luthier and musician Victor Baker is establishing a reputation for building high-quality custom guitars. He uses the finest woods and creates well-tuned designs, plus he is able to make a living at it by blending old-world techniques with modern-day equipment.
His shop is one of several workspaces inside a brick industrial building under renovation in the Germantown district of Philadelphia. The dusty industrial space once housed a mattress factory, evident by old sewing needles wedged between the floorboards. Now it’s home to several woodworkers and the recently opened Philadelphia Furniture Workshop.
For the most part, Baker’s section of the shop is unassuming. There are a few banged up benches, lumber storage, clamps, and some basic power tools. The elephant in the room is a massive CNC router table, called a Techno Isel, that uses a robotic router with a high-speed bit to shape wood parts in three dimensions.