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Boulder Creek USA Side Bender

Boulder Creek USA-Series Features Hand Bent Sides

Hand-made guitars, superior quality and exclusive modern design. What does it take to build a Boulder Creek USA-Series Model guitar? 

Imagine you are a luthier, in your workshop, you smell the sweet aroma of aged wood and the symphony of delicate notes resonating through the air. You are hard at work, a fine layer of sawdust on your arms. As you wipe the sweat off your brow, sighing heavily, you pick up the hot pipe, ready to spend hours, testing the wood’s limits, as you begin bending the sides by hand. You think to yourself, surely there must be a better way!

The Boulder Creek USA-Series guitars feature the best materials and the craftsmanship of expert luthiers to create truly quality USA-made guitars. Every process uses a balance of “old-school” methods and state-of-the-art guitar production machinery.

Do you recognize the apparatus in the picture? Shown here is the bending fixture that we use to craft the cutaway side sets. Custom-built to Boulder Creek’s design and fitted with a special heating system, the side bender is the key to shaping the guitar sides to exacting specifications. Rather than spending many painstaking hours and hot pipes or iron to manually shape the sides, we utilize a bender to influence the guitar’s projection, tone, and even its personality.


First, the luthier uses the bender fitted with the top half of the traditional guitar shape and coaxes the delicate wood into the traditional acoustic guitar shape as they move the delicate side wood through the sweeping curves of the lower bout, and then guiding the wood into the opposite tight curve of the waist, and finally bending it again to create the smaller upper bout.

Second, the luthier employs the side bedding fissure shown above to create the second side of the guitar featuring the complex double curve of the “soft cutaway”. This delicate process begins the same as the full traditional acoustic guitar side as the luthier moves the wood through the sweeping curves of the lower bout, and then moving the wood into the opposite tight curve of the waist. The luthier completes the bending, finally carefully rounding and shaping the delicate side wood through the double curve of the soft cutaway after completing the smaller upper bout.

As we are ramping up our production of USA-made Boulder Creek guitars, the side-bender is an important component but this is not a high-volume production system, rather it requires a skilled luthier to carefully bend and form each of the two sides of the guitar to perfection- nothing rushed, nothing left to chance- each guitar side is hand-bent to guarantee top quality and only the best for the Boulder Creek USA-Series!

Coming Next….       Shaped Maple Sides

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